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Industry roundup: 24 August

HSBC launches mobile payments in Qatar

HSBC Qatar has launched mobile payments and collections services for both its corporate and personal customers, as part of its ongoing investment into digitising banking services.

The upgrades aim to simplify financial inclusion for the unbanked sector and visitors in Qatar, which is closely aligned with the bank’s strategy and the ambitions of the regulator and financial sector in the country.

"HSBC aims to be the bank in your pocket and with the introduction of mobile payments and collections on our digital banking channels we are another step closer to making banking services faster, easier and more secure," said Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, CEO of HSBC in Qatar. "Our digital strategy is all about improving customer experiences to suit our customers’ increasingly digital lives. The Qatar Central Bank is at the forefront of continuous investment in innovative digital banking services and an enabler of progressive change."

The new mobile payments and collections services are designed to provide a more convenient and secure way to pay bills, transfer money from person to person, and purchase goods from registered merchants. Customers can make instant local transfers to pay bills and payments to merchants or transfer money to another person by using a QR code. The service is available 24/7 and will ensure instant transfer of funds between accounts. 

Merchants can also benefit by registering on HSBCnet and obtaining mobile collections services. This will allow corporates to provide an additional way to its customers to pay for their purchases, provide their sales force with an option to collect payment for a service, and allow corporates to provide an additional way to its customers to pay for their online purchases using a wallet app instead of traditional payment methods such as cash, cheques, transfers and credit cards.


US and Singapore partner on cybersecurity 

The United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have announced the finalisation of a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cybersecurity cooperation. This announcement was made during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Singapore, where both the US and Singapore recognised the importance of deepening cooperation in new domains to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. 

The Treasury and MAS have had an ongoing exchange of cyber threat information since 2018. The MoU formalises and strengthens what has already been a strong cybersecurity partnership between both agencies. Specifically, the MoU enhances cooperation between Treasury and MAS in the following areas:

  • Information sharing relating to the financial sector including cybersecurity regulations and guidance, cybersecurity incidents, and cybersecurity threat intelligence.
  • Staff training and study visits to promote cooperation in the area of cybersecurity.
  • Competency-building activities such as the conduct of cross-border cybersecurity exercises.

"The United States and Singapore have a longstanding bilateral partnership," commented Janet L. Yellen, secretary of the Treasury. "In our interconnected world, Treasury and MAS share common goals of maintaining strength and stability, as well as operational and cyber resilience in each country’s economy and financial system.  The cybersecurity cooperation agreement will serve to improve the cyber resilience of both countries’ financial systems."


Transcard and Previse to offer embedded early payment solution to suppliers

Transcard, a provider of payments and technology solutions, has announced a strategic partnership with Previse to embed Previse’s early payment discount solution in Transcard’s SMART Exchange account-to-account (A2A) payment platform. 

Previse’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology enables day-1 payments to suppliers that otherwise might have taken weeks or months. Trained on billions of dollars’ worth of invoice data, the Previse solution automatically assesses which invoices are likely to be paid and provides suppliers with the option of receiving immediate payment by clicking a button. 

Embedding Previse’s early payment discount technology into Transcard’s SMART solution suite makes it easy to accelerate payments to suppliers. Suppliers submit their invoices as they do today. For invoices that suppliers have chosen to finance, Previse makes the payment, less a fee, ahead of the payment terms through Transcard’s SMART Exchange A2A payment platform. SMART Exchange digitally connects buyers and suppliers through their banks and ERPs. Buyers continue existing invoice approval and adjustments with settlements being done by Transcard’s SMART Disburse.

The two firms say that financed payments are ideal for suppliers of any size that need a way to accelerate their cash flow. Buyers can meet demand from suppliers for faster payment, without impacting the cash on a buyer’s balance sheet. Paying suppliers faster also can reduce the number of calls and emails buyers receive from suppliers inquiring about the status of invoices and payments.


Tailored payment option to address access to Baltics’ e-commerce market 

While e-commerce has surged globally, the Baltics region has experienced an issue where local payment method options do not reflect the needs of global merchants. Nikulipe, a fintech company, has launched banklinq, a product designed to tackle this very issue for the region. The fintech says this solution combines local know-how and global experience, helping international merchants become more familiar with and trusted by local shoppers, paving the way to access new user markets.

"By connecting the largest number of leading local financial institutions in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, including major traditional and challenger banks, we are easing the access for international merchants that are looking to expand their businesses and reach new customers, but are limited by regional intricacies, like regulatory processes," explained Frank Breuss, CEO and co-founder of Nikulipe. "Incorporating region-specific payment solutions puts businesses one step ahead in the game as the local knowledge goes a long way with customers, who are used to certain ways of paying for goods and services."

Built upon open banking and adhering to EU regulations, banklinq will offer a payment option that covers all relevant banks in the region, bringing the Baltic consumers to global merchants. One API ensures market entry without being caught up in technicalities, as the local regulatory landscape, processing, collection, reconciliation, settlement, remittance and other processes will be navigated by banklinq experts.

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