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Industry roundup: 20 September

FinLync releases bank API catalogue for treasury teams

FinLync, a privately held global fintech, has announced that it has launched the industry’s first publicly available corporate bank API catalogue for treasury and finance teams. The catalogue provides a directory of corporate banking APIs worldwide for treasurers to quickly compare.

Bank API services are revolutionising real-time connectivity between treasury teams and their banking partners. However, the historical lack of transparency by treasury technology companies puts treasury teams at a disadvantage. This new level of transparency is designed to help corporate treasurers understand the options in the API economy and provide those decision-makers with more information on each bank’s API capabilities based on FinLync’s proprietary rating system.

"Our bank API catalogue emphasises the impact of the API economy finally reaching the corporate treasury office," said Peter Klein, co-founder and CTO of FinLync. "We realise that the rating system and transparency is different, but that is exactly what we are trying to do - rapidly evolve the way treasury teams approach corporate finance. We have designed our technology from the ground up to help treasurers create the future, now. We see this as an important resource that needs to be made available to the entire industry, as innovative thinking like this is what pushes us all forward. Banks must be willing to offer leading-edge APIs so that corporate treasury teams have the information they need to make more-informed decisions with richer and more-precise data. This is just one step to getting an entire global industry closer to real-time treasury."

Each of the bank APIs included in the catalogue have been aggregated into multi-bank connectivity and can be connected to in a matter of weeks by using FinLync’s technology. The catalogue also includes proprietary star ratings for each bank API, determined by the fintech's team. FinLync says that the release of the public bank API catalogue demonstrates its commitment to helping forward-thinking treasury leaders make the shift to real-time.


Citi digitises cross-border payments in Asia

Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions Asia Pacific has introduced a service for institutional clients in the region to speed up cross-border payments. Available in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, the CitiDirect BE Document Center digitises supporting documents and streamlines relevant processes required to facilitate cross-border payments. As part of Citi’s digitisation efforts around the globe, the Document Center was first introduced in South Africa in March 2021.

Managing cross-border payments has traditionally been an analogue, cumbersome and time-consuming process for both banks and their clients, particularly in markets with currency restrictions. When initiating cross-border payments, clients have to submit lengthy, paper-based supporting documents to their banks to comply with various foreign exchange (FX) control and regulatory reporting requirements. Supporting documents are then typically processed separately from corresponding payment instructions, requiring manual interventions to link the two.

Available in CitiDirect BE - Citi’s electronic banking platform for institutional clients - the Document Center serves as a digital document submission channel that also supports additional multiple processes required to facilitate cross-border payments.

"Payments is a strategic focus area for Citi," commented Amit Agarwal, global head of Cross-Border Payments, Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi. "Through digitisation, we continue to introduce new solutions and capabilities that enable us to create frictionless payment experiences. In cross-border payments, where transactions are often complex, we are simplifying processes for clients to keep pace with today’s hyper-connected world. By investing in digital solutions and capabilities, we want to help clients move money anytime, through any channel and using any currency."

With the Document Center, supporting documentation is now completed, processed and tracked digitally and clients are provided with details on documentation, regulatory and data requirements for different payment types upfront. A single-window service creates clear linkages between payment instructions and related documents while providing a simple and user-friendly experience. Clients can also track the status of their documents on the platform, using Citi Payment Insights, with access to reporting and analytics that enhance the management of cash and cross-border transactions.


Kyodai Remittance and Western Union launch B2B cross-border payments for corporates 

The Western Union Company has announced that Kyodai Remittance will begin utilising services from Western Union Business Solutions to fulfil business to business (B2B) cross-border payments for corporate customers.

This is the first time Western Union Business Solutions has formed a business alliance with a Japanese money transfer company for the purpose of B2B international payments. The first phase of Kyodai's implementation roadmap is to begin using WU GlobalPay for Financial Institutions to provide business customers with access to direct payment routes and minimal fees on one of the largest payment networks in the world.

"We are excited to build on the strength of our relationship with Kyodai Remittance and support the institution’s expansion into B2B cross border payments in Japan," said Haruhiko Ohashi, head of Japan at Western Union Business Solutions. "We have worked closely to meet the needs of Kyodai Remittance and its customers, developing a bespoke solution that will integrate our platforms with their environment."


Refinitiv reveals 2021's D&I Index top 100 of the most diverse and inclusive organisations 

Refinitiv has announced the 2021 Top 100 most diverse and inclusive organisations globally as ranked by the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. The index ratings are informed by Refinitiv’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of close to 11,000 companies representing 80%+ of global market cap across 500+ ESG data points, and provide clients with critical and differentiated insight. 

Industries leading this year’s D&I Index Top 100 are banking, investment services and insurance firms with a total of 13, followed by pharmaceuticals with 9, specialty retailers with 8, and telecommunications services, personal and household products and services with 7, respectively. The US leads the Top 100 list with 25 firms followed by the UK with 9, Australia, Italy and Germany with 6, and Canada, France, and South Africa on 5.

The D&I Index is available on Refinitiv Workspace and Eikon, as are the underlying diversity and inclusion metrics, which are used by financial professionals to evaluate sustainability related risks and opportunities of companies across their investments, as well as empower diversity-lens investing strategies. The D&I Index uses analytics to rate and score companies across four main pillars: Diversity, Inclusion, People Development and Controversies. Only companies with scores across all four pillars are assigned an overall score (the average of the pillar scores). The top 100 ranked companies with the best overall D&I scores are selected for the Index. 

"We are proud that our D&I index continues to demonstrate strong performance," said Debra Walton, chief revenue officer, Data & Analytics, head of Group Strategic Accounts at London Stock Exchange Group. "Since its launch in 2016 the index has consistently outperformed major market indices, demonstrating a high degree of correlation between company’s financial performance and their leadership in diversity and inclusion."

"The growing industry interest in the D&I index reflects the shifting values and investor appetite for environmental, social, and governance related solutions across all sectors of the capital markets," added Sang Lee, head of Securities & Investments at Aite-Novarica Group. "Financial services firms and corporates are quickly becoming wise to the benefits of ESG not only as an investment tool, but as a culturally transformative tool that forges greater employee morale and production efficiencies. The past year has demonstrated that firms that set, disclose, and meet their ESG targets, including diversity and inclusion, are becoming some of the strongest proponents of all ESG related matters. Whereas firms that have not fully embraced these opportunities are finding themselves marred in employee and shareholder activism."

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