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Industry roundup: 5 February

US ACH Network sees record growth, 26.8 billion payments, in 2020

Payment volume on the ACH Network in the US experienced record growth in 2020 as the pandemic accelerated the nation’s shift to electronic payments. The 26.8 billion payments made on the ACH Network in 2020 is an increase of 8.2% over 2019, while the value of those payments, US$61.9 trillion, is up 10.8%. 

A record of more than 2 billion new payments were added in 2020, and the growth rate is the highest since 2007. The 2020 results also mark the sixth consecutive year in which payment volume climbed by more than one billion, and the eighth year in a row with a value increase of more than US$1 trillion.

Several core ACH payment categories grew in 2020 by more than 10%. Business-to-business payments for supply chain, vendor payments, bills and other transfers increased by almost 11%, to 4.4 billion. By contrast, the volume of ACH payments initiated by a paper cheque (i.e., cheque conversion) declined by more than 21%, and now accounts for less than 4% of all ACH payments.

Adoption of Same Day ACH also continued in 2020, with payment volume rising 39% to 347 million. The US$460bn total value of Same Day ACH payments is up 86% from a year earlier and reflects in part the increase of the maximum amount of a Same Day ACH payment to US$100,000, which took effect in March 2020. 


Nordea sets target to become a net zero emissions bank by 2050

Nordea has updated its plan to fully integrate sustainability into its business strategy with a long-term objective to become a net zero emissions bank by 2050 at the latest. The bank says it wants to make a difference together with customers and enable them to make sustainable choices contributing to society through climate action and social impact.

Nordea’s ambition is to become a bank with net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. To reach this goal, Nordea has set a mid-term objective to reduce carbon emissions from its lending and investment portfolios by 40-50% by 2030. The bank says it will also reduce its internal carbon emissions by at least 50% and achieve net positive carbon contribution by 2030. The baseline measurement for the objectives is 2019.

“We will deliver on our targets by supporting and working together with our customers towards sustainable development and ensure that we have a plan for sectors where the climate impact is significant”, says president and group CEO Frank Vang-Jensen.


PrimaDollar appoints India CEO

Swati Babel has been appointed as the CEO of PrimaDollar India. With fifteen years’ experience in Indian financial and capital markets, Swati has worked with the company for three years and formally joined PrimaDollar in May 2019. An MBA graduate in Marketing and Finance, Swati has worked with some of the government of India backed financial institutions in India such as IFCI Factors and SBI Global Factors. She has also worked on a senior pan-India role with investment banking firms and moved on to start her own venture BridgeGap Financial Services. This handled a wide variety of conventional and non-conventional financial products for mid-sized and large corporates across the Indian market.

India remains a most important market for PrimaDollar. The firm has invested significant amounts of time to adjust its supply chain trade finance platform to match Indian regulatory and commercial realities. In the recent few weeks, it has reported that this investment has started to pay off - with traction from some of India’s largest importers. The company says it is very clear that there are significant frictional and financial costs in the way that Indian imports are supported by finance which the PrimaDollar platform can solve, resulting in savings of time and money. All of this feeds into the bottom line, improving India’s competitiveness internationally and reducing prices in the domestic markets.

PrimaDollar says that Swati’s appointment reflects its growing confidence in the Indian market, and its increasing investment of time and resources in supporting the Indian corporate and banking sectors.

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