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Industry roundup: 23 November

Intesa Sanpaolo adds dynamic discounting service with Kyriba

Intesa Sanpaolo has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyriba, a global fintech provider of supply chain finance solutions, to create and make available a dynamic discounting service for global businesses. This service enables large buyers with significant excess liquidity to offer suppliers advanced payment of invoices with a discount on the price that has been previously agreed upon. Kyriba’s Dynamic Discounting solution is a web-based software that connects with enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) to automatically update company accounts.

The partnership with Kyriba enables functionality as part of the activities implemented by Intesa Sanpaolo to strengthen its supply chain finance programme. The SCF programme aims to enhance Italian production chains, considered key drivers to help relaunch the Italian economy and catalyse development, employment and investment.

The agreement with Kyriba, which also envisages a partnership in other areas focused on cash and treasury management, was established as a result of the cooperation with the bank'sGlobal Transaction Banking department, which reports to the IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division led by Mauro Micillo, and the Innovation Head Office Department, within the Chief IT Digital Innovation Officer Area led by Massimo Proverbio.


Coupa reveals business spend sentiment is improving, but remains below trend

Coupa Software has published the findings from its Business Spend Index (BSI), Q4 2020 Outlook. The Coupa BSI analyses billions of dollars of aggregated and anonymised business spend decisions across the firm's platform, often serving as an early indicator of macroeconomic health over the next three to six months. The Q4 Outlook shows that business spend sentiment improved over the prior quarter (up 6%), but overall confidence is still well below trend.

Following a quarter of modest improvement in corporate spending, the Coupa BSI suggests that businesses are continuing to adjust to the new normal and are beginning to return to pre-COVID spending levels, albeit at a slower rate than in the prior quarter. Though still cautious about the global economic outlook, businesses are spending more in areas related to remote work, such as technology, shipping and freight, and contingent workforce support.

Data from the past quarter shows the following year-over-year changes in business spending:

  • 97% decrease in business spending on air travel.
  • 22% decrease in business spending on office supplies.
  • 13.5% increase in business spending on technology, including hardware, software, and services.
  • 41% increase in contingent workforce spend.
  • 29% increase in business spending for shipping and freight

Spend data indicates that overall, business spend sentiment is continuing to increase from its sharp drop in Q1 but is still below the trend line. In financial services, despite rising default risk, business spend sentiment improved over the past two quarters and looks set to deliver solid growth for the next three to six months.


Cheques to phase out of South Africa's national payment system by year's end

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) have jointly announced that the issuing and the acceptance/collection of cheques will cease, effective from 31 December 2020. 

This decision was taken due to the numerous challenges associated with the usage of cheques. These challenges include:

  • A lengthy processing period.
  • Fraud perpetrated through the issuing of cheques.
  • Cheques as an expensive payment instrument.
  • The restricted acceptance of cheques.
  • Declining usage.
  • Limited education and protection for the consumer.
  • Ageing interbank cheque processing infrastructure.
  • Impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) outbreak.

Details are outlined in the consultation paper titled ‘The phasing out of cheques in the national payment system’, issued on 2 October 2020. In this regard, South African banks will not accept any cheques for deposit or encashment after 31 December 2020.

Banks are expected to extensively communicate with their clients leading up to and beyond the discontinuation of cheques. Furthermore, to educate their clients on alternative electronic payment methods that may be used. Affected stakeholders are therefore requested not to write/draw or accept cheques after 31 December 2020. They are encouraged to approach their banks to be offered alternative electronic payment methods or to direct any queries they may have related to the process of termination of the usage of cheques.


Veem expands US product offering to simplify domestic business payments

Veem, a provider of online payment solutions for small-to-midsize businesses, has announced the launch of Veem Check. With this product functionality, US-based users can now issue all of their domestic payments - online, cheque, or Instant Deposit - within minutes on Veem.

Veem automates the payment process through its extended suite of domestic payment products. Users can issue payments from a single platform on their desktop or smartphone regardless of their vendor’s account status, which is designed to reduce the time and costs associated with domestic business transactions.

“Small business owners, financial controllers, and accountants are moving away from paper-based payments and manual processes as the pandemic increases the demand for online payment solutions,” said Marwan Forzley, CEO of Veem. “The addition of Veem Check strengthens our domestic payment offering considerably. You can now pay anyone in the US using Veem - even if they don’t have an account with us.” 

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