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Industry roundup: 2 July

HSBC joins UAE KYC Blockchain Platform

HSBC has become the fourth founding member to go live on the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform, a national ecosystem for the exchange of verified 'know your customer' data between licensing authorities and financial institutions. This initiative was launched in February 2020 by Dubai Economy in partnership with founding member banks. The initiative is powered by norbloc, a provider of enterprise blockchain technologies that enable sharing of regulated data.

"Dubai Economy is delighted with HSBC going live on the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform," said Omar Al Mehairi, director of Development and Follow-up Division, the Business Registration & Licensing sector of Dubai Economy. "Investors now have an additional choice of digitally opening bank account with the international bank. The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform has transformed the investor bank account journey by significantly reducing the time it takes to establish relationship with banks. This will positively improve UAE’s ranking in global Ease of Doing Business index. The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform supports the vision of the Invest in Dubai (IID) Portal by facilitating instant opening of bank accounts for investors. We are also pleased to see newly onboarded licensing entities and financial institutions in the implementation phase. As the initiative continues to scale up, we hope to see more local and international banks onboard the initiative."

The initiative is designed to lead to significantly improved customer data quality in the UAE, which will underpin the future expansion of the network and its evolving use as a comprehensive customer data ecosystem. HSBC can now benefit from the KYC data for their customer onboarding as well as receive data updates for their existing customers.

This news follows the recent agreement between Dubai Economy and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority to consolidate efforts and expand the consortium and positioning it as the national corporate e-KYC Platform, making it the first such platform in the region.


BofA tops Nilson Report’s US commercial credit card rankings again

Bank of America has retained its ranking as the top issuer of Visa and Mastercard commercial credit card solutions in the U.S. The 2020 rankings, published by the financial industry publication The Nilson Report, represent the seventh consecutive year wherein Bank of America has achieved the top honour.

"Thanks to our diverse portfolio of card solutions, we were able to help clients of all sizes, from all industries, to continue their operations throughout the pandemic and even pivot to paper-to-electronic (P2E) solutions that could help address their business continuity needs," said Jennifer Petty, head of Global Card and Comprehensive Payables in Global Transaction Services at Bank of America.

Bank of America’s commercial card programmes are designed to assist companies with managing their overall treasury and working capital needs. Programmes include purchasing cards, travel and expense cards, and virtual card programs, as well as payables offerings that bring together all B2B payment types into a single tool. Virtual card offerings, specifically virtual payables, saw a notable rise in adoption in 2020. The bank experienced a 90% increase in the number of virtual payables clients who wanted to expand the amount of their suppliers that accept card-based electronic payments. This led to a 53% increase in suppliers signing up to receive electronic payments through the programme.

Virtual payables proved to be a resilient solution for companies to manage through the pandemic, allowing them to easily digitise their payments and providing them opportunities for a more streamlined back office, reduction in labour costs and improved working capital.


Convoy and Flexport partnership to provide end-to-end digitisation for shippers

Convoy, a digital freight network, and Flexport, a platform for global logistics, have announced a long-term, strategic partnership to bring end-to-end shipment automation across land, sea and air. The partnership draws on Flexport’s international client base and Convoy’s North American carrier network to provide customers with seamless logistics services while expanding business capabilities for both companies through a new shared data exchange that seamlessly integrates shipments across both platforms.

Through this partnership, customers will be able to move their goods via international and domestic transportation, all through the Flexport platform. Capturing all communication, data and reporting in one place will yield greater operational efficiencies, provide customers with an end-to-end view of their supply chain, and help them better understand total landed cost from purchase order to inception to final delivery. With comprehensive knowledge of their supply chain spend, customers can make more informed and dynamic decisions to ensure their freight gets to where it needs to be as efficiently, and with as much flexibility, as possible.

Under the partnership:

  • Flexport gains access to Convoy’s network of carriers as well as deeper integration with Convoy’s products and services, enabling Flexport to scale its truckload service offerings and provide visibility to clients once goods reach domestic ports.
  • Convoy will integrate directly with Flexport’s operational dashboard, Transmission, and its network of international clients to further grow its domestic marketplace.
  • Shippers will gain the ability to book end-to-end loads directly on the Flexport platform, with Convoy powering truckload delivery services.


Teampay launches digital corporate card in collaboration with Mastercard

Teampay, a distributed spend management platform, has announced Catalyst by Teampay, a digital corporate card that combines the technology of its platform with Mastercard’s capabilities.

The firm says it is the first corporate card built on the foundation of the Mastercard digital first experience. Nearly 90% of in-person transactions globally now take place at a contactless-enabled merchant, according to recent data from Mastercard. Recognising the demands and expectations for digital payments options, Catalyst builds on this trend already established by consumer behaviour as business travel and expenses begin to rebound. Upon company issuance, Catalyst can be pushed to a cardholder’s mobile wallet so they can make purchases immediately online, in-app, and at the point of sale. 

"The role of digital has forever transformed the way we transact and has shifted the expectations for quick and simple payments," said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard. "We’re pleased to couple our leading solutions and benefits with Teampay’s intuitive platform to deliver a digitally-motivated, relevant and secure experience for the commercial card segment."

Using Teampay’s existing capabilities, finance teams have real-time visibility into Catalyst purchases and automated reconciliation into their accounting systems. This ultimately eases the burdens of hunting down receipts and closing the books at the end of each month for finance teams. 

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