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Industry roundup: 7 September

American Express brings payment flexibility service to business cards 

In a move it says is to help business customers meet their cash flow management needs, American Express has announced it is embedding Pay Over Time to its green, gold and platinum business cards at the start of the November billing cycle. This will apply to both new and existing Card Members.

Pay Over Time gives business owners the option to either carry a balance with interest on eligible purchases of US$100 or more, or to pay the balance in full, which should provide more flexibility to pay based on what is best for their business. These cards will continue to have no pre-set spending limit, tailored to each customer, and card members can turn the Pay Over Time feature off and back on at their discretion, giving them greater control of how they want to pay.

The card company says it has offered Pay Over Time as an opt-in feature for many years, and has seen 55% of existing business card members choose this option, with the majority using it to ramp up inventory for busy seasons, or when they are waiting on an incoming payment, or to buy in bulk for a discount. In recent years, AmEx says it has heard from customers that they would like to have this payment flexibility feature available from day one of membership, as it helps them better manage evolving cash flow needs. 

Bank of Ireland launches green bond framework

Bank of Ireland has launched a framework that will enable it to issue green bonds and finance additional projects across renewable energy, green buildings, and clean transportation. This follows the launch of the bank’s Sustainable Finance Fund last year, which has provided around €600m to date in green loans to home owners and businesses.

Bank of Ireland has also reduced the carbon intensity within its own operations by 40% since 2011. The improvement in the bank’s responsible and sustainable business profile has been recognised by an enhanced rating from Sustainalytics, a provider of sustainability advisory and ESG ratings.

Bank of Ireland’s responsible and sustainable business initiatives include:

  • 50% carbon intensity reduction target for 2030 (on a 2011 baseline), within the bank’s operations - 40% reduction has been already achieved.
  • €2bn Sustainable Finance Fund - encouraging and rewarding energy-efficient homes, investment in older properties to improve sustainability performance, and SME and agri investment in energy efficiency.
  • Green Business Loan - discounted finance offered to businesses who want to implement energy saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint.
  • The launch of Ireland’s first Green Mortgage Interest Rate - borrowers can receive a discount off fixed rate interest options (from 1 to 10 years) to finance the purchase, construction, or renovation of residential buildings with an A-rated or to achieve an A-rated BER energy performance.
  • Green Home Improvement Loan - designed to fund energy efficient upgrades, borrowers offered loan a discounted rate for amounts from €2,000 to €65,000.
  • Providing finance to Renewable Energy projects which to date has provided the equivalent of 468,000 homes with renewable generated electricity.
  • Green Bond Framework facilitates the issuance of Green Bonds, enabling additional finance across renewable energy, green buildings and clean transportation.

 

J.P. Morgan and AccessFintech launch real-time payment statuses for the buy-side

AccessFintech has announced that it has extended its partnership with J.P. Morgan to include real-time transparency to payment statuses and workflow for dividend, income and cash wire movements.

The addition of payment statuses compliments J.P. Morgan’s existing solution which provides buy-side clients visibility to real-time trade statuses in AccessFintech. J.P. Morgan’s Securities Services business was the first custodian to deliver enriched transaction data sets directly to the AccessFintech dashboard.

The offering provides market statuses and commentary from J.P. Morgan on payments, including action ownership to establish responsible party for issue resolution. The solution includes bi-directional workflow so buy-side clients can seamlessly communicate with J.P. Morgan directly from the AccessFintech dashboard. These features are designed to allow buy-side clients to feel like an extension of J.P. Morgan through shared data and workflow.

The solution allows buy-side clients to remain within the AccessFintech dashboard for transaction management, which reduces the need to monitor multiple internal tools and custodian portals. It also reduces the need to call brokers and custodians to retrieve updates, allowing clients to repurpose operations staff toward more value-added functions and eliminating inefficiency and manual workflows.

 

Bottomline launches service to stop payment fraud and error

Bottomline has announced its latest cloud-based Confirmation of Payee (CoP) service for UK based banks. The overlay service became mandated by the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator in 2020 for the six largest banking groups in the UK. Any other eligible bank or building society that may be considering CoP, because of the risks associated with payment mis-directions or Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, can apply to Pay.UK, which owns the CoP service.

Confirmation of Payee is designed to help eligible banks and building societies give payers greater assurance that they are sending their payments to the intended recipients, and help avoid payments being accidentally or fraudulently misdirected. For any new beneficiary, the technology performs a real-time account name check against the payee account. As an overlay service, CoP can support payments made by Faster Payment, CHAPS and Bacs-originated credits.  

“Authorised push payment fraud is the fastest category of fraud in our industry with £456m losses last year,” said Ed Adshead-Grant, general manager and director of Payments at Bottomline Technologies. “With this new SaaS-based service, we can have any eligible bank or building society quickly up and running with CoP on their accounts to ensure they remain competitive in the role of trusted guardian as well as reducing the risk of fraudulent APP activity.”

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