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Industry roundup: 6 May

Stripe adds to business payments platform

Stripe has announced three updates to its core payments platform worldwide direct connectivity to six major card networks; a revenue optimisation engine; and Stripe Issuing, a self-service issuing product for US businesses.

Stripe now processes card transactions through direct integrations with all six major card networks in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific - Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and China Union Pay. By exchanging information directly with the card networks, rather than relying on intermediaries, the company says it can reduce latency and remove potential points of failure for its customers.

In terms of revenue optimisation, by applying machine-learning technology used in its fraud-prevention tool Radar to develop bank-specific profiles, Stripe dynamically routes, adapts and retries transactions to maximise authorisation rates. Since each of several thousand individual banks interprets and processes transaction requests differently, the company constantly updates and tunes its requests accordingly. Stripe claims that its revenue optimisation engine is expected to generate an incremental US$2.5bn for businesses this year.

Finally, the firm has built Issuing, a fully programmable infrastructure for cards. A self-serve product for issuing new contactless cards, Stripe Issuing is designed to reduce the time required to create a card from around two months to two minutes (for virtual cards) or two days (for physical cards).

“Stripe Issuing is a big step forward,” said Alex Rampell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Not just for the millions of businesses running on Stripe, but for credit cards as a fundamental technology. Businesses can now use an API to create and issue cards exactly when and where they need them, and they can do it in a few clicks, not a few months. As investors, we’re excited by all the potential new companies and business models that will emerge as a result.”

 

Cross-industry coalition aims to enhance digital trust standards

The Linux Foundation has announced it will host the Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation, an independent project to enable trustworthy exchange and verification of data between any two parties on the internet. The ToIP Foundation aims to provide a robust, common standard that gives businesses and people the confidence that data is coming from a trusted source, allowing them to connect, interact and innovate at a speed and scale not possible today.

The ToIP Foundation is being developed with global, pan-industry support from organisations with sector-specific expertise. Founding steering members include Accenture, BrightHive, Cloudocracy, Continuum Loop, CULedger, Dhiway, esatus, Evernym, Finicity, Futurewei Technologies, IBM Security, IdRamp, Lumedic, Mastercard, MITRE, the Province of British Columbia and SICPA. Contributing members include DIDx, GLEIF, The Human Colossus Foundation, iRespond, kiva.org, Marist College, Northern Block, R3, Secours.io, TNO and University of Arkansas.

The Linux Foundation’s open governance model enables the ToIP Foundation to advance a combination of technology and governance standards for digital trust in a neutral forum that supports pan-industry collaboration. An open governance model that can be integrated into the development of the standards for digital trust is essential where the business, legal and social guidelines for technology adoption impacts human trust and behaviour.

The ToIP Foundation will initially host four Working Groups. The Technical Stack Working Group and the Governance Stack Working Group will focus on building out and hardening the Technical and Governance halves of the ToIP stack, respectively. The Utility Foundry Working Group and the Ecosystem Foundry Working Group will serve as communities of practice for projects that wish to collaborate on the development of ToIP utility networks or entire ToIP digital trust ecosystems.

 

CIT collaborates with Fintainium on payments solution

CIT Group has announced its Treasury and Payments Services business is collaborating with B2B fintech Fintainium to provide an integrated payments and financial workflow management solution to meet the needs of small and midsize businesses.

The two companies will waive the first three months of subscription fees for this solution and also waive all integration fees for businesses that enrol before June 30 in support of the current challenges for many small and midsized businesses.

Leveraging CIT’s payments capabilities and Fintainium’s cloud-based platform, the collaborative solution is designed to improve financial workflow, increases management visibility and reporting, and provides outstanding payment execution, enhancing cash-flow support for small and midsize businesses.

 

BofA receives approval for 265,500 SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Bank of America has announced that it has received Small Business Administration (SBA) loan approvals for 265,500 small businesses under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This represents US$24.9bn in needed relief for small businesses. More than 256,000 of these small businesses have received a loan number since the SBA reopened the PPP funding on 27 April.

Of the SBA applications submitted to date:

  • 98% are for companies with fewer than 100 employees.
  • 76% are for companies with fewer than 10 employees.
  • 93% are for less than US$350,000.
  • 78% are for less than US$100,000.
  • 23% are from low-to-moderate income (LMI) neighbourhoods.

Since the SBA reopened on April 27, Bank of America has sent 213,000 promissory notes to small businesses indicating SBA loan approval. The bank says it is the number one SBA lender in the second round of funding.

 

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