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Industry roundup: 26 March

Basware launches e-invoice receiving solution compliant with China fapiao regulations

Basware is now offering a fapiao-compliant e-invoice receiving and validation solution. Via its Chinese partner, Shanghai Yodoo Information & Technology, Basware connects its network to the Golden Tax System (GTS), enabling validation of all local VAT invoices, known as fapiaos, against the GTS interface.

“This milestone provides a huge sigh of relief for our customers because so many conduct business with China and have always struggled to efficiently process and validate fapiaos,” said Sami Nikula, director Network Services at Basware. “This solution eliminates the burden for AP staff and allows them to uniformly process all their invoices, regardless of country of origin. Business dealings know no borders, so we have put the onus on ourselves to serve as the invoice regulation and compliance experts for our customers so that they don’t have to - essentially enabling a ‘set it and forget it’ process. We are excited about the number of customers already interested in implementation.”

The Basware solution adds China-specific functionality for the GTS validation step allowing customers to quickly detect invalid invoices. Most companies are currently validating invoices one by one via the GTS portal before payment. This extra feature in the Basware P2P system is designed to reduce AP staff workloads as users can easily route these invoices to the exception handling queue so that they aren’t inadvertently paid. Additionally, as is the case with all Basware e-invoicing solutions, this technology provides high quality invoice data, enabling spend visibility and accurate forecasting.

The Basware solution is also able to process the new special VAT e-invoice, which the State Taxation Administration of China piloted in 2020 and rolled out to the whole country as an option at the beginning of this year.


Ledgermatic sets out challenge to banks’ cross-border payment dominance

Ledgermatic has launched a white paper offering a first look at use cases, solutions and technologies it intends to deploy ahead of its product release later this year. The firm says this will aid organisations to future-proof their corporate treasury services, allowing them to hold and transact digital assets such as Bitcoin in a compliant way. 

As a first use case, Ledgermatic intends to offer a digital asset competitor to in-house banking payment systems and structures favoured by large banks to allow corporates to reduce their regional and local banking infrastructure. To further this concept, Ledgermatic promises a low-cost, cross border payment corridor and reduced banking touchpoints by up to 60%.

Recognising the continued inefficiencies in global commerce, in 2020 the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) group tasked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to launch a review to analyse and enhance crossborder payments. Citing friction in speed, cost, transparency, data standards and interoperability, the review seeks ways to improve how global commerce is conducted.

Ledgermatic’s white paper proposes ways to tackle these frictions in a B2B setting. Using a P2P payment channel with the choice of an internally minted or externally sourced stablecoin, the firm's solution aims to offer cost savings and lower credit risk by virtue of its near instant settlement times. By combining P2P technology with foreign exchange (FX) settlement capabilities and strong compliance, Ledgermatic offers a hybrid model for enterprise that balances speed, cost and safety. It says it is also committed to aligning with emerging global standards like the ISO20022 messaging format and Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)’s for business.  

For organisations around the world subjected to sudden currency depreciation, FX volatility and expensive banking infrastructure, Ledgermatic offers alternative asset classes and infrastructure to transact with counterparties and finance their business. It will additionally offer its corporate clients a way to deploy their own corporate-backed Treasury Token (LT2), an internal stablecoin backed by any corporate asset, verified by Ledgermatic. The token will offer multiple use cases for onchain global commerce, including digital asset credit, programmable and dynamic AR/AP processes verified in real-time.


Contour and ThoughtWorks tackle digital trade finance in China

Contour, a global trade finance network, has partnered with international software consultancy ThoughtWorks in China. Through this partnership, Contour will leverage ThoughtWorks’ software expertise and familiarity with the enterprise solutions landscape in China to help its local clients integrate seamlessly with the Contour Network. 

Clients can expect Chinese language-supported integration services specific to their enterprise systems and enhanced user experience and connectivity while using Contour. At the same time, ThoughtWorks will bring the blockchain-based trade finance solution to its clients to help them overcome challenges arising from digitisation and internationalisation. The partnership will also help clients extend their business reach abroad and stay competitive in the global economy.

China - as the world’s largest exporter and one of the top three letter of credit (LC) markets globally - is a strategic target for Contour. This partnership will further expand the organisation's existing presence in China and offer Chinese banks and corporates greater accessibility to cross-border trade on the network. Recently, Contour signed its first Chinese production bank, and an iron ore company, Xiamen ITG, announced a successful cross-border RMB-denominated LC transaction with Rio Tinto on the Contour Network.


Coinbase selected by Meitu for treasury allocation into Ethereum and Bitcoin

One of the latest companies to diversify their corporate balance sheets with crypto is Meitu, a Hong Kong-listed consumer tech company, which has recently purchased both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Coinbase Institutional was selected as the sole partner for both trade execution and custody on both their initial and second allocations, for a combined total of US$90m of BTC and ETH. Meitu was able to use the Coinbase algorithmic execution and smart order routing tools, along with the execution planning services of its OTC trading desk to execute these transactions across multiple marketplaces with minimal market impact. The purchased assets were then transferred into the secure offline cold storage of Coinbase Custody, a qualified custodian.

Meitu joins a long list of companies that Coinbase Institutional continues to help diversify with crypto including Microstrategy and other corporations. However, Meitu has made a unique case, not seen widely yet, on allocating a significant portion to ETH.

“Cryptocurrencies are not new but acquiring cryptocurrencies as a listed company, while ensuring the security of the transaction and storage as well as compliance of various regulations and audit requirements, is still like navigating through uncharted waters,” said Gary Ngan, CFO of Meitu.

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