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Industry roundup: 16 February

Pelican partners with SWIFT to streamline global low value payments

Pelican has announced its support for SWIFT as it develops a new service for low value cross-border payments. This service is designed to enable banks to provide fast, easy, predictable, and frictionless cross-border payments for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and consumers. The service is expected to be ready by end of March 2021.

The service builds on SWIFT gpi and the high-speed rails that have already transformed high-value payments, and will enable consumers and SMEs to send predictable low value international payments seamlessly via their financial institutions. Costs and processing times will be known upfront, and real-time status will be available to both originator and beneficiary banks.

Pelican is enabling SWIFT low value payments (SLVP) through SWIFT gpi using artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Pelican performs smart validation and intelligent payment data enrichment to boost straight-through processing at both sending and receiving banks and to facilitate processing within a prescribed service level agreement. Payment data enrichment ensures that the correct BIC Code, IBAN validation and enrichment, and other bank codes, are provided so that there is no human intervention required. This facilitates fully automated end-to-end straight through processing and enables timely execution of international payments.

Pelican’s plug-in solution can be deployed as a part of the firm's payment processing or as a stand-alone solution with other payment systems. Pelican allows banks to access its solution on the cloud or deploy on their premises, based on the bank’s existing payment architecture. This aims to minimise disruption and time to market deployment.


FQX solution aims to boost trade liquidity across 165 countries

FQX has announced that eNote is being launched internationally following a series of successful pilot transactions, which included a digital asset bank as well as a leading digital trading platform for metals and ferroalloys, Metalshub, supported by FQX’s technology partners Swisscom and Swiss Post. FQX has currently onboarded more than 20 entities from various jurisdictions, including financial institutions and multinational corporations.

The eNote solution is designed to connect the real economy directly to investors and boost the flow of liquidity, providing a streamlined infrastructure to unblock inefficiencies in the current system and make trade and corporate finance more widely available for businesses who are struggling to raise it - and more profitable for investors looking for yield. The eNote is a digital promissory note, an unconditional promise to pay that is secure, tradeable and provides as a negotiable instrument an alternative to instruments such as reverse factoring, dynamic discounting, trade loans and - eventually - commercial papers. FQX says the potential for eNote in receivables finance is significant in global supply chains where a huge funding gap exists.

Many companies across developing markets do not have adequate access to trade finance and are underserved by commercial banks, despite offering investment grade opportunities. The eNote solution aims to unlock this source of revenue for institutional investors and treasuries and increase liquidity to close the gap. Traders and producers are often forced to abandon transactions when finance is rejected, and this is one of the top three export obstacles for half of the world’s countries, according to the World Economic Forum.

FQX is accessible to corporations and financial institutions via indirect origination channels, such as banks, fintechs, treasury management systems, purchasing cooperatives, large logistics firms and large MNCs, who will license eNote. Users may use the solution to issue and transfer trade loans as well as singular commercial papers, liquidate trade receivables or extend payment terms.


AFP and Virginia Tech partner on FP&A programme

The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) announced it has joined the Calhoun Discovery Program at Virginia Tech as an Industry Partner. Inspired and supported by Boeing CEO David Calhoun, the programme facilitates a multidisciplinary alternative to narrowly focused degree programmes. The Calhoun Discovery Program prepares the next generation’s workforce for the realities of today’s marketplace, where multiple stakeholders and not just shareholders must be considered.

Through this partnership, AFP and Virginia Tech have created a Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) work cell that provides opportunities for students to break down traditional academic barriers by collaborating with students from other disciplines to tackle real-world problems alongside multiple industry leaders. AFP will select a small group of experienced FP&A professionals to participate in project identification and selection, and to mentor students throughout the academic year.

“The Calhoun Discovery Program is challenging traditional undergraduate education, which often falls short of preparing graduates for success in the real world,” said AFP’s president and CEO Jim Kaitz. “Our involvement in the programme provides an opportunity for FP&A professionals to apply multidisciplinary thinking with students from engineering, industrial design, information technology, environmental policy, data analytics and other majors, as well as industry professionals from other disciplines. Through AFP’s partnership in this programme, we will redefine the role and expectations of the CFO function as a strategic business partner and develop the resources the finance profession needs to succeed in Industry 4.0.”

The multidisciplinary style of the Calhoun Discovery Program approaches problems by considering financial viability and technological feasibility, ecological and socioeconomic sustainability, and inclusive human capital development. The solutions developed through the programme will address each of these four areas to ensure sustainable and equitable development. AFP joins Boeing, Caterpillar, GE Appliances, GE Aviation, and other organisations as partners supporting the mission of the Calhoun Discovery Program.


Xero integrates iwocaPay to provide pay later option for small businesses

Small business lender iwoca has announced a UK-first integration with small business platform Xero. Integrating iwocaPay - iwoca’s invoice checkout - into Xero’s platform, will for the first time provide small businesses with a 'pay later' option for their business customers.

An invoice payments product that iwoca launched in June 2020, iwocaPay is designed to help both SMEs and their customers manage cash flow. It allows small businesses to get paid immediately while giving their customers the option to pay upfront or spread the cost over 90 days.

As part of this new integration, iwocaPay will be directly accessible in Xero. Small business owners can add this feature to their Xero invoices and by doing so get them digitally reconciled, while at the same time offering attractive payment options to their customers. 

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