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JP Morgan invests in ISG to help boost digital payments – Industry roundup: 19 December

JP Morgan invests in ISG to help boost digital payments in the APAC region

JP Morgan has disclosed its plans to invest in a payments solutions provider, In-Solutions Global Ltd (ISG), based in India. ISG, which was founded in 2004, facilitates over seventeen billion transactions for its customers annually each year through its proprietary GeniusTM Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) platform. The platform reportedly streamlines the payment collection process, improving on-boarding as well as enhancing the user experience. JP Morgan joins the company as its first strategic investor in an effort to capitalize on unrealized potential for payments offerings throughout Asia Pacific (APAC).

Through this alliance, JP Morgan aims to increase its acceptance of more payment methods in the APAC region, which is reportedly one of the fastest growing e-commerce regions, generating the majority of the world's retail e-commerce sales. Additionally, the bank, which is reportedly the current top merchant acquirer in terms of transaction volumes, recently disclosed that it was extending its merchant acquiring capabilities, treasury services and trade, with plans to become operational in seven markets by year end.

ISG's PaaS platform claims to offer interconnectivity with a variety of payment methods, on-time settlements, and swift reconciliation in a safe, flexible and simple manner.

Mastercard collaborates with DFC to advance digital automation and financial inclusion in Africa

Mastercard has entered into a partnership with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to inject up to US $50 million into organizations in Africa, promoting digitization and financial inclusion. Through the partnership, DFC aims to support investments up to $50 million in organizations connected to the Mastercard Community Pass network.

The Community Pass, a digital platform, is intended to address infrastructure issues that occur when rural communities are digitized, such as sporadic connectivity, limited mobile phone access and a lack of identification or credentials. Financial institutions, agricultural businesses and technology firms, among others, will reportedly use the platform to provide services to people in remote locations. In order to digitize agricultural value chains, make credit available and expand the pool of buyers, financial institutions and ag-tech companies plan to use Community Pass, enabling smallholder farmers to receive payments quickly.

Additionally, Community Pass has become prevalent across five countries in Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Mauritania, as well as India. Mastercard aims to have fifteen million Community Pass users in Africa, and thirty million users in total, by 2027. Tara Nathan, EVP, Humanitarian and Development, Mastercard, commented that the collaboration with DFC is an example of “how funding from the public sector, combined with technology and expertise from the private sector, can create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Programs for managing risk and liquidity via Paxos to safeguard clients during economic turmoil

Paxos, a platform for regulated blockchain and tokenization, announced that its regulated operational and liquidity risk management programs in times of increased market activity resulted in seamless client funds transfer transaction. Over US $3 billion in customer redemptions of stablecoins were reportedly processed by Paxos' operations and treasury teams over the course of seven hours.

The New York Department of Financial Services has reportedly granted the first limited purpose trust charter for digital assets to Paxos Trust Company, which provides legal safeguards that most issuers do not offer. Paxos reportedly offers customers safety and security by assuring them that an impartial prudential regulator has approved and reviewed the company’s standards, procedures and products.

Paxos states that this trust charter from a prudential regulator will provide in-depth legal protections to clients compared to those from state-managed money transmitter license (MTL) registrations. The client funds are reportedly never commingled with corporate funds from Paxos, and all customer assets and stablecoin reserves are kept in separate accounts, said reports. In addition, if a Paxos-regulated enterprise becomes illiquid, the legal requirements will reportedly address the return of customers' assets outside of the corporate bankruptcy process, differentiating stablecoins from those issued by MTLs and unregulated entities.

Amex introduces Decision Science Innovation Centre in Singapore

American Express has established a hub, Decision Science Centre of Excellence (CoE), in Singapore, to address key challenges in the financial sector. The CoE aims to explore advanced solutions that are consistent with international data-driven solutions. Additionally, the CoE plans to explore data science applications in credit and fraud risk model development, as well as continuing further developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing.

Changbin Wang, Managing Director, CoE, commented that “talent drives innovation, and innovation delivers data science applications that shift the industry”.

Plaid and Paysend form an open banking payment initiation partnership

Paysend, a UK-based fintech, has announced the debut of a new open banking payment initiation partnership with Plaid, an open banking network that facilitates digital finance. Paysend, through the collaborative efforts, aims to offer its business clients a secure method to receive payments, enhance their anti-fraud capabilities, strengthen checkout conversion rates and reduce transaction processing costs.

In lieu of conventional payment methods like cards or direct debits, the new alliance will reportedly enable merchants to connect with their customers’ banks and initiate payments through open banking methods. Once the end user validates a payment and pushes funds from their account, Paysend will reportedly make the funds available to the merchant the subsequent day. This procedure is expected to help companies operate efficiently and securely while saving costs from traditional card payments.

Reports suggest that payments will flow more effectively and quickly with this method because customers will not be required to enter their card information to make a purchase, and merchants will not be required to store consumer payment information. Additionally, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will reportedly be able to benefit from transaction fees that are up to 45% lower than those for typical card payments. The platform is expected to become available for payments made from UK bank accounts first before launching throughout Europe in 2023.

Rabobank finalizes its most recent blockchain pilot scheme

Rabobank, a Dutch-based and financial services firm, has reportedly completed nineteen real-time Euro commercial paper transactions as part of its largest blockchain test to date. The Dutch State Treasury Agency, Rabobank Treasury and Erste Bank in Austria, reportedly all transmitted transactions to Northern Trust Asset Management in the United Kingdom. Reports indicate that the blockchain was accessible to the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets and other European regulators, offering them a perspective on how the technology might be used in policy frameworks.

Over €40 million in notional, one-week maturity Euro Commercial Papers were reportedly executed in a fixed and floating format during the pilot. Additionally, securities with unique XS-ISIN codes were issued from participating borrowers' existing commercial paper and certificate of deposit funding programs. These transactions were reportedly conducted, transmitted and settled in less than 30 minutes, giving Northern Trust Asset Management access to nearly real-time liquidity for publicly issued and traded debt securities across the primary and secondary markets.

Rabobank's private-permissioned, ledger-based platform, which was reportedly embedded into business flows and front-to-back risk systems, realized real-time settlements, saving time and operations costs. Euroclear Bank’s platform issued and settled the securities against fiat cash, which was synchronized with the issuing and paying agents on their own systems before being sent to Tradeweb's electronic trading platform, said reports. Youssef el Mir, Global Head of Trading, Rabobank, commented that the “digitisation of money markets can enhance liquidity and transparency at a critical time for the asset management industry”. Additionally, Mir stated that with the proper methodology, blockchain technology can be successfully integrated into the legacy systems of financial institutions.

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