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Industry roundup: 12 May

Taulia offers customers three free cash analytics tools during COVID-19

Taulia has announced it is offering three cash analytics solutions, at no charge, to customers to help execute their working capital strategies, strengthen their supply chains and manage risk during these challenging times.

Companies depend on the health of their supply chain; both treasurers and CFOs are under pressure to keep suppliers and employees afloat, all the while meeting debt obligations and maintaining their credit rating. To meet this challenge, Taulia is offering its cash analytics solutions at no charge: Cash Forecasting, Financial Supply Chain Analytics, and Cash Scenario Planner through August 31, 2020. The solutions offer the following:

  • Cash Forecasting - First aggregates real-time and historical data, then applies machine learning to generate insights designed to help inform quick strategic decision making, which is critical in the current environment.
  • Financial Supply Chain Analytics - Better understand payment programmes to improve supply chain health and assist with regional compliance. 
  • Cash Scenario Planner - Gives visibility on potential opportunities to leverage flexible working capital and provides insights on industry benchmarks to help long-term strategic planning.

 

DBS Bank joins Contour’s Beta Network

DBS Bank says it is the first Singapore bank to join Contour’s trade finance network, growing the number of banks on the platform driving a collective effort to digitalise global trade. Built on R3’s Corda, Contour’s network focuses on digitalising processes, including the creation, exchange, approval and issuance of letter of credits (LCs).

Joining Contour’s growing ecosystem of banks and partners aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for its corporate customers. The demand for ‘contact-free’ banking amid the COVID-19 situation also makes digitalising trade processes an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for all participants during this period.

Through Contour, DBS will be able to tap on the network’s digital solutions to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process for its customers - including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents. This helps shorten settlement time, reduce paperwork and simplify complex trade processes. Corporate customers can also conduct digital pre-issuance negotiation between applicant and beneficiary in real-time, and share this with DBS post-endorsement for LC Issuance. This increases the accuracy of LCs issued and helps facilitate quicker resolution in the event of discrepancies. In addition, customers receive enhanced transparency with real-time tracking of transactions on the platform, along with a full audit trail.

 

Report reveals challenging outlook for eurozone business access to external financing

Euro area small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reported a decline in turnover (in net terms -2%, from 20% in the previous six months) in the latest European Central Bank (ECB) Survey on the Access to Finance of Enterprises (SAFE). This was the first such decline reported in the twice-yearly survey since early 2014. They also reported a sharp deterioration in profits (in net terms -15%, down from -1% in the previous survey), which was widespread across countries and sectors. The survey covered the period from October 2019 to March 2020.

Euro area SMEs continued to indicate the lack of availability of skilled labour as their main concern (24% of respondents, down from 28%), followed by the difficulty in finding customers (21%, down from 22%).

Regarding access to finance, the net percentage of SMEs reporting an improvement in the availability of bank loans remained positive, but declined to 5% (down from 10%). This was attributed to the willingness of banks to provide credit (11%, down from 14%). However, for the first time since September 2014, euro area SMEs perceived their own financial situations as a factor impeding their access to finance (-18%, down from 5%). In addition, the general economic outlook was reported to be having a strong negative impact (-30%, down from -13%), a net percentage not seen since March 2013.

SMEs’ responses on the expected availability of external finance are useful in gauging the possible impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the immediate future. On balance, they show that expectations about the availability of bank loans were falling significantly in the euro area (-11%, down from 4%), with the level of deterioration varying across countries.

 

Payoneer and ANNA bring AI to B2B international payments

Payoneer has teamed up with UK business account app ANNA to bring their expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) to the world of international payments. ANNA is a business account and tax app for small businesses. Founded in 2018, the app consists of a chat-based interface that combines AI with an always-on customer service team.

Users can chat to ANNA to set up payments, create invoices and have business admin questions answered. It has image processing software that recognises and reads customers invoices and receipts, so it can accurately estimate tax bills. The AI handles over 40% of customer requests and has led 20% of ANNA users to open their account in less than 5 minutes.

The partnership will allow ANNA customers, who are SMBs and freelancers, to use the chat function and AI capabilities to receive international payments in GBP, USD or EUR into their ANNA account. Users will get receiving account details in these currencies that act like local bank accounts. They can then share these account details with customers, be notified of a loaded payment, view balances, be told the exchange rate and initiate withdrawals - all via the AI chat function. The payment is then settled real time.

 

Trendrating’s data analytics now available via Bloomberg

Trendrating has made its ratings data and analytics available to Bloomberg Data License clients via the Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point (BEAP). The new additional offering on BEAP is touted as making it possible for portfolio managers and quantitative analysts to access data for professional equity investors with a “robust methodology” in order to rate price trends, validate investment ideas, add an extra layer of risk control and capture additional alpha.

This strategic collaboration with Bloomberg is seen as the latest step in an industry wide trend where buy-side participants have long been demanding access to new data sources and technology solutions to address limitations and key intelligence gaps of their legacy platforms. Trendrating’s data offers multiple levels of intelligence including rating and scoring metrics to help identify the strongest trends to invest in and the weakest ones to avoid, typically over a time horizon of a few months to a few years.

The data from Trendrating being made available via the Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point is available in the following regional categories: Developed World, Developed Europe, Developed Asia and the United States.

 

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