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Industry roundup: 30 July 2020

Bank of America expands commercial contact-free payments

Bank of America has expanded its mobile wallet capabilities for corporate clients in EMEA and APAC. The bank first launched mobile wallet in the US and Canada in 2018, and it says this expansion makes it the first commercial bank issuer to offer the technology to corporate clients worldwide.

The bank’s clients who use its Corporate Travel and Purchasing cards in EMEA and APAC are now able to use Apple Pay and Google Pay to make and manage card purchases. This is designed to make its clients’ lives easier through fast, secure and efficient business transactions, while providing the same convenience they experience in their personal banking. 

To help protect client information, mobile wallets use a process known as tokenisation, where sensitive card data is replaced by a token. When making a payment via mobile wallet, only the token is passed to merchants instead of the actual card data. This improves payment security as it prevents exposure of sensitive card information to merchants. For additional security, when making a payment using mobile wallet, the cardholder will need to complete identity confirmation, such as facial recognition, a thumbprint or passcode, to complete the transaction. This verification process occurs on the cardholder’s mobile device and typically replaces the need to enter a PIN on the merchant’s terminal.

This mobile wallet capability is available to users in 29 countries in EMEA and APAC, with additional countries expected to be added. Mobile phones and smart watches are also supported.


Finastra app to digitise trade finance processes

Finastra has announced Conpend TRADE AI, an app available on its open development platform. The app builds on the functionality of Finastra’s Fusion Trade Innovation technology to cut document and compliance checking time. Using optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing (NLP) and progressive machine learning, Conpend TRADE AI digitises trade finance processes to reduce the risk, processing time and cost of trade finance operations.

Conpend TRADE AI extracts unstructured data from scanned paper documents and can also process already digitised data. The data is then screened and analysed, using rules and advanced analytics, to empower business users to make informed business decisions quickly and accurately. Finastra says it is fully compliant with all major global regulations and automatically performs all necessary compliance checks for a trade transaction. This includes money laundering screening and handling alerts during the screening process, which dramatically reduces false positives and time spent on decision-making. The solution also enables vessel checking and voyage tracking to support goods in transit.

In addition, Conpend TRADE AI automates document checking required under a letter of credit. Users can directly submit documents online, refine the extracted data, review the results of checks performed and approve or reject amendments.


J.P. Morgan taps Marqeta for commercial card tokenisation

Marqeta has announced that J.P. Morgan will leverage its card tokenisation capabilities for its virtual card programme. This functionality, anticipated to be available in early 2021, will integrate with J.P. Morgan’s existing systems and enable instant issuance of virtual cards into mobile wallets for J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Card clients. In 2016, Marqeta brought the technology to market allowing virtual cards to be instantly provisioned and tokenised into a mobile wallet.

These card tokenisation capabilities will be integrated into J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Card programmes, to instantly issue payments into any mobile wallet. Marqeta says that the integration opens up new possibilities for companies looking to streamline payments and provide services to their people. 

“Marqeta’s push to wallet functionality will add a new dimension to virtual card payments," says John Skinner, head of Commercial Card at J.P. Morgan. "With Marqeta, our virtual cards can be expanded to new use cases like facilitating payments to disaster relief volunteers or for recruitment spend where interview candidates can be issued a card into their mobile wallets for travel expenses.”


CDC in additional US$75m trade finance deal with Absa for COVID-19 response

CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, has announced an additional US$75m commitment to its existing trade finance facility with Absa Bank. The investment will provide systemic liquidity across CDC’s African markets and enable local banks to sustain the availability of trade finance, supporting supply chains during the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic has put significant pressure on African banks as international banks continue to “de-risk”, withdraw from the continent and reduce their correspondent banking relationships in developing economies. In the context of broad outflows of capital from Africa, counter-cyclical commitments from development finance institutions are critical to mitigating these pressures and maintaining trade flows.

CDC’s partnership with Absa includes a mechanism to boost trade finance funding to some of Africa’s most vulnerable countries. Trade finance transactions in sectors that are critical to serving people’s basic needs during the crisis - food, agriculture and health - will also benefit from preferential terms. The commitment is designed to help maintain consumer access to a wide range of goods and services and allow businesses to continue operating by enabling them to import vital equipment and goods.

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