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Industry roundup: 9 November

FIS and Cashforce harness data analytics

FIS Cash Forecasting, a data analytics solution for forecasting cash and working capital, has jointly launched by FIS and cloud-based software provider Cashforce to complement and integrate with FIS treasury management systems.

In its announcement, FIS says that the new solution enables mid-market and enterprise companies to manage their cash more effectively, overcoming the existence of fragmented data, disparate workflows, limited transparency into root-cause analysis and the inefficiency of manual reporting.  FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce will also give organisations the ability to forecast their cash position more accurately for both the near term and into the future.

“The solution leverages deep insights into working capital drivers and all the power of artificial intelligence to turn educated guesswork into specific, reliable predictions,” adds Nicolas Christiaen, CEO of Cashforce.

“With out-of-the-box ERP connectivity and the ability to feed forecast data into FIS Treasury and Risk Manager - Quantum Edition and FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition, management teams are empowered to generate more timely reporting and organise their workflow to streamline the cash forecasting process and sharpen decision-making.”

The announcement cites PwC’s 2021 Global Treasury Survey, which finds that cash and liquidity management – together with funding and capital structure – are the top two priority topics for treasurers and CFOs. According to the 2021 FIS Readiness Report, nearly one in three respondents indicate that they are investing in digital technology to improve cash visibility.

FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce has been developed in response, helping corporations overcome the problem of fragmented data by consolidating information from ERPs, AR/AP, procurement, sales, treasury management and other systems while leveraging pre-built connectors that ensure a seamless flow of high-volume, granular data.

Smart forecasting logic creates highly accurate forecasts to evaluate different scenarios, analyse impact and calculate forecast/actuals variance. Collaboration across the organisation is simple with easy-to-define workflows that result in an enterprise-wide forecast that can be consumed by treasury.

"And because the solution is SaaS-based, it is easy to implement and maintain – enabling treasury departments to focus on running their treasury operation,” adds Steve Evans, senior vice president, Product Management, Corporate Liquidity and Insurance at FIS.

HSBC joins HKTVmall for Hong Kong merchant finance programme

HSBC and the HKTVmall shopping/entertainment platform are jointly launching what they describe as an innovative digital merchant finance programme that leverages commercial data for credit assessment, making finance more accessible for merchants seeking to thrive in Hong Kong’s e-commerce market.

As part of the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI) initiative of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the partnership combines the strong digital innovation capabilities of both HSBC and HKTVmall to match the rapid market evolution and support fintech development.

Under the programme, HSBC will evaluate loan applications based on HKTVmall’s diversified commercial data such as turnover, types of goods, as well as return and refund records. Available to eligible HKTVmall merchants in phases, it will offer 90-day trade facility of up to US$500,000 without requiring further financial statement and provision of collateral. Tailored solutions will also be offered to merchants with additional financing needs.

Frank Fang, Head of Commercial Banking, Hong Kong, HSBC, commented: “Big data and other emerging technologies present huge opportunities for the banking industry to innovate for the wider business community’s benefit. HSBC is pleased to forge this pioneering partnership with HKTVmall, offering better support to merchants while promoting financial inclusion in Hong Kong. We will continue to invest in digitisation and foster closer collaboration with different fintech ecosystem players.”

Alice Wong, Group Chief Financial Officer of HKTV, added: “At HKTV, technology and innovation are the core competence for us. As for our 24-hour online shopping mall HKTVmall, we value the importance and contribution from big data and this explains the launch of Open Databank, that we wish to unleash to potential of big data to different stakeholders of the society. The partnership with HSBC is an important step towards this mission, that creates synergy for the bank, the merchants and also HKTVmall, to enhance efficiency in digital financing and to make smart utilisation of our data.”

HSBC and HKTVmall announced a partnership aiming to simplify merchant finance with commercial data last February. Both parties eventually jointly developed a data-driven credit decision-making process and end-to-end trade loan application experience for merchants.

Centralfield Computer Limited, a HKTVmall merchant, was offered the first digital trade loan under the programme last week. Around 200 HKTVmall merchants will be invited into its first phase.

ScotPac Bounce Back Fund supports Anzac SMEs

Australia and New Zealand non-bank business lender ScotPac has launched a A$100 million working capital fund to help small businesses in both countries recover faster as their economies reopen.

The ScotPac SME Bounce Back Fund will allow business owners to access up to A$1 million capital with the first three months being interest-free. The Fund aims to support SMEs’ working capital needs through trade finance and invoice finance. There is no minimum turnover and the minimum facility size is A$50,000.

The lender comments that SMEs typically face a three-month lag between opening or expanding a business and seeing money coming in. The ScotPac SME Bounce Back Fund will enable businesses to get fast access to funds with limited cost in that crucial first three months, covering any income gap.

“The initiative will operate on a first-come basis until April 2022 or until funds are dispersed. This initiative will give up to 2000 businesses fast access to additional funds and caps a year in which ScotPac has helped more businesses access funding than ever before” stated ScotPac CEO Jon Sutton.

“With the first three months interest-free, SME owners can afford to invest in their business while their revenue recovers back to normal levels. This initial interest cost is being completely waived for the business owner and borne by ScotPac, as opposed to being deferred and compounded like the loan repayment holidays offered by some banks.

“With the economy opening up and business owners looking to bounce back to growth, the Fund allows ScotPac to continue the support we’ve shown for SMEs throughout the pandemic.”




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