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Industry roundup: 18 January

GTreasury acquires Hedge Trackers

Treasury and risk management platform provider GTreasury is acquiring the accounting, consulting and software services specialist Hedge Trackers.

GTreasury said that combining Hedge Trackers’ hedge accounting expertise and software as a service (SaaS) solutions with its own treasury and risk management platform will provide customers with best-in-class, integrated risk management technologies while continuing to expand GTreasury’s SaaS ecosystem built for treasury teams and the office of the CFO.

“Most CFOs and treasury teams understand the criticality of exposures and forecasts, but the highest-performing teams recognise and act on the subtle nuances directly impacting exposure,” said GTreasury’s CEO, Renaat Ver Eecke.

“These are key decisions that have an outsized effect on corporate finances. Our acquisition of Hedge Trackers creates a unique and exciting opportunity for organisations to significantly, confidently, and advantageously optimise their complex accounting. With GTreasury’s product development capabilities, we can accelerate the expansion of Hedge Trackers’ robust Capella software capabilities and our best-in-class risk management solutions to better meet the requirements of modern CFOs and treasury teams.”

Announcing the deal, GTreasury notes that CFOs and treasurers face increasing volatility around foreign exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices. Each can result in significant corporate losses without the right strategy, technology and execution, which is why hedging and risk management solutions, along with hedge accounting services, have experienced such significant growth. FX hedging solutions alone are expected to grow 40% in the next two years, according to a recent survey from consulting firm Topline Strategy.

Open banking payments enter the public sector: Pay360 and Ordo partnership

Pay360 by Capita, with its payment services solutions, will partner with Ordo’s open banking services to facilitate payments to public sector companies that aim to provide services to customers, such as municipal or public housing services, and enable smooth payment transactions.

The integration between the two companies will enable Pay360 to provide "smart" digital payment requests. The process begins where the sector sends text messages (SMS) or emails to customers, enabling them to make payments quickly and securely using a mobile banking app or through the website. Additionally, customers can securely pay through inbound or outbound calls with customer service agents who can assist with transactions as needed.

Furthermore, by integrating open banking payment methods, the partnership between Pay360 and Ordo removes an additional layer of the payment process, allowing Pay360 public sector customers to benefit from open banking without changing existing processes. Pay360 and Ordo will provide the ability to attach invoices, bills or reminders to payment requests to progress and streamline the customer's payment process.

Alex Common, Chief Product Officer, Pay360, commented that the collaboration with Ordo enabling the introduction of open banking into their capabilities will enable Pay360 to meet the main challenges of customers by providing them a frictionless payments system with built-in functionalities to better serve customers. Craig Tillotson, CEO, Ordo, stated that the comprehensive expertise between the two companies will transform the way organizations collect payments by providing solutions that facilitate secure and effective transfer of funds between consumers and organizations.

New SME payment capability in Brazil released by AstroPay

Global online payment solutions provider, AstroPay, announced the launch of a new payment feature, Payment Links, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Brazil. This enables business proprietors to collect online and remote payments by sharing a link with their customers and receive instant payment in a simple and secure way.

Approximately 18.2 million micro and SMEs account for 99% of Brazil's businesses and 70% of the jobs created since the beginning of 2021. AstroPay's new payment capabilities enable small businesses without websites or online stores to continue to provide easy online payment solutions that meet their customers' needs.

Payment Links allows business owners to create links and share them with customers via email or other electronic means of communication. Customers can pay in local currency or US dollars using a variety of local payment methods. Small business owners and customers can download the AstroPay app, sign up, and get immediate approval to accept and make payments.

Small businesses typically find it difficult to access traditional payment options and require flexible solutions. Mikael Lijtenstein, CEO, AstroPay, commented that AstroPay’s commitment towards improving the daily operations of businesses of all sizes in a seamless manner is one of the main company goals. Lijtenstein further added that Payment Links enables Brazilian micro and small business owners to provide their customers with an expeditious, simple and steadfast billing method. Additionally, it helps them grow their own customer base. Payment Links plans to add more payment options and expand to more customers globally.

AstroPay has been developing online payment solutions that support corporate growth and provide users with payment options for online purchases on international websites, regardless of user location or banking situation, since 2009. In addition, they offer a wide range of online payment methods that have been serving Brazilian users for twelve years. The Payment Links solution rollout is timely as digital payments continue to grow at a rapid pace globally.

One Zero Digital Bank introduced in Israel to alleviate personal banking

The first new licensed Israeli bank in 43 years will combine human and artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify personal banking operations. Professor Amnon Shashua, an artificial intelligence developer, created autonomous banking through the Jerusalem-based innovative technology provider, Mobileye.

One Zero Digital Bank, licensed in 2019, will be launched soon using proprietary AI and other technologies to provide private banking services designed to save clients time, money and bureaucracy.

Shashua made a US $ 65 million seed investment in the bank, and it participated in a $120 million Series A round in December along with Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer, Japanese financial conglomerate SBI, US private equity firm West Coast Equity Partners, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Provident Fund, Far East Ventures of Singapore, and Chinese high-tech, Tencent. The value of the bank is $ 320 million.

According to Shashua, the long-term strategic plan is to transform the banking industry in Israel first and then expand into international markets. AI technology, which is transforming the financial landscape, will be key to solving the financial problems faced by many families in Israel.

Gal Bar Dea, CEO, OneZero, named this all-digital bank a "technology victory" that combines artificial intelligence with human intelligence. Bankers are available 24/7 for customer service by phone and chat. According to the press release, more than 60,000 Israelis are reportedly on the waiting list of the new bank in expectations of opening an account.

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