SEPA payment schemes’ ISO 20022 migration postponed
The SEPA payment scheme participants’ preparations to migrate the four SEPA payment schemes - the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT), SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst), SEPA Direct Debit Core (SDD Core) and SDD Business-to-Business (SDD B2B) schemes) - to the 2019 version of the ISO 20022-based XML messaging standard, initially envisaged for 19 November 2023, has been postponed until 17 March 2024.
The European Payments Council (EPC) has been assessing the progress of the schemes and the operational migration status with all self-declared SEPA payment scheme-compliant Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms (CSMs), contracted by scheme participants to offer SEPA payment scheme-based services.
Based on the input collected from SEPA payment scheme participants and CSMs in the second half of October 2023, the Payment Scheme Management Board (PSMB) of the EPC concluded that a successful ISO version migration on 19 November 2023 could not be guaranteed for at least two large SEPA countries. This is due to reported operational delays and/or the need for additional testing time to ensure a safe migration.
Based on this input, and upon consulting all relevant stakeholders, the EPC’s PSMB assessed all possible contingency scenarios and following a thorough evaluation decided to postpone the ISO version migration to 17 March 2024.
“We thank the SEPA payment scheme participants and CSMs which were properly prepared for the migration, but the reachability, stability and integrity of the SEPA payment schemes is our highest priority,” commented Giorgio Andreoli, Director General of the European Payments Council. “The PSP communities and all stakeholders may be reassured that the EPC will take every possible measure to secure the success of the migration in the new proposed date.”
One in three nations now on the open banking journey
A study from open finance technology and advisory services provider Konsentus has found that there are now more than 65 national open banking programmes globally. The company has updated its Global Open Banking and Open Finance Map to include richer data on the evolution of open banking worldwide.
It reveals that 68 countries (representing 35% of the world) are either live or in development with open banking. The Konsentus study showed a clear regulatory push towards open banking, with 64% of open banking initiatives being mandatory via legislation. Only four markets are pursuing a market-led approach, and 26% of initiatives lack formal regulation but have solid regulatory support and a centralised program approach.
The hybrid approach has started to emerge as popular, particularly across Asia. However, the analysis shows there is no ‘one size fits all’, with each jurisdiction taking a slightly different approach to their implementation to meet local requirements.
“Given that open banking is in its infancy, the fact that 35% of the world is pursuing an open banking program is testament to its relevance and importance in the global financial digitisation agenda,” said Mike Woods, CEO, Konsentus. “We anticipate this number will continue to grow and that open banking testing and implementation will intensify in 2024.”
US economy signals stronger Q3
The advance estimate for Q3’s US GDP showed growth at an annual rate of 4.9%, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This figure was higher than the 4.3% expected by the consensus of economist’s forecasts but lower than the latest estimate from the Atlanta Fed GDP nowcast, which estimated GDP at 5.4%. In Q2, GDP increased by 2.1%.
The increase in GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment, partly offset by a decrease in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in both services and goods. Within services, the leading contributors were housing and utilities, health care, financial services and insurance, and food services and accommodations. Among goods, the leading contributors to the increase were other nondurable goods (led by prescription drugs) and recreational goods and vehicles. The increase in private inventory investment reflected increases in manufacturing and retail trade. Within nonresidential fixed investment, increased intellectual property products and structures partly offset a decrease in equipment.
“The US economy once again surprised on the upside with US GDP accelerating in the third quarter of 2023,” commented Nathaniel Casey, Investment Strategist at Evelyn Partners. “However, as rising real yields continue to add pressure to the real economy, the resulting drag on consumption should start to put the brakes on the US economy heading into the coming quarters.”
BNY Mellon launches FX platform for execution and price transparency
BNY Mellon has announced the launch of Universal FX, a foreign exchange (FX) platform designed to meet client needs to manage execution across their entire portfolio and access price transparency. Universal FX is positioned to support the bank’s clients across all market segments, such as investment managers, corporates, hedge funds and wealth managers, as well as helping them navigate the industry transition to T+1 settlement.
Today, the investment management industry often manages portfolios across several providers, resulting in an inconsistent FX execution experience. Through Universal FX, clients can manage their whole portfolio, irrespective of where they custody, prime broker, or settle trades. The solution provides access to developed market and emerging market currency execution.
“Clients often have fragmented portfolios, causing friction, lack of transparency and inconsistency while accessing services across pricing, execution and post-trade,” said Jason Vitale, Head of Global Markets Trading, BNY Mellon. "With the launch of Universal FX and our existing OneFX product suite, our clients can now control and customise their portfolio in one place – gaining 360-degree insight, providing a seamless experience across the entire execution process.”
Bottomline opens access to digital B2B payment network
Bottomline has made its B2B payment network available to approved financial institutions, fintechs and others looking to increase payment acceptance. This is the first time Bottomline’s business payment network has opened access to its proprietary Premium ACH supplier network.
Partners can connect to Bottomline’s over 550,000 authenticated and validated suppliers and provide payers with high-end, rebate-friendly ACH payments, complementing their existing virtual card programme and providing a new revenue stream.
Offered as a network-as-a-service solution, financial institutions, fintechs, and others can expand their payment networks, driving benefits that further deliver accounts payable (AP) automation and network expansion for their customers, the payers.
Payers can digitise more of their AP files, benefiting from increased automation, more rebates and better security, resulting in time savings, improved cash flow and a risk reduction. By receiving more payments digitally, suppliers on the network may experience less portal fatigue, lower payment acceptance costs and less risk.
GTreasury integrates with PNC Bank for instant data connectivity
GTreasury has announced that its ClearConnect Gateway global bank API connectivity suite has launched instant financial data integrations with PNC Bank. Treasury teams and the office of the CFO can now use ClearConnect Gateway to access current-day balance and transaction reporting, and prior-day balance and reporting from their organisations’ PNC Bank accounts.
PNC Bank adds to GTreasury’s growing list of data connectivity integrations for balance and transaction reporting, including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase. Goldman Sachs partners can also perform payment creation, including FX.
ClearConnect Gateway replaces enterprises’ slow, expensive, and time-consuming banking connections with out-of-the-box API connectivity and data integration into their preferred banking partners. The solution enables treasury teams to use API connectivity for real-time synchronisation with banks, ERPs, and third-party platforms.
Truist and Trovata to automate cash forecasting and liquidity management
Trovata has announced a partnership agreement with Truist Bank. The partnership aims to enable commercial and corporate clients to benefit from improved access to Trovata's cash management platform to modernise cash positioning and forecasting workflows through data-driven automation.
A Trovata statement says its platform will provide Truist clients with an entirely new experience in managing cash and liquidity. Clients could gain better visibility and insights into multi-bank account balances and historical cash flows, including projections that help automate cash forecasting. Clients can also leverage Trovata AI, a generative AI app for finance and treasury teams that securely uses multi-bank data to manage and analyse cash flows.
“Business owners and finance professionals increasingly demand immediate and integrated insights that enhance their forecasting and financial planning capabilities,” said Chris Ward, head of Wholesale Payments at Truist. “Providing access to solutions that deliver greater visibility and enable better decision making is one of the many ways Truist serves as a trusted payments partner for our clients.”
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