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Industry roundup: 28 May

AscendantFX tool aims to collect payment instructions more effectively

AscendantFX has announced the release of its latest cross-border payments product, Payee Intel. This release targets how businesses collect payee details and send international payments. The development of the product began in 2019 to address one of the most critical cross-border challenges facing businesses today, and to reduce the cost of sending those payments. Payee Intel is designed to reduce the number of returns and investigations associated with international payments. It aims to improve the efficiency of collecting payee banking details and reduce the overall cost of sending international payments.

Capturing correct and properly formatted payee details can be a frustrating process. Incorrect or incomplete payee details are the most common source of costly delays when sending international payments. Countries have differing data requirements to receive international payments, and incomplete or incorrect information can create lengthy delays, returns, and added fees. It can also be frustrating to liaise with vendors and payees in different time zones to collect these details, causing even greater delays.

Using AscendantFX’s proprietary Payee Intelligence technology, Payee Intel uses automation and cloud technology. The Payee Intel system guides the payee through the payment instruction process in real-time, automatically notifying the user of the information that is required and/or missing in their instructions in order to complete the payment in their destination country. Once the information has been entered, Payee Intel completes a further validation through AscendantFX’s global financial institution database. When all required data is provided and validated, the system immediately updates the payee information in the customer’s aPay portal for use in future payments.

AscendantFX customers have already adopted Payee Intel as part of their daily payments process to create operational efficiency, as well as to tackle new operational challenges surrounding the global lockdown. Many are using the tool to convert paper cheques to electronic payments, register vendors more quickly and accurately, and automate the collection of large volumes of data more securely. 


TIS raises US$20m for SaaS B2B payment platform

TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions), a cloud platform for managing corporate payments and cash flows, has announced it has raised US$20m in additional financing led by Aquiline Technology Growth, an early- and growth-stage fund managed by Aquiline Capital Partners. The round also included participation from existing investor 83North. Other previous investors include Target Partners and Zobito.

The company says it plans to use the funding to further accelerate product development and to scale operations in Europe and in the US, in order to meet growing international demand. Corporates such as Adecco Group, Bertelsmann, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, ManpowerGroup, OSRAM and QIAGEN, already use TIS to standardise and analyse payment flows and to obtain liquidity overview throughout their organisations.

Additionally, as part of the investment, TIS will welcome Michael Cichowski of Aquiline to its board of directors.


UK businesses caught off guard by remote working

UK businesses have been caught off guard by the transition to remote working in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, new research has found. London-based tech developer Studio Graphene commissioned an independent survey among over 900 decision-makers within UK businesses. It found that 49% of businesses were not adequately set up to enable staff to work remotely before the lockdown began. 

Two fifths (39%) of firms were not using technology that supported remote working when the lockdown was announced. The vast majority (72%) of large businesses (250+ employees) have had to invest in new hardware to enable staff to work from home. By contrast, only 19% of microbusinesses have done the same.

Meanwhile, 62% of large businesses have had to invest in new software. This compares with an average of 48% across all businesses. To support the transition, 40% of businesses have offered digital skills training to employees in light of the move to remote working. This rises to almost half (46%) of large businesses, compared with just 28% of microbusinesses.


Danish companies partner on ambitious sustainable fuel project

Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller - Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted have formed the first partnership of its kind to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport in the Copenhagen area. The partnership brings together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels with a vision to realise what could become one of the world's largest electrolyser and sustainable fuel production facilities. The project is designed to spearhead the maturation of sustainable fuels while creating jobs and new value chains to reinforce Denmark's role as a green energy leader.

Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller - Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted have brought together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels in a unique partnership with the concrete vision to develop a new ground-breaking hydrogen and e-fuel production facility as soon as 2023. When fully scaled-up by 2030, the project could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel for buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and airplanes every year. Production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world's largest facilities of its kind. The production from the fully scaled facility can reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.

COWI and BCG act as knowledge partners for the project, and the project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen in line with Copenhagen's ambitious policies for decarbonisation. However, the partnership hopes that the project can, over time, act as a catalyst for similar projects in other parts of Denmark and internationally.

If realised as envisaged, the project will be located in the Greater Copenhagen Area and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission buses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, renewable methanol for A.P. Moller - Maersk vessels and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS airplanes and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports. The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.

The electrolyser facility will not only be a potential cornerstone in decarbonising the partners' businesses but will also deliver a critical contribution to reaching Denmark's ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 by replacing fossil fuels in heavy transport with sustainable fuels. 

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