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Industry roundup: 18 November

BNP Paribas Asset Management launches investment insights service for Alexa

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has announced the launch of a service called Investment Insights, offering interaction with Alexa-enabled devices to access voice-activated market commentary and thought leadership.

Investment Insights was developed as part of BNPP AM’s broader investment in technology, aimed at enriching and automating its investment processes and client communications. The firm says it is one of its most innovative digital initiatives to date, and demonstrates how artificial intelligence can enhance the conversation with clients and investors, while facilitating data collection to better understand user engagement.

The launch of Investment Insights follows a year-long collaboration between teams and across regions, and has been developed using US English, representing over 70% of the firm's global user base. Assessing user engagement with each feature will enable language-specific versions to be developed for European markets, including France and Germany, according to BNPP AM.

Users of the service can request the following from Alexa:

  • The Market Update: a 4-5 minute briefing, available on Monday mornings, giving an outlook for the week and key market trends to look out for.
  • The Daily Brief: a 1-2 minute briefing on the day’s most important content.
  • The Wrap: a 3-4 minute recap, available on Fridays, covering the most important thought leadership content shared during the week.
  • The Data Hub: a live database of market data, such as ETF and stock prices, trading volumes and performance.
  • FAQ: answers to questions about BNPP AM, such as number of employees, AUM or office locations.


ABN Amro Techstars sustainable supply chain challenge starts

Together with twelve other companies, ABN AMRO and Techstars have launched a Sustainability Challenge to raise awareness about improving sustainability in supply chains. 

The bank says that improving sustainability in supply chains continues to be a key challenge. Globalisation of the economy has turned the production of goods into a complex game among companies, manufacturers, and suppliers. Lack of transparency in the activities of each link in the chain makes it difficult for companies and consumers to actively contribute to sustainability. Creating transparency in the activities of suppliers will help in identifying opportunities for improvement and mitigating the adverse impact on the environment. But that is easier said than done.

With the Sustainability Challenge, the aim to find innovative solutions and the best talent to address these complex challenges. ABN Amro says that its mission is to connect world-class entrepreneurs and startups with leading companies and knowledge institutes to develop innovative and practical solutions that help improve sustainability across supply chains. The bank argues that only through collaboration and improving sustainability in supply chains as a whole can it help clients with their transition and make a positive impact on industries, markets, and people around the world. With support from Techstars and sustainability market leaders, the winners of the challenge will have the opportunity to turn their idea into reality. Sign up for the challenge is now open and ends 8 March 2021. 


Payhawk launches company cards with built-in spend rules

Payhawk, part of the Visa Fast Track programme, has announced the launch of a NextGen company card. The cards lets finance teams implement spend rules directly on company cards or team cards, and automate the collection of receipts end to end.

Spend rules can be based on locations, budgets, merchants, spend categories or days and times when cards can be used. The fintech says that the increased granular-level control on cards enables finance leaders to run a fully digital spend policy enforced on every payment in real-time. The NextGen cards recognise unauthorised spend on every swipe and prohibit usage that doesn’t comply with the company spend policy.

The new company cards also bring the concept of team cards. Instead of sharing a company credit card around the office, risking security and making the process of collecting outstanding receipts impossible, finance teams can now issue team cards. Each team card comes with a shared budget and a name (SaaS purchases, sales tools, marketing spend, etc.) while every team member receives a personal card linked to the team card. This allows employees have the autonomy to make payments, but also be held accountable for every payment and receipt out of the team budget. All spend rules and policies can also be configured on team cards. 

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