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Industry roundup: 17 June

UniCredit boosts digital working capital with Taulia partnership

UniCredit has announced its collaboration with Taulia, a San-Francisco-based fintech that provides digital supply chain solutions for buyers and suppliers, including supply chain finance, cash forecasting, electronic invoicing, and dynamic discounting.

The partnership serves to round out UniCredit's toolbox of working capital solutions - building on its existing supply chain finance platform by incorporating the capacity to support greater numbers of suppliers with increased international reach, alongside seamless integration into corporates' enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

UniCredit clients will have the flexibility to alternate between bank-funded (supply chain finance) and self-funded (dynamic discounting) early payment programmes. Through the Taulia platform, corporates will be able to build resilient supply chains by providing vital working capital stability and transparency to their suppliers.

The agreement is the latest in a series of additions to UniCredit's working capital management business. Taken together, these form a set of tools that address a wide range of specific client objectives - helping businesses improve both capital allocation and efficiency across their supply chains, whilst maintaining strong balance sheets and adequate day-to-day liquidity.

 

Caixa Geral de Depósitos selects Finastra for treasury and capital markets business transformation

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the largest commercial bank in Portugal, has chosen Finastra to power its end-to-end treasury and capital markets business. It has selected Fusion Kondor, Fusion Risk and Regulatory Reporting as a Service to support this front-to-back-to-risk transformation. The bank’s users will have access to automated and standardised interfaces, with an enhanced user experience and better reporting functionalities.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos offers a selection of corporate services, including commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, brokerage and venture capital. To keep up with market trends and changing regulations, the bank was looking to transform its current technology landscape to make it more user friendly and more efficient. The chosen solution includes front-to-back treasury, straight-through processing for all asset classes, accurate pricing from the front office to risk, including structured products, collateral management and regulatory cloud reporting.

Fusion Kondor will standardize and integrate the bank’s trading and risk services, while Fusion Risk will manage its risk and compliance functionalities. Regulatory Reporting as a Service will enable the bank to manage its reporting in a more automated way, whilst making sure it is keeping up to date with changing regulations such as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR).

 

Payments Canada publishes ISO 20022 messages for new high-value payments system

Payments Canada has announced the availability of ISO 20022 messages for Lynx, Canada’s new high-value payments system. With the publication of ISO 20022 messages for Lynx, system participants can start preparing their existing applications to leverage the value of ISO 20022. Likewise, vendors who support Canada’s payments ecosystem can use the published messages to update their applications and develop new services for Lynx participants and the wider ecosystem. The ISO 20022 messages for Lynx also support Canadian financial institutions preparing to meet SWIFT’s ISO 20022 migration date for cross-border payments, expected to roll out at the end of 2022.

As a global financial messaging standard, ISO 20022 enables the clearing and settlement of data-rich payments among financial institutions worldwide through the use of a common set of messages that financial institutions agree to use in a consistent way. The expected benefits of ISO 20022 for financial institutions and their customers include access to enhanced remittance data, support for global interoperability, and a reduction in the use of paper-based payment options. 

Lynx is a pivotal part of Payments Canada’s multi-system payments modernisation initiative aimed at transforming Canada’s payments ecosystem. The system, which is expected to launch in 2021, will replace the Large Value Transfer System and process large value, time-critical payments with real-time settlement finality. ISO 20022 messaging will be supported in release two of Lynx. 

 

American Express receives clearance to begin processing local transactions in mainland China

American Express has announced that its joint-venture in mainland China, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Services Company Limited (Express Company), has received approval from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) for a network clearing license. With this, American Express becomes the first foreign payments network to be licensed to clear RMB transactions in mainland China. The company expects to begin processing transactions later this year.

Express Company is American Express’ joint venture with Lianlian DigiTech Co., Ltd, a Chinese fintech services company. Express Company has built a network to clear domestic transactions charged on American Express branded cards, and is also compatible with the key mobile wallet players in China.

 

Wirecard enables Payhawk to launch a corporate Visa card 

Wirecard is collaborating with Bulgarian fintech Payhawk to launch a new Visa corporate card to provide companies with a solution to manage corporate expenses. Payhawk will benefit from Wirecard’s corporate expense card solution including end-to-end card infrastructure as well as its payment industry expertise.

Founded in 2018, Payhawk offers a corporate expense and spend management service for small and medium sized companies, including the new corporate card, which is issued by Wirecard. Payments, invoices, expenses, and card issues are automated and digitised. The fintech provides a mobile app and web interface to give their corporate clients a dashboard for control and transparency over employees’ spending, travel expenses or other transactions.

The cooperation between Wirecard, Visa and Payhawk will enable the Bulgarian start-up to address new target groups in Europe with a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises who currently lack digital solutions for expense management and need to address the complexities of managing company cards.

Payhawk Visa Business Cards are available in 13 European countries, including the UK, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. The company's integrated payment account can be combined with any existing bank giving a platform for finance teams to manage company spend.

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