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Industry roundup: 9 December

Bandwidth wins treasury award for API integration of ICD and Trovata

Bandwidth, a cloud-based communications platform-as-a-service company, has won a 2021 Alexander Hamilton Award for transforming its treasury organisation with an API integration launched earlier this year between ICD, an independent portal provider of money market funds and other short-term investments, and Trovata, a provider of automated cash reporting and forecasting through wholesale, multi-bank API data aggregation. The winning project created a seamless workflow for cash forecasting, short-term investments and reporting.

“New API technology is carrying the industry forward, but it still takes the ingenuity of treasury professionals to imagine their own worlds and ask themselves - what does success look like,” said Scott Taylor, treasurer at Bandwidth. Taylor worked with ICD, Trovata and HSBC to establish an infrastructure that was easy to implement and designed to scale. “We were deliberate in choosing partners that mirrored our own values for speed, service and collaboration,” he commented.

"This is a much-deserved win for Scott and his team,” said Tory Hazard, CEO of ICD. “We’re happy that Scott leveraged ICD’s partnership with Trovata to build the kind of treasury organisation he wanted at Bandwidth. ICD has been co-innovating with clients from day one, making improvements to the application that broadly benefit ICD’s client base.”

The award win puts Bandwidth’s project in the finals for receiving bronze, silver or gold status during a webinar in the spring with Alexander Hamilton Awards organiser, Treasury and Risk magazine. The Treasury Transformation category celebrates projects that have achieved noteworthy success through a major revamp of corporate treasury processes. The Alexander Hamilton Awards is in its 25th year and celebrates companies taking big leaps forward in treasury, finance, or risk management through process innovations and technology implementations.

 

Emirates NBD continues enterprise-wide payments hub implementation

As part of its ongoing AED1bn (US$272m) digital transformation journey, Emirates NBD is continuing to enhance its payments innovation and speed through the global implementation of its Enterprise Payment Hub.

The Enterprise Payment Hub is designed to provide full scalability to rapidly launch new and existing payment innovations across the bank's markets and entities. After initial rollout in Singapore in September 2019, the multi-entity, multi-currency payment platform is now fully operational across most Emirates NBD entities and markets, including for customers across the United Arab Emirates, India, London and Egypt, and for all Emirates Islamic customers.

The bank says it will now have a 360-view of customer payments across all Group entities and countries. It will allow the bank to provide its customers an improved end-to-end tracking visibility on the status of a payment transaction through SWIFT gpi integration. Operational cost and efficiency benefits will also be realised with the new payment platform replacing multiple legacy payment engines, identifying the shortest payment processing route and enabling straight-through processing for an instant payment experience. 

Emirates NBD’s Enterprise Payment Hub is powered by TCS BaNCS payments solution, which is designed on ISO 20022-based data and process models and includes features like real-time payments and open APIs.

 

SC Ventures backs SOLV in enabling seamless trade 

SC Ventures, the innovation, ventures and fintech investments unit of Standard Chartered, has announced the commercial launch of SOLV, a full-stack B2B marketplace for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India. The platform is part of the Bank’s vision to rewire banking to serve the needs of its existing and new client segments in the digital age.

The 60 million+ strong MSME sector in India is one of the primary growth drivers of the country’s economy, accounting for nearly 30% of GDP, 40% of the workforce and 40% of exports, and is growing at around 10% year-on-year. However, MSMEs in India have not been able to harness technology for growth despite rapid strides in digital transformations across all sectors.

SOLV’s B2B commerce platform aims to offer India’s MSME sector an open and inclusive trade ecosystem across the entire value chain - from facilitating connections and negotiations with verified suppliers and buyers, door-step pick-up, and delivery of goods, to timely and easy access to finance as well as simplified business support functions. 

Since its inception, SOLV has been focused on digitising entire supply chains across various sectors, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), mobiles and accessories as well as hospitality. More than 15,000 small retailers, traders, wholesalers, and manufacturers to date are using SOLV. 

 

UOB’s AI anti-money laundering solution pinpoints suspicious activities

UOB has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) solution that identifies suspicious transactions and connected parties, as it combats the increased sophistication in financial crime. The Singapore bank is applying AI concurrently to two anti-money laundering (AML) risk dimensions – transaction monitoring and name screening. The use of AI enables it to pinpoint higher-priority cases from the more-than-5,700 average monthly suspicious transaction alerts flagged and to deploy the necessary resources swiftly to investigate potential money laundering attempts.

Through the solution, the bank says it can spot more sophisticated transaction patterns and is more effective at connecting data points with entities using the financial system. Once the AI solution flags suspicious activity, the bank’s compliance officers step in to conduct investigations into those transactions and to submit reports to the authorities in the shortest possible time, increasing the chances of halting criminal activity. 

UOB’s solution is also better able to learn from new money laundering methods and to prevent them from being successful. The bank says it is using the AI solution to screen all customers and transactions involving Singapore-based UOB accounts and is expanding the solution to cover all UOB accounts globally.

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