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Industry roundup: 4 March

Conferma Pay expands role as an SAP Concur partner on virtual payments

Conferma Pay has announced it has expanded its role in the SAP Concur partner programme, providing virtual payment technology across all SAP Concur travel and expense products, helping businesses using SAP Concur solutions to transform how they make and manage payments across more spend categories. The agreement builds on a multi-year partnership for travel payments and expense, which is also extended.

The firm says that, currently, businesses struggle to onboard new suppliers quickly and do not have the tools to control payments made by colleagues working from home. The integration of Conferma Pay with Concur Invoice helps to solve these challenges by allowing businesses to pay suppliers using virtual cards, rather than legacy cheques or bank transfers.

When a business receives an invoice from a supplier, there’s no need to follow a cumbersome payment approval process. Instead, a virtual card is generated against that invoice for a specific amount within Concur Invoice, and pre-authorised payment details are securely provided to the supplier for processing. The virtual payment is automatically reconciled against the invoice, reducing manual work for finance teams.  


Intuit QuickBooks partners with Modulr on business account

Intuit QuickBooks has announced it has entered into an agreement with payments-as-a-service fintech, Modulr. The fintech will power the new QuickBooks Business Account, a digital payment account designed specifically for small businesses.

By providing payments infrastructure and digital payments expertise, the collaboration aims to allow QuickBooks to combine a business account with its suite of bookkeeping, accounting and tax tools.

QuickBooks’ suite of financial management tools aim to solve four of the most common problems faced by small businesses - admin, cash flow, confidence, and late payments. The firm says that small businesses waste on average 120 days a year on admin; 80% of small business failures are because of cash flow; only one in four small businesses are confident in their finances; and there is currently approximately £50bn owed to small businesses in the UK. 

Modulr will also allow QuickBooks to make the digital physical by providing a personal QuickBooks Business Account card when it becomes generally available. This means as soon as a small business is paid into its QuickBooks Business Account, funds are available to spend immediately with the card.


American Business Bank partners with Teslar Software to optimise commercial lending 

Teslar Software, provider of portfolio management tools that aggregate and automate lending and deposit operations for community financial institutions, has announced that American Business Bank (ABB) is leveraging its platform to streamline commercial lending, boosting efficiencies and taking a more personalised approach to customer service.

When considering potential partners, the US$3.5bn Los Angeles-based bank previewed Teslar’s platform and was impressed with its capabilities. They selected the company’s automated workflow and portfolio management tools to help them optimise efficiency in credit administration and loan operations. ABB is also fully leveraging Teslar’s PPP solutions to provide their commercial borrowers an easier origination and loan forgiveness process. The bank has funded approximately 1300 PPP Round 1 and 2 loans for US$900m, saving an estimated 50,000+ jobs in the business communities of Southern California.

Commercial lending accounts for nearly 99% of the bank’s loan portfolio and Teslar should enable the bank to more seamlessly upload and auto index loan documentation to provide an enhanced customer experience. ABB also plans to expand its work with Teslar Software to better manage SBA loan origination and processing.


ESMA supports increasing corporate transparency through the creation of ESAP

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has submitted its response to the European Commission’s (EC) targeted consultation on the European Single Access Point (ESAP). ESMA recommends a phased approach, which should prioritise financial and non-financial information of public companies.

"A single access point for information about companies is one of the key missing components of the Capital Markets Union," said Steven Maijoor, ESMA chair. "ESMA is fully supportive of the ambition to set up the ESAP as it will increase investor trust in companies across the EU and lower the costs of capital. ESMA is ready to take up a central role in setting up and running the ESAP as suggested by the CMU High Level Forum and the European Parliament.”

ESMA also believes that full benefit of the ESAP can be reaped only if information included in the single database is comparable in terms of content and rendered in a structured, machine readable format. Therefore, ESMA supports an increased use of structured data formats whenever appropriate. However, in light of the complexity of the project, ESMA encourages the EC to carefully weight the scope of the ESAP versus feasibility and operability considerations.

ESMA’s position is aligned with the final recommendations of the High Level Forum on the Capital Markets Union on the ESAP and by the European Parliament Resolution on the CMU.

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