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Payments strategy: Amazon and Stripe – Industry roundup: 25 January

Amazon and Stripe join forces on payments strategy

Stripe, a US-based payment platform, has reportedly established itself as Amazon's strategic payments partner in the US, Europe and Canada, handling a sizeable portion of the company's overall payments volume across its various businesses, including Prime, Audible, Kindle, Amazon Pay and Buy with Prime. The collaboration reportedly began in 2017 to help expedite market expansion in Asia and Europe.

The public cloud of Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is expected to see increased use from Stripe, as it currently utilizes AWS for a number of internal workloads. In addition, Stripe aims to utilize the Graviton chip line, which is one of the AWS technologies and central processing units that was reportedly created in-house and debuted in 2018. The most recent version, called Graviton3, was unveiled in 2022 and reportedly offers up to 25% more performance than the previous version and is up to three times faster when handling machine learning tasks.

Additionally, as Stripe’s cloud infrastructure expands, it intends to use AWS Nitro Enclaves, which is an isolated compute environment built inside an Amazon EC2 that automatically prevents unauthorized code from operating. Reports indicate that Nitro Enclaves are typically used by businesses that host sensitive applications that are more vulnerable to cyberattacks, such as financial service providers like Stripe in order to process payment data in a secure manner, lowering the chance that hackers will gain access to private information.

Twinco Capital raises US $12 million in a round to enhance its supply chain finance platform

Twinco Capital, a global supply chain finance solution, has reportedly raised US $12 million in an equity and debt round, spearheaded by Quona Capital. Other participating investors included Working Capital Innovation Fund and existing investors Mundi Ventures and Finch Capital, with the venture debt portion reportedly provided by Zubi Capital.

The firm, which is based in Madrid and Amsterdam and was founded in 2019, plans to use the funds to expedite its expansion within the main source nations as well as to improve its technology and data capabilities, predominantly in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. In addition, Twinco Capital aims to close the estimated $1.7 trillion trade finance gap, which has reportedly impacted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing nations, limiting their ability to expand and access new markets.

Currently, reports indicate that Twinco’s solution primarily serves major corporations in the European and Latin American retail and apparel industries, providing funding to their global suppliers and advancing up to 60% of the purchase order's value and the remaining balance after delivery. Twinco says its process is intended to be completely straightforward while providing suppliers with purchase order funding within 48 hours.

The company’s proprietary risk model, which reportedly combines commercial performance and ESG data with the conventional view of financial risk, helps assess the strength and quality of the business ties between buyers and their suppliers using machine learning capabilities. Paarul Dudeja, Director, Working Capital Innovation Fund, commented that suppliers that treat their employees well and place a high value on human capital operate their businesses more effectively while posing less of a risk to their banks and lenders.

ThinCats, the UK's alternative lending platform, provides over £300 million in funding to businesses

ThinCats, a UK-based alternative finance provider for SMEs, reportedly funded   £302 million to businesses in 2022, lending more than £1.3 billion to companies in the UK overall, and a record £675 million in assets are currently managed by the firm.

Additionally, the company states that their first quarter 2023 pipeline is reportedly at an all-time high, signalling a high demand for funding to support both M&A and organic growth. ThinCats intends to introduce new programs in 2023 to aid small technology and healthcare companies as well as make funding available for loans exceeding £10 million. As a result of the uncertain economic climate, reports show that traditional large banks may become less eager to make loans, which will reportedly cause more businesses to turn to debt advisory firms for assistance in obtaining financing.

FV Bank unveils cross-border FX payments solution for global clients

FV Bank, a global digital bank that provides custody and banking services for traditional and digital assets to fintech and blockchain companies, has unveiled its integrated cross-border foreign exchange payments service for account holders based in the US and overseas.

With the new service, customers will reportedly be able to execute global payments seamlessly in seven currencies (EUR, GBP, CAD, HKD, SGD, ZAR and JPY) and in over 150 different nations. The bank aims to add more currency options in future service expansions. Businesses and individuals will reportedly be able to conduct global transactions in an expeditious, secure and cost-effective manner, as well as benefit from competitive FX rates.

The new cross-border foreign currency payments service from FV Bank also seeks to assist customers who operate in the digital asset sector. Customers will reportedly have the option to deposit USD Coin directly into their accounts and have it immediately converted to US dollars. Following that, customers will have the ability to send cross-border payments in any of the seven supported foreign currencies using the FV Bank platform or API, said reports. Businesses can reportedly utilize the systems for global payroll and corporate expenses, as well as payment service provider conversions.

Additionally, FV Bank introduced its digital asset custody and settlement solution, reportedly making them the first US regulated depository and custodial bank to create an internal vertically integrated technology infrastructure that allows for seamless interoperability and the protection of both the digital asset and fiat deposits.

Deloitte and Marqeta form a partnership to boost digital payment transformation

Deloitte LLP has joined forces with Marqeta, an international card issuing platform, to provide payment solutions and facilitate payments modernization for banks, fintechs and payment providers. The alliance aims to integrate Deloitte's expertise in payments and advisory services with Marqeta's API-driven platform, enabling customers to implement streamlined and personalized payments experiences.

The partnership intends to assist businesses in the payments landscape in developing scalable, cutting-edge digital payment solutions and experiences that could boost client loyalty and generate value. Simon Khalaf, Chief Product Officer, Marqeta, commented that the card issuing platform will reportedly enable its clients to instantly onboard accounts, issue physical and virtual cards, drive towards digital wallets enabling immediate spending, and also provide tailored experiences to customers through its adaptable APIs.

Mastercard collaborates with EazyPay to transform merchant services

Eazy Financial Services (EazyPay), a fintech and payment service provider based in Bahrain, has collaborated with Mastercard. The fintech’s platform will reportedly operate via the Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), which offers white-label technology for payment processing and fraud prevention for financial institutions.

Through MPGS, one of the largest portals used by many financial organizations, companies will reportedly be able to accept a wide range of digital transactions, including all major card brands and other non-card payment methods, in a convenient and safe manner. EazyPay, which was listed among the top 25 Middle Eastern fintech companies by Forbes in August 2022, introduced its EazyPay POS terminals in 2021, enabling merchants and SMEs to accept contactless payments. Additionally, Eazy Financial has reportedly assisted in processing transactions totalling US $502 million in 2021, which included over 900 merchants and 5,692 POS terminals throughout Bahrain. The company plans to double this amount in 2023.

The region’s SME sector reportedly accounts for approximately 30% of Bahrain's gross domestic product, with objectives towards further enhancing its digital transformation solutions. The nation has reportedly invested in methodologies that aim to create a strong entrepreneurship environment, in accordance with its Economic Vision 2030. Mastercard, along with its fintech partnerships, intend to help promote sustainable growth and the inclusion of small businesses with innovative and experience-centric solutions within the region, said reports.

Wafi launches new payment processing platform with simple API for eCommerce businesses, “Wafi.cash”

Wafi, Inc., a provider of next-generation bank payment processing, has released a platform for payment processing, dubbed Wafi.cash, that reportedly offers e-commerce businesses a straightforward API, enabling fast, safe and cost-effective bank payment processing.

The platform reportedly reduces duplicate enterprises in the payment processing flow, saving businesses money while maximizing profit. As a result, e-commerce businesses can potentially save over 50% on payment processing fees, while customers can reportedly realize up to 0.75% cashback with every purchase.

Wafi, in addition to lowering fees, reportedly assists in reducing payment errors with its automated workflow processes and intelligent error handling, which increases payment effectiveness.

Additionally, Wafi’s proprietary fraud detection technology reportedly aids in reducing fraud by identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions, while its smart 2FA solution ensures user authenticity. The platform’s security features reportedly include bank-grade encryption and a clever multi-factor authentication system. The suite of Wafi new products, which includes Wafi Checkout, Wafi Pay and Wafi Connect, are also incorporated into a simple API.

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