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First digital trade transaction under new UK legislation - Industry roundup: 25 September

First digital trade transaction under new UK legislation

Lloyds Bank has completed what it believes to be the first transaction under the UK’s new Electronic Trade Documents Act (ETDA), which recently came into force. The ETDA gives electronic bills of exchange, bills of lading and other commercial documents the same legal footing as paper documents. The legislation is designed to provide UK businesses and participants in the 60-80% of trade transactions worldwide subject to English law more flexibility in how they trade. The Act will also significantly reduce the environmental impact that paper documentation has while reducing the cost and time taken to conclude international trade transactions.

Lloyds Bank completed the transaction for Matalan Retail Ltd via Enigio’s trace:original solution. Matalan issued a digital promissory note to accept liability when settling a documentary collection for the purchase of garments from one of its suppliers. Through the technology, the key documents arrived two days earlier than they would have if the promissory note had been concluded on paper.

“This new legislation is a turning point for a cheaper, faster, and more sustainable global trading system,” commented Gwynne Master, Managing Director, Lending and Working Capital, Lloyds Bank. “We’ve spent many years working with industry, government, suppliers, and clients to find ways to support the transition to digitisation, and we are pleased to be spearheading the practical implementation of the Act."


Kyriba to provide RBC with cloud-based payables and receivables finance solution

Kyriba has announced it will be working on providing its platform solutions and services to RBC, supporting the bank’s ongoing innovation journey in supply chain finance as the bank helps its business clients optimise their working capital and cash conversion.

Kyriba’s cloud platform provides institutions with payables and receivables finance management solutions to support their business clients’ working capital needs. Further, Kyriba’s OpenAPI platform and technology integration with over 1,000 financial institutions globally is designed to accelerate time to market and enable a more seamless integration of real-time transactions to streamline the execution of working capital programs and the onboarding of suppliers and customers.

“With the cost of capital continuing to rise, it is critical that corporate finance teams unlock cash flow within their payables and receivables,” said Edi Poloniato, Global Head of Banking Solutions at Kyriba. “We look forward to working with RBC to offer Canadian companies with new pathways to enhance their liquidity using innovative working capital solutions, thus strengthening their supplier and customer relationships.”


BofA launches trade finance platform 

As part of what it describes as a multi-year effort to transform trade finance, Bank of America is launching CashPro Supply Chain Solutions, a platform designed to offer participants in a supply chain the benefits of digitisation with improved process efficiency and working capital optimisation. 

Open Account Automation, the first module of CashPro Supply Chain Solutions, addresses invoice approval and payment, one of the most common processes in global trade. This module aims to speed up the time to approve an invoice from what was often days or weeks to a matter of minutes.

This first module absorbs and collates data within the supply chain ecosystem. Its goal is to improve the overall participant experience by delivering greater visibility, speed, and automation and allowing quicker decision-making. 

Companies using Open Account Automation can digitally onboard suppliers, who gain access to real-time data that provides near-instant visibility into whether their invoices have been approved for payment or if discrepancies need to be resolved. The module will extract data from document copies and include that data in the automated approval process, match purchase orders with invoices and other logistics information, and let buyers control the approval of invoices based on information presented by their suppliers, their logistics providers and their warehouse receipting process. Buyers can set automated rules for support, allowing them to automate discrepancy resolution. It will also automatically disburse payment to a supplier once an invoice is approved and matures. The bank says that coming soon, suppliers will also be able to select invoices for early payment.

“Trade finance is still a paper-heavy industry despite advances in technology, due in large part to the dependency on traditional manual processes,” said Geoff Brady, head of Global Trade and Supply Chain Finance in Global Transaction Services (GTS) at Bank of America. “Eliminating that dependency was central to the design of CashPro Supply Chain Solutions, through which we're introducing digitisation on behalf of network participants.”


Nomentia unifies treasury management platform

Nomentia, a European provider of treasury and cash management solutions, has announced that all its solutions can be accessed seamlessly from a single unified platform.

Since the merger of Nomentia and TIPCO in 2021, the company has continuously expanded its offerings, executing numerous projects while also working towards its overarching vision of consolidating its cash and treasury management solutions into a unified hub. 

Dubbed ‘OneNomentia’, integrating all cash and treasury management solutions into a single platform promises various benefits, including an enhanced user experience, streamlining development and maintenance efforts, and fostering future innovation. 

“Today marks the realization of our commitment to delivering a comprehensive suite of solutions to treasurers,” said Hubert Rappold, Chief Sales Officer at Nomentia and former co-CEO at TIPCO. “‘OneNomentia’ signifies not just an end, but a new beginning, a fresh chapter in our journey to redefine treasury management in collaboration with our clients.” 


U.S. Bank unveils online marketplace of treasury solutions

U.S. Bank has launched an online marketplace of third-party payment and treasury solutions fully integrated with the bank’s systems. The U.S. Bank Connected Partnership Network aims to help corporate treasury teams identify and adopt technology connected with the bank, such as treasury management systems and working capital automation tools. It also enables fintechs and other third parties to develop applications with U.S. Bank Payment Services and deliver through the Connected Partnership Network.

The bank says that businesses can quickly determine which of their existing tech solutions are already integrated into the Connected Partnership Network, opening up opportunities to seamlessly connect to U.S. Bank payments within their current systems as part of the bank’s embedded payments strategy. 

Using integrated network partners can help businesses reduce the time and resources needed to implement treasury management services through embedded banking. To automate and optimise cash management, companies can access a variety of integrated solutions that the bank says deliver the best of emerging technologies. Additionally, third parties benefit from the ability to integrate with U.S. Bank more easily on behalf of mutual clients. Examples include integrations with ERP systems, TMS and accounts payable and receivable systems.

“Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to gain efficiency and streamline their processes,” said Rich Erario, head of Global Treasury Management at U.S. Bank. “We know from our own research and conversations with clients that they see opportunity for digital transformation in their payment processes – whether receiving money from clients or sending payments to vendors. They are delighted when they can easily connect their bank to the software, processes and systems they use every day, without the need to use multiple portals.”


BDO partners with MVGX Tech to drive decarbonisation of Indonesian companies

BDO in Indonesia, a member of BDO International, has announced a commercial partnership with MVGX Tech, a carbon software-as-a-service (Saas) company that aims to enable corporations, governments, and institutions to take action at every stage of their decarbonisation journeys. Through the partnership, BDO says that its client base in Indonesia will be able to kickstart their sustainability journeys and strengthen existing ESG initiatives through MVGX Tech’s Carbon Connect Suite.

The suite includes products, software, and services enabling corporations, governments, and institutions to meet sustainability commitments. Specifically, under the Carbon Connect Suite, BDO clients will be able to leverage the Carbon Management System and Carbon Rating System, allowing companies to evaluate and benchmark their carbon emissions against industry peers while accessing qualitative feedback on milestones achieved and progress to date against their sustainability goals. This is done based on the company’s scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and assessed based on eight modules considering factors such as existing emission reduction measures and investments in carbon reduction projects. Overall, this is essential to keeping organisations accountable, enabling them to effectively track, measure, and monitor the quality of their efforts in line with a customised methodology and risk assessment framework based on internationally recognised standards.

This partnership comes at an especially critical time for Indonesia amid the accelerated timeline it has set for itself to meet its net-zero targets before 2060. Indonesia is one of the world’s leading exporters of commodities such as steel, with exports in 2022 reaching historical highs of IDR900 trillion (approximately US$60bn). Such industries are increasingly coming under fire due to their environmental impact, resulting in new reporting frameworks and guidelines being stipulated by trade partners such as the European Union. This includes the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which aims to limit the import of goods produced through carbon-intensive methods by implementing a carbon tariff on heavily polluting industries. CBAM is part of the European Green Deal and will affect almost 20% of Indonesia’s exports once in effect by October this year.

All emissions reports submitted by non-EU exporters must be certified by a European Union-recognised Global Validation/Verification Body (“VVB”). With MVGX Tech’s Carbon Connect Suite, BDO in Indonesia clients that are exporters to the bloc will be able to operate with the peace of mind that their carbon disclosures are ISO verified and are certified by globally recognised sustainability standards providers such as the British Standards Institution BSI and TÜV-SÜD. Furthermore, using the Carbon Connect Suite will also prepare them to implement Indonesia’s carbon taxation scheme, which is estimated to come into effect by mid-2024.


Corvallis and Finastra help Italian banks accelerate their instant payments offerings

Finastra has announced its extended partnership with Corvallis, Tinexta Group, an IT services provider in the Italian financial services sector, to support Italian banks' payment transformation journeys.

The collaboration extends the scope from Finastra’s SaaS digital banking solution, Essence, to include Finastra Payments To Go, an end-to-end SaaS payment processing solution, and Global PAYplus, a payment hub solution. By facilitating SEPA and international payments, Italian banks can comply with the upcoming European instant payments regulation and modernise outdated and complex IT infrastructures.

“Our partnership supports the imminent entry into force of the European regulation on instant bank transfers in euros, which will make instant payments mandatory without additional costs,” said Giampietro Vavassori, Business Solution Director at Corvallis. “This requires a radical overhaul of current, often temporary solutions that are not suited to support the expected increase in instant payments transfers, which will gradually replace ordinary transfers. As payments have evolved, the introduction of additional application modules and integration layers have led to complex, layered and difficult to manage architectures. Finastra’s payments solutions help to simplify this complexity by eliminating existing legacy payments silos, streamlining processes and enabling access to new market opportunities.”


Swipe2B hits US$2bn B2B supplier payments processed in the UAE

Swipe2B, a payment solutions provider headquartered in the UAE, has surpassed US$2bn in B2B supplier payments. The solution unlocks liquidity and facilitates early payments for both buyers and suppliers.

As the economic hub of the Middle East, the UAE boasts a thriving business ecosystem, and Swipe2B has emerged as a catalyst for growth and efficiency. The company's payment solution has impacted how businesses pay and get paid, providing benefits for buyers and suppliers across the UAE.

With clients including New York University Abu Dhabi, Mastercard and DB Schenker, buyers in the region enjoy extended credit terms, allowing them to optimise their working capital and cash flow. This extended credit period, spanning up to 55 days, enables businesses to allocate their resources more strategically and seize growth opportunities.

Meanwhile, approximately 2,600 suppliers enjoy early payments, boosting their liquidity, enhancing their financial stability and growth potential and eliminating the need to seek financing while they wait to get paid. This mutually beneficial solution also gives suppliers another payment method to offer their other clients. The firm says this not only financially strengthens SMEs but also contributes to the overall economic vitality of the UAE.

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