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Industry roundup: 27 April

Chaser releases Microsoft integration for AR automation

Chaser, a global credit control automation platform and service provider, has announced its integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, an all-in-one business management solution for small to midsize companies. This integration is designed to make it easy and affordable for organisations on the Business Central platform to automate their accounts receivables (AR) and credit control processes.

Businesses connecting Chaser to their Dynamics 365 Business Central systems will be able to carry out automated invoice payment chasing without losing the human touch, according to the firm. Chaser says that this process alone saves its current customers up to 15 hours weekly and ensures that no unpaid invoice slips through the cracks. 

Chaser for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central features automated and personalised invoice payment chasing and a bilateral sync that reconciles payments in-app, so that paid invoices are no longer chased. It aims to make it easy to track all overdue and outstanding invoices per customer, by seeing all payment chasing activity in one place. Users can send their customers a payment link or gateway within invoice reminders to encourage payments on the spot. 

"In today's economy, businesses are turning to cloud solutions like Chaser Credit Control and Debt Collections to quickly and seamlessly integrate with their current accounting packages like Dynamics 365 Business Central," said Sonia Dorais, CEO of Chaser. "They are relying on finding affordable add-ons to help extend the functionalities of their accounting systems or ERPs to meet their specific business needs. In the last several months, we have seen a surge of businesses of all sizes looking for added support with their credit control and accounts receivable processes. We hope by offering integrations like this we are continuing to deliver on our promise to the market: that is to help all businesses have the confidence they will get paid for their work through effective credit control and accounts receivable management."


Norges Bank will test technical solutions for a central bank digital currency

In line with the recommendations of an internal working group, Norges Bank will test various technical solutions for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) over the next two years.

The working group is of the opinion that the motivation for research into CBDCs has been strengthened. Many central banks are in the process of carrying out similar research, and several are already under way with technical testing. At the same time, payment technologies have evolved at a rapid pace, and cash usage has fallen further. The bank says that the share of cash payments in Norway is now probably the lowest in the world.

"Central bank cash provides the payment system with a number of important attributes that may be relevant to retain and develop further by issuing a CBDC, said Øystein Olsen, governor of Norges Bank. "Additional knowledge is necessary for us to be able to decide whether issuing a CBDC is appropriate."

Norges Bank’s research into CBDCs has run for four years. A new element moving ahead will be technical testing combined with further analysis of the need for and the implications of introducing a CBDC. One of the aims of technical testing is to find a preferred solution if it becomes relevant to introduce a CBDC in Norway. Any introduction of a CBDC will still lie some time in the future, the bank noted in a statement.


South African small businesses can receive customer payments via WhatsApp

Nedbank, in collaboration with Mastercard and Ukheshe, has launched Money Message, a payment platform that lets small businesses receive secure in-chat payments from their customers via WhatsApp.

A first in South Africa, the solution is designed to enable merchants to send an invoice requesting a payment from any customer seamlessly through the messaging app. Their customers in turn can quickly settle a payment directly from the platform.

Anyone with a valid South African identity document and South African bank account can access Money Message. Merchants will need to first register for the service, and can then immediately initiate a payment request.

The business owner sends a request-to-pay message to the customer and for first-time users, a notification is sent via SMS prompting them to register for the service. The customer puts in their name, surname and registers their card details to make the payment securely. This means that customers can make secure payments via their phone numbers or QR codes. A beta version of Money Message has been available to a small selection of merchants for just over a month and Nedbank says it will gradually reach the broader market during the rest of the year. 

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