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Industry roundup: 27 November

Emirates NBD unveils global digital transaction banking ecosystem 

Emirates NBD has unveiled its next-generation global corporate banking platform, ‘businessONLINE’. The group-wide platform aims to deliver a full suite of cash management, trade finance and liquidity management solutions to the bank’s clients - ranging from small and medium sized businesses to large corporations and government institutions. The goal of businessONLINE is to simplify working capital management, streamline complex operations and offer businesses full visibility across financial relationships, accounts, and activities, delivering a single view across all their markets. The bank says that clients can undertake cross-border transactions seamlessly, access a consolidated view of their balances across regions and currencies, and make the most of tailor-made advice for their business needs.

The platform addresses the inconvenience and potentially high costs associated with maintaining separate system interfaces by offering seamless integration with multiple technology partners. This aggregation model provides businesses one-stop access to several banking products. One such example is the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) solution, powered by SAP, which allows businessONLINE to support small to medium sized businesses through a suite of services that covers accounting, sales, inventory, purchasing, CRM and more.

The omni-channel platform was developed through co-creation with more than 3,000 corporate and business clients, whose feedback was gathered through online surveys, face to face interviews and workshops. The solution includes a widget-based dashboard that provides contextual and relevant information to corporate treasurers including net position, accounts summary view, FX positions, facility utilisation, exchanges and interest rates. The platform also provides enriched data such as detailed account statements, customisable reports, real time alerts and notifications and online transaction advice download.


Wells Fargo launches virtual card payments service

Wells Fargo has announced a solution designed to help US business customers eliminate paper cheques by using one-time virtual card numbers to digitally pay invoices through the WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service. Available to WellsOne Commercial Card customers, this service offers a way to make business payments with the security and control of a credit card, while providing suppliers with options to help receive payments faster. As businesses continue to extend remote work plans due to the pandemic, these digital benefits have become increasingly central to maintaining payment operations to help keep funds flowing between trading partners.

“It’s important we continue to introduce simple ways to help our customers transition to new digital payment strategies by using products and channels they are already familiar with,” said Mary Mazzochi, senior vice president and manager of the Commercial Card product suite at Wells Fargo. “Unlike paper cheques, our virtual card service provides more transparent, precise payment timing to help optimise working capital, and added controls like single-use numbers help further mitigate the risk of fraud.”

To initiate, customers electronically send payment instructions from their enterprise resource planning system. Those to be paid by card are routed to the WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service, where each card payment is assigned a virtual number tied to a commercial card account. The virtual number, which can be used only once and for the exact dollar amount issued, is then sent through a digital secure channel to the supplier for payment processing.

The bank also offers an automated, straight-through processing option, in which customers send virtual card payments directly to their suppliers’ banks. This process bypasses the need for any manual entry or interaction with suppliers, and gives customers control over payment timing as they are not dependent on suppliers to process the payments.

The WellsOne Virtual Card Payments dashboard includes the ability to flag items needing action, while enhanced reporting identifies exceptions, monitors credit balances, and flags items that require repair. The bank says its other features include a robust audit trail, expanded search options, and access to 24 months of reporting data. Additionally, the WellsOne Commercial Card Supplier Analysis and Onboarding service helps customers engage suppliers and determine the best accounts to pay by card.


Zact launches integrated payments and expense management platform

Zact, a Silicon Valley-based fintech, has announced the launch of its integrated Payments and Expense Management platform. Based on the principle of 'pay by the rules', policy guardrails are enforced by the platform before the spend happens. The Zact platform traverses the entire stack in expense and payments management, from the network players like Visa and MasterCard through to accounting systems enabling transaction-level expense reporting and continuous reconciliation. 

"We saw a real problem in expense and payment management and wanted to build an end-to-end platform, versus a point-solution that only cured part of the pain," said John Thomas, co-founder and CEO of Zact. "Even medium-sized businesses have enterprise-type complexity in managing their expenses. They deserve a solution that can scale up and down for their needs, without requiring massive amounts of upfront setup costs and high recurring operational costs - both in tool costs and employee time."

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