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Industry roundup: 11 February

Challenger banks can “GO LIVE with new banking capabilities within a few weeks” using Temenos Banking Cloud

Temenos, a global banking software company, launched Temenos Banking Service tailored to the unique needs of challenger banks. These services can be quickly deployed to Temenos Banking Cloud, reducing time-to-market for challenger banks with new products and services, allowing them to expand quickly with a fraction of traditional implementation costs.

Challenger banks are defined as smaller, newer banks that aim for directly competing (“challenging”) traditional banks by using modern financial practices, such as operating online or through an app, eliminating the need for branch-based banking. Temenos, currently serving over 3,000 banks globally (and 41 of the top 50 banks), provides a variety of innovative capabilities such as cloud-native, cloud-agnostic and AI-driven front-office, core banking, payments and fund administration software to enable banks to deliver frictionless, integrated client experiences and superior operational quality.

The new composable (“modular”) Temenos Banking Service includes retail banking, loans and accounts – financial crime mitigation, payments, and explainable AI (XAI) for retail lending. Additionally, Temenos Banking Cloud provides neobanks with access to pre-packaged integrated banking services, eliminating the need for tedious and time-consuming integrations and major upgrades. These new banking services from Temenos Banking Cloud are quickly accessible through a self-service portal and can be easily configured, scaled or deployed anywhere. Banks can choose to implement a country-specific, ready to use model bank if they wish, but Temenos also gives them the option of a low-code configuration environment that allows for significant differentiation with little hassle.

According to the news release, Temenos appears to allow for low operational costs as well. Varo Bank, the first all-digital nationally charter bank in the United States, operates at a 75% lower cost than existing banks powered by Temenos' core banking platform.

Digital disbursements expand the consumer footprint through KyckGlobal and Payflo

As paper check documents continue to decrease and make their way out of the financial ecosystem, digital disbursements are progressing rapidly as a top priority for many organizations. KyckGlobal, a new financial technology company specialized in streamlining digital payments, partners with Payflo, a provider of paper check implementation services in North America. The partnership will expand Payflo’s digital disbursement alternatives for its clients within the United States and Canada and provide provision checks for KyckGlobal.

KyckGlobal provides a cloud-based payment engine enabling recipients to choose from fifteen different payment types, all originating from a single point of reconciliation. With access to multiple payment methods, businesses can reach both banked and unbanked clients globally. Additionally, Payflo’s payment processing services include Checkflo, a cloud-based service that enables SMEs and large enterprises to automate and outsource physical check processing, printing and disbursements.

To enhance Payflo’s existing suite of payment methods, KyckGlobal will also provide a technology layer through API integration. Payflo's new payment methods will include PayPal, Venmo and push-to-card, in addition to a number of cross-border solutions such as push-to-account, wire transfer and international ACH. All payments will originate from Payflo's single point of reconciliation with integrated reporting and streamlined payer and payee experience. Under the partnership, Payflo will serve as the provider of physical checks issued from the KyckGlobal platform. Additionally, the new integrated solution will provide customers with a secure, compliant and timely digital disbursements system in addition to the traditional physical check disbursements, added Rob Sigal, President & CEO, Payflo Inc.

Enhance digital payment capabilities through Worldline and Alipay+

Worldline, a European global payments and transactions provider, partners with Alipay+ to expand in-store and e-commerce payments for global merchants, scheduled to begin in 2022. The collaboration will enable merchants to facilitate mobile and other digital payment methods across Europe. According to the press release, Worldline is the first acquirer to establish a comprehensive, full-scale, multi-country integration with Alipay+.

Alipay+ was introduced in 2020 and is operated by China’s leading digital payments platform, Ant Group. Alipay+ is a collection of worldwide cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions that support an extensive variety of digital payment methods, consisting of e-wallets and financial institution apps, which include Touch `n Go eWallet in Malaysia, TrueMoney in Thailand, GCash within the Philippines, Kakao Pay in South Korea, in addition to Alipay and AlipayHK in China.

The enhanced payment solution will work on all Worldline devices and applications. Additionally, it will offer the same QR code for new digital payment methods, providing merchants with ease of use, as the payment recognition method works automatically without the need to change the merchant's operations. Online shoppers and travellers from Asia will experience a familiar, secure, seamless and fully automated payment flow, allowing merchants to strengthen their relationships with their customers.

European merchants from all sectors (such as retail, F & B and hospitality) can benefit by upgrading to Worldline's fully integrated point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce solutions to Alipay+ acceptance through simple software updates without additional costs.

Simplified investments through open banking API, enabled through TrueLayer and Tillit

TrueLayer, Europe's open banking platform, announced that Tillit, an investment platform, has implemented its open banking payments API to improve investor experiences. According to Felicia Hiertman, CEO and co-founder, and Paul O’Neill, software developer, Tillit, the collaboration simplifies investment by offering approximately one hundred carefully selected funds, both active and passive, on the platform. The Investment Commission has selected them based on Tillit's own fund selection manifesto. It also offers a state-of-the-art and transparent pricing structure that rewards customer loyalty and long-term investment.

Clients will benefit from an improved experience in funding their investment accounts through the integration of TrueLayer and the Tillit platform. Additionally, the need to enter card or bank account details is eliminated with the immediate and secure payments between accounts. Customers can simply select the "Pay at Bank" option, authenticate their identity with biometrics and confirm the payment. Furthermore, recurring customers using TrueLayer will be able to see the payment option shown as the bank they used to deposit additional funds.

Hjertman commented that the main part of this integration is the ability to seamlessly fund one’s investment account. TrueLayer's integration of open banking payments provides customers the ability to initiate investments in an easy, accessible, secure and transparent manner.

A new proprietary stablecoin platform launched by Japanese bank, MUFG

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Japan's largest bank, officially announced a proprietary stablecoin project called Progmat Coin, a blockchain-based system for issuing and managing stablecoins fixed at a ratio of 1:1 to the Japanese yen. According to the press release, the new platform enables a universal payment method for digital assets that provide cross-chain interoperability with a wide range of digital assets other than those issued by Progmat and the digital yen. The Progmat Coin project was established in 2019 to create standards for security tokens.

The renamed consortium, Digital Asset Co-creation Consortium, aims to expand its reach beyond security tokens to other sectors such as stablecoin, non-fungible tokens and crypto assets. An MUFG spokesperson commented that there are plans to introduce Japanese yen-based stablecoin as part of the project, with a projected rollout in 2023. Additionally, the stablecoin project is different from Japan’s major digital currency project, Digital Currency DCJPY, that united approximately seventy companies (including MUFG, Mizuhu and Sumitomo) from Japan to launch a yen-based digital currency in 2022.

The EU Commission plans to legislate immediate payments across the EU

Legislation pertaining to the digital euro, along with a full EU-wide coverage of instant payments through the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant will be introduced by the European Commission in early 2023. According to the press release, the bill serves as the legal basis for the European Central Bank's continuous methodical work to create the central bank's digital currency. The proposed legislative amendments are aimed at addressing the fragmented market for cross-border real-time payments and boosting the union's overall open banking initiative.

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