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UK plans Basel III implementation delay - Industry roundup: 27 September

UK plans Basel III implementation delay - FT

The Bank of England is set to postpone the enforcement of Basel III for an additional half-year, a report in the Financial Times claims.

The FT report says that, in the upcoming weeks, the BoE is poised to unveil a deadline of July 2025 for implementation, aligning with the timeline announced by the US this summer. This schedule places the UK at odds with the EU, which maintains a January 2025 deadline.

Originally slated for enforcement in January 2025, these rules have faced multiple delays, deviating from the original target of January 2021. The BoE did not comment to the FT for the article.


Starfish Digital and Standard Chartered to enable real-time cash management data

Starfish Digital, a Singapore-headquartered fintech platform, and Standard Chartered have announced a strategic partnership to introduce a multibank connectivity service, to support the bank’s corporate clients in establishing quick and seamless connectivity between their systems and multiple banking relationships. 

This will automate the corporate’s cash management processes and should allow corporates to achieve real-time visibility, access, and control of their cash holdings, resulting in improved working capital management.

The partnership reflects the growing demand for digital corporate banking capabilities that lower costs, drive capital and process efficiencies, mitigate risks and deliver actionable business insights in real time. Through this partnership, Standard Chartered says it is supporting their clients in their transition to real-time treasury, so that they can reap the benefits of application programming interface (APIs) and open banking.

“We understand from our multinational corporate clients their demand for a seamless solution that digitises all their banking relationships, to give them a more complete picture of their cash positions and forecast cash flows with better accuracy,” said Janet Thomas, Global Head of Strategic Platform Partnerships at Standard Chartered. “Our partnership with Starfish Digital allows us to directly respond to this need, by offering a plug-and-play solution that provides a real-time treasury experience.”


Digital and data-driven operations are top priority for a future-ready organisation - TCS

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has shared the results of the TCS Future of Operations Survey, which polled more than 300 C-suite executives in Australia, France, Germany, the UK and the US across industries, to understand their strategic priorities for 2024. The survey uncovers the top focus areas for large enterprises and essential enablers for futuristic business operations.

Respondents identified new business models, profitability and cashflow, and employee experience as the top three strategic focus areas for their organisations. Companies are recognising the value of connected business operations to gain competitive advantage. The report reveals that 89% of respondents identify data-driven operations as the most important factor for their organisations to execute their top business priorities and to drive profitability. The other three top enablers for a future-ready organisation identified by the survey are harmonisation of technologies (88%), business outcome focus (86%), and integrated operations (83%).

The survey identified ‘Pacesetters’ as the organisations with higher-than-average growth and revenue performance in 2018-2022. Pacesetters showed more affinity towards many of the key enablers of future-ready operations compared to all other respondents, particularly leveraging ecosystem partnerships; simplifying and modernising their technology landscape; blending process, domain and technology; and harmonising multiple technologies.

As interest in artificial intelligence intensifies, the survey also polled respondents on what factors led to successful AI deployments. 89% cited quality data and governance, 87% cited clear business charter. Interestingly, 81% said that removal of action bias — eliminating fear of missing out (FOMO)— is moderately or significantly important for successful AI technology deployments.


Travelex completes £90m refinancing deal 

Travelex, a global travel money services business, has completed a £90m refinancing deal that will underpin the next stage of its growth journey. 

The £90m facility has been provided on a five-year term. It will be used to repay the existing £50m term loan facility, redeem £12m of the New Money Notes and stapled equity, and provide funds for investment in the business. PwC acted as financial advisor to Travelex.

Travelex’s card and cash-based retail business operates more than 1,100 bureaux and 900 ATMs across over 20 countries, whilst its wholesale banknotes business serves central banks and major financial institutions worldwide. With international travel now at 88.2% of pre-Covid levels, and demand for travel – particularly among emerging markets – continuing to accelerate, Travelex is now working to expand its retail offering, develop new wholesale relationships and increase investment into both its digital transformation and further product innovation.

“We are delighted to have secured this financing, which is a considerable vote of confidence in both the business and our ambitions for the future,” commented Richard Wazacz, CEO, Travelex. “With travel having recovered and market indicators pointing to significant growth for the foreseeable future, this funding will enable Travelex to capitalise on the many opportunities this presents.”


Neo clears €10bn as corporates move to diversify banking partners 

Neo, a cross-border payments fintech, has announced it has cleared more than €10bn through its corporate multi-currency accounts since launch in 2020. The firm has seen its cleared volume double in just under a year, reaching €5bn in 2023 alone, reflecting growing demand from businesses for alternatives to traditional banks.

The vast majority of businesses rely on traditional banking for their FX and payment needs but the banking crisis highlighted the risks of relying on one or two banking partners. Treasurers saw the short-term liquidity issues that those who had deposited funds solely with the likes of Silicon Valley Bank suffered. As a result, three-quarters of treasurers are considering diversifying their banking pool. 

“Accessing multi-currency accounts has literally become impossible for too many corporates across many different industries,” commented Laurent Descout, co-founder and CEO of Neo. “This has been a problem for more than a decade and while the global B2B cross-border market is estimated to exceed US$250 trillion by 2027, there are no signs of this getting any better. Neo is tackling this issue head on and doubling our transaction volumes in under a year is a clear mark of trust from both new and existing clients.”


Data compliance woes still haunt fintechs

Based on industry research conducted during Sibos, Intix - a payments and transaction data management company - has announced findings that examine the biggest challenges facing financial institutions when it comes to compliance, regulations and gaining actionable insights from transaction data. This research asked delegates four questions regarding challenges, expectations and outcomes of both transaction data, data management software, and corresponding regulations and compliance requirements.

Almost one-third (31%) of respondents found that compliance and regulation record-keeping ranked as the most difficult challenge companies face around transaction and payments data. Payment regulatory reporting regulations were voted as the most challenging to implement within a company.

Over 50% of those asked said that the ideal outcome of transaction data management would be to secure a better understanding of what the data can provide and gaining actionable insights, while making the data itself more easily accessible. Some 34% of businesses want a solution that will provide fast outcomes that assist in providing the best possible client experience.

“Through this research we were able to get a deeper understanding of the challenges our customers face and how transaction data can be used to greatly benefit the industry,” said Antoine Cuypers, Director of Strategic Alliances and Key Accounts at Intix. “The data has allowed us to identify where businesses are struggling with the sheer volume of information, with meeting their compliance and regulatory requirements, and most importantly, the impact on customer service and expectations.”


Dreyfus launches share class through BNY Mellon to benefit non-profits

Cash and liquidity manager Dreyfus has announced the launch of SPARK shares. The share class allows clients to drive change with their liquidity investments by directing a donation to an eligible non-profit organisation of their choice. The donation is designed to result in a positive, quantifiable impact for the selected organisation.

Offered through the Dreyfus Government Cash Management fund, Dreyfus’ largest money market fund with US$115bn in assets and nearly 40 years in operation, SPARK shares will donate 10% of net revenue annually to the selected non-profit based on each client's average balance. The inaugural investors, including Jefferies, Macquarie Group and Protective Life Corporation, have invested US$1bn in SPARK shares.

“Dreyfus created SPARK shares to give clients the power to drive change by selecting a charitable cause that aligns with their giving goals,” said Laide Majiyagbe, Head of Financing and Liquidity at BNY Mellon Markets. “SPARK shares support clients’ philanthropic aspirations, and we are pleased to make it available exclusively through BNY Mellon, including our LiquidityDirect platform.”


Axis Bank launches mobile-first business banking proposition for MSMEs 

Axis Bank has announced the launch of ‘NEO for Business’, a transaction banking platform curated for Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The bank says this is a first of its kind digital proposition that caters to the real, current, and emerging transaction banking needs of MSMEs. 

With more than a 30% contribution to India’s GDP, the over 65 million MSMEs form the backbone of India’s economy.  They are rapidly adopting digital payments over cash, with 72% payments done through the digital mode compared with 28% cash transactions. Rise in digital adoption presents prospects for further growth in the sector, which the bank says it sees as a huge opportunity. 

With a focus on the evolving business needs of MSMEs and challenges they face, the NEO for Business platform offers various features, including digital self on-boarding, bulk payments, GST compliant invoicing and payment gateway integration. The bank says that customers using the platform will benefit from end-to-end transaction tracking, auto reconciliation, recurring collections, and cash flow reports.


Veem adds virtual card to US real-time payment capabilities

Veem, a provider of global accounts payable and receivable solutions for businesses, has announced the release of virtual cards for small businesses in the US. The virtual cards are powered by Visa, in partnership with the Marqeta card issuing platform. 

The Veem Visa Prepaid Card issued by Pathward, is designed to enable customers to get paid in minutes and use those funds to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted, globally.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yet face many struggles when it comes to managing spending,” said Todd Pollak, Chief Revenue Officer, Marqeta. “Companies like Veem have partnered with Marqeta to make it easier for businesses to manage their spending and stay ahead of expenses. Marqeta’s platform enables Veem to launch virtual cards quickly through our open APIs and create a seamless experience for their cardholders.”

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