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Industry roundup: 13 August 2020

Bolero joins Marco Polo Network

Trade digitisation provider Bolero International has joined Marco Polo, to bring its e-Bill of Lading (e-BL) including e-documents and e-presentation solutions to the trade finance network. Earlier this year, Bolero launched its Galileo platform to future-proof digital trade finance services for banks, corporates, carriers, and other trade eco-systems.

Galileo is designed to deliver greater functionality and seamless integration with third-party systems, providing end-to-end visibility to corporate clients and banks. Making the Bolero solutions available on Marco Polo will expand the matching options for the network’s Payment Commitment solutions and will be fully customisable and available to any participant.

Bolero says that its partnership with the Marco Polo Network will ultimately provide a fully integrated trade settlement process allowing corporates and banks to increase the capacity and velocity of their trade transactions while facilitating rapid decision-making. It streamlines the handling and conditional release of e-documents by using data-sets with the matching functionality of the Payment Commitment Module of the Marco Polo Network and will combine handling of digital trade data with transfer of ownership by means of an e-BL.


Visa issues inaugural US$500m green bond 

Visa has announced that it successfully priced its inaugural green bond offering, totalling US$500m, paying a semi-annual coupon of 0.75% and maturing 15 August 2027. The green bond, believed to be the first issued by a digital payments network, will be used to help advance the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and a sustainable payments ecosystem. In support of that commitment and in addition to its inaugural green bond, Visa is also announcing the appointment of its first chief sustainability officer, Douglas Sabo.

“At Visa, we see a responsibility and an opportunity to use the power of our network to drive broad shifts toward a sustainable future,” said Al Kelly, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc. “Our green bond offering will help us accelerate the transformation of our infrastructure and operations to reach our environmental goals. This commitment extends to appointing Visa’s first chief sustainability officer, tasked with ensuring we continue to take bold and industry-leading actions on the environment.”

As outlined in the Visa Green Bond Framework, the proceeds of the green bond will be used to fund projects including upgrades to buildings, energy efficiency improvements, expanded usage of renewable energy sources, water efficiency projects, employee commuter programmes, and research and initiatives focused on sustainable consumer behaviours. The proceeds also will support investments in projects to inspire and foster sustainable living in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These projects build on Visa’s sustainability leadership, including its transition to 100% renewable electricity across its operations achieved at the start of 2020.

Visa will issue an annual report on the use of proceeds from the green bond and their environmental impact. Sustainalytics, a global provider of ESG research, ratings and data, provided the second-party opinion on the environmental benefits of Visa’s Green Bond Framework as well as its alignment with the Green Bond Principles.


Clear Books announces integration with Stripe

Stripe invoice payments and transaction feeds are now available in Clear Books. Stripe is a UK payments provider that helps small businesses to accept credit and debit card payments. Clear Books’ integration with Stripe allows small businesses with a Clear Books account to accept credit and debit card payments for invoices. 

The integration also allows eCommerce businesses that use Stripe on their own websites to automatically import bank transactions into Clear Books accounting software, simplifying record-keeping.

When a company connects Stripe to its Clear Books account, customers can pay invoices by credit or debit card. By making it easier to get paid, companies can accelerate their cash flow. As soon as a customer pays an invoice, this is automatically marked as paid in the system. Stripe transactions will be automatically imported into Clear Books when the integration is set up. That means companies will be able to keep track of the payments customers make as well as the fees they pay to Stripe. Clear Books  also intelligently splits out the payments received from customers from Stripe fees so that they can be easily categorised and accounted for.


Accounting automation firm Candis raises €12m Series B funding

Candis, a platform for automated accounting and payment processes, has raised €12m in a financing round led by Viola Ventures and Rabo Frontier Ventures, the investment arm of Rabobank. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Point Nine Capital, Speedinvest, the main incubator of Commerzbank and 42CAP also participated.

CANDIS intends to use the capital to continue the development of its machine learning engine and to fuel growth and expansion within Europe. Currently, the company’s software automates more than 80% of all classic accounting processes and facilitates efficient collaboration with tax accounting firms across Europe.

CANDIS automates manual bookkeeping, accounting processes and B2B payments for mid-market companies with machine learning. The software automatically collects bookkeeping documents from various sources, classifies and authenticates the data, generates approval processes and real-time-insights and payments for accounts payables. 

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