Connect with us

Banking

AKTIF BANK CHOOSES EARTHPORT FOR EFFICIENT INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS

Published

on

Aktif Bank Chooses Earthport For Efficient International Payments

Earthport’s cross-border payments service will support leading Turkish bank’s plans for multi-currency international payments services

Earthport announced that Aktif Bank has chosen it to provide international payments transaction services, helping its corporate customers trade internationally and retail customers of its Universal Payment Transfer (UPT) service to make more cost effective cross-border payments.

Aktif Bank, the largest investment bank in Turkey, offers retail, investment and regional banking services. Since 2012 it has been Earthport’s banking partner, providing local bank payments clearing in Turkey. Now, Earthport’s expertise in increased international payments processing automation will support the bank’s growth plans through enhanced products that offer cross-border payments in local currencies.

Through Earthport’s service, fees and foreign exchange (FX) rates are known upfront and payment timescales are predictable. These features will help Aktif Bank operate efficiently and support its customers’ needs for cost-effective international trade.

Aktif Bank Chooses Earthport For Efficient International Payments

Aktif Bank Chooses Earthport For Efficient International Payments

CEO of Aktif Bank, Dr. Önder Halisdemir said: “Earthport’s ability to provide international payment clearing services locally to many markets around the globe, together with sophisticated validation services, predictable settlement dates and transaction reporting was an attractive proposition. It gives us scope to build services we believe our customers will find compelling.”

Winner of 56 international awards over the past three years including ‘The World’s Most Innovative Bank,’ Aktif Bank will also benefit from revenue generated through FX.

Hank Uberoi, Chief Executive Officer of Earthport plc, said: “Aktif Bank is a solutions-focused bank and market leading in the fast developing Turkish market. As part of our expanding global client base, we are delighted to partner with them as our first client in Turkey. We look forward to supporting their customers’ needs for predictable, cost-effective international trade payments and person-to-person remittances.”

Earthport already provides its robust, electronic white-label service to some of the world’s largest banks and money transfer agents including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Western Union and leading Japanese remittances provider Kyodai Remittance. Supporting the continued rise in the international movement of money resulting from an increasingly globalised workforce and international trade, across six continents Earthport reaches 60 countries directly through local clearing capabilities and a further 140 through traditional methods.

About Aktif Bank
Aktif Bank is the largest investment bank in Turkey. It operates in the fields of retail banking, investment banking and regional banking. The innovative and entrepreneurial business manner of the bank has been proven with great results and 56 international awards received over the last three years. It was selected as the most innovative bank in the world in distribution channels. In investment banking, Aktif Bank has pioneered innovations including the first bank bond, the first asset-backed securities, and the first project financing sukuk in Turkey. The bank names its unique business model as “New Generation Banking”. Aktif Bank was assessed in the highly investable category by JCR-Eurasia Rating with Long Term National Credit Rating, increasing two grades from A+ (Trk)”to “AA (Trk).

About Earthport
Earthport plc, a regulated global financial services organisation, specialises in the provision of a white label cross-border payments service.

Through its innovative payments framework, specifically designed for high volumes of low value cross-border payments, Earthport provides a cost-effective and transparent service for secure international payments. Earthport’s clients include banks, money transfer organisations, payment aggregators, e-commerce and foreign exchange businesses.  Through Earthport’s well established payments infrastructure, clients can clear and settle payments directly to banked beneficiaries in 60 countries.

The company is headquartered in London and is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange. It operates globally with additional regional offices in Dubai and New York. Earthport plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Service Regulations 2009 for the provision of payment services. To learn more, please visit www.earthport.com and follow us via RSS or on social channels, Twitter @Earthport, LinkedIn, Youtube and Slideshare.

Banking

Local authorities and business networks play a key role in small business success, and must be protected during COVID rebuild

Published

on

Local authorities and business networks play a key role in small business success, and must be protected during COVID rebuild 1
  • 23% of UK’s top performing businesses have been supported by local enterprise partnerships and growth hubs
  • Similarly, 30% of Britain’s strongest businesses have obtained external finance in the last 3 years
  • New findings come as part of an independent, holistic study into small business success, commissioned by Allica Bank to support British businesses

A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that a high level of engagement and interaction with external institutions and resources, is central to SMEs’ prospects of success.

The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook. To measure SMEs’ external engagement, survey respondents were asked whether or not they had engaged with local enterprise partnerships, growth hubs, or external financial advisers, as well as whether they had obtained credit or sought re-financing advice, in the last three years.

The benefit to small businesses in making the most of external resources are clear to see, with a quarter (23%) of the UK’s top performing SMEs – those in the top tenth percentile – actively engaging their local enterprise partnership or growth hub in the last three years. This compares to just 16% of all other small businesses. With such a clear benefit to businesses, these external networks must not only be protected but prioritised by any Government plans to rebuild the economy post-COVID.

Similarly, of the top performing SMEs in the country, 30% have obtained external credit in the past three years, compared to less than a quarter (24%) of all other businesses. This figure drops even further for the weakest performing businesses – those in the ninetieth percentile – where just 12% of businesses have obtained external financial support in recent years.

Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said:

“At Allica Bank we understand that no two businesses are the same. We also know that no-one knows a business as well as its owners and managers. But they can’t be expected to be experts on everything.

“In the UK there is a wealth of external advice and support for small businesses and we urge each and every business out there to tap in to the external resources around them. Third-parties, such as business clubs, chambers of commerce, local enterprise partnerships and trade bodies, can be invaluable sources of advice and further resources. And although they have excelled in their given field, business owners may still lack knowledge in many other areas of running and growing a business. Therefore, engaging with third parties can give business owners the kinds of insight – and fresh perspectives – they need to succeed.

“As the economy and the country comes to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important these vital SME resources are protected and given the funding they need to continue providing invaluable insight and support to small businesses up and down the country.”

Allica Bank’s SME Guide to Success identified six ‘rules to success’ that were more likely to be displayed by top-performing SMEs compared to their counterparts. The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics.

As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.

Continue Reading

Banking

Do we really need banks? Yes, but digital transformation industry-wide is vital

Published

on

Do we really need banks? Yes, but digital transformation industry-wide is vital 2

By Charley Cooper is Managing Director at enterprise blockchain firm, R3

The Coronavirus crisis has taught us that we are capable of going digital quickly when we need to. As the banking sector faces a second wave, the ability for individual firms to grow and succeed will be reliant on better connectivity and efficiency at the industry-level, writes R3’s Charley Cooper.

The sudden and dramatic pace of change has been seen globally over the last six months. Decades of paper-based practices are being updated, digitised and overhauled as the whole word adapts to working online. As of today, countries are accepting “alternative arrangements” for original paper export certificates, New York is allowing notary services by video, and global banks are accepting “original” documents and acceptances by email.

Over the coming months, we will see this digital transformation extend from individual use cases and firm-level deployment to entire industries. And perhaps in no other industry is this more critical than in financial services, where the role of banks continues to be challenged because of the inefficiencies they face as a result of decades of siloed technology deployment.

While unquestionably an improvement over reliance on manual processes, regular “digital transformation” as implemented by a single bank has limited benefits. These typically include greater automation of business processes, acceleration in adoption of electronic channels, elimination of manual processes, standardisation of non-value-adding business practices and a focus on driving up data quality and speed of information flows.

Now consider achieving digital transformation at the level of the entire market, rather than on a bank-by-bank basis. Whilst a digital transformation project for a single bank might automate a business process between a front and back office, a digital industry transformation project might optimise the trading and settlement of the asset between buyer and seller and their custodians too.

Of course, such things have been attempted before. But there have been many failures and the successes are notable by how they have resulted in new dominant centralised providers – for example for market data, messaging or settlement. The advent of blockchain architectures showed us there was a new way to tackle the problem, one that worked with the grain of existing markets.

Done right, the prize is a huge “productivity dividend” as entire markets are unshackled from their analogue histories.

Tackling interbank reconciliation at the industry level

The Italian financial services industry provides a pertinent use case of digital industry transformation. 32 banks in Italy went live in March with one of the first real-world deployments of enterprise blockchain technology in interbank financial markets. 23 more banks went live in May, with further institutions scheduled to go live this autumn. Built by the Italian Banking Association, ABI, the Spunta Banca DLT app on R3’s Corda Enterprise platform tackles the market-wide issue of interbank reconciliation.

The traditional reconciliation process for interbank transactions in Italy—formerly governed by the “spunta” process— is notoriously complex. Resolving mismatches in transactions is a labour-intensive process, hampered by a lack of standardisation, fragmented communication and no “single version of the truth.” The Spunta Banca DLT app automates the reconciliation process and enables banks to pinpoint mismatches in interbank transactions quickly by sharing common data in a secure way.

Connecting such a large and diverse group of banks in a live environment to tackle a shared problem is a major milestone for digital transformation in the Italian banking sector, providing a glimpse into a brighter, more efficient and interconnected future for all financial markets.

Changing mindset

The current crisis has accelerated the launch of digital technology for many use cases across a diverse range of sectors, but those that stand the test of time will be developed with an industry-level mindset, not firm-level.

It is now clear that the age of inter-bank optimisation is over – the path forward from this crisis will be paved by software that focuses on adding real value for entire markets, connecting banks to overcome the biggest challenges they share as an industry.

Banks must adapt and start thinking about technology in new and innovative ways if they are to retain their critical role in the global economy.

Continue Reading

Banking

How open banking can drive innovation and growth in a post-COVID world

Published

on

How open banking can drive innovation and growth in a post-COVID world 3

By Billel Ridelle, CEO at Sweep

Times are pretty tough for businesses right now. For SMEs in particular, a global financial and health crisis of the sort we’re currently witnessing represents a truly existential risk. Yet there is hope of a brighter future. Digital transformation is already helping organisations in countless sectors, with everything from building supply chain resilience to rolling out potentially life-saving contact-tracing schemes. Yet it’s not just delivering transformative benefits in grand projects like this.

Thanks to open banking rules, a new wave of fintech innovation is sweeping the globe, offering business leaders a new launchpad for success. Even something as simple as corporate expenses can be transformed by the power of open data — to help firms cut costs, reduce fraud risk and become more productive.

Opening up data to innovation

It’s easy to get bogged down in the technical details of open banking, and the slew of new acronyms it has ushered in: Third Party Providers (TPPs), Account Information Service Providers (AISPs), Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs), and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Yet at the heart of the open banking revolution is a simple concept: the idea that forcing banks to open up their customers’ financial data will create more competition, and fresh opportunities for market entrants to create innovative new services.

This was at the heart of the UK government’s world-leading strategy when it was introduced back in 2016. A revised EU payment services directive (PSD2) gave it legal teeth, mandating that all payment account providers in the region provide third-party access for customers that want it. The push is also about reducing banking fees and enhancing financial inclusion, of course, but it’s in competition and innovation that the benefits really shine for businesses.

Access to real-time financial data via open APIs has already resulted in a range of new services which are helping businesses ride out the current economic storm. Whether it’s capabilities that can help freelancers prove loss of income to receive targeted loans, or services designed to streamline business processes to reduce costs and fraud — examples of innovation are endless.

What’s more, it’s already global. Aside from the PSD2, open banking rules are taking shape in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico and elsewhere. According to frequently cited Gartner predictions, regulators in around half of the G20 countries will create an open banking API regime over the coming year.

In the UK alone this is set to create a £7.2 billion revenue opportunity by 2022, with 71% of SMBs and 64% of adults expected to adopt it by then, according to PwC.

Making expenses pay

Corporate expenses and travel management might not be an area one immediately associates with high levels of innovation. But here too, open banking is having a profound impact. By combining automation, in-app approvals, integration with corporate policy and secure open banking APIs, companies like Sweep are offering new ways to solve old problems.

Part of the legacy challenge relates to productivity. Managing corporate travel costs and expenses was cited last year as the biggest concern of the UK’s small and mid-sized firms. Separate research claimed that SMBs are estimated to lose over £8.7 billion annually due to the time it takes employees and managers to complete these menial tasks. By automatically integrating real-time corporate bank account information into an easy-to-use app, we can save up to 15 hours a month on data input and travel administration per employee. That’s all time they could be spending on growing the business.

Another key area of concern is fraud. According to some estimates, fraudulent expenses claims could be costing UK firms £1.9 billion each year. In the US, the figure could be approaching $3 billion annually. Whether it’s the result of submitting expense claims for personal purchases, claiming for additional mileage on work trips, or over-claiming for other items, it all adds up. What’s more, fraud tends to spike particularly during times of recession, when normally diligent employees look for ways to supplement their income.

In this use case too, there are benefits to be had from open banking-powered solutions. Traditional manual processes offer too many gaps that can be exploited by fraudsters. Submitting paper receipts to finance departments — which must then input the information into spreadsheets or accounting software — is slow, error-prone and lacks accountability. However, with modern digital systems, transactions are automatically fed through from bank account to expense management platform. Here they are seamlessly checked according to policy and automatically approved, rejected or flagged for further investigation.

The future’s open

Thanks to the power of open banking, innovative fintech use cases like this are transforming operational challenges into opportunities to cut costs and fraud risks, improve employee productivity and become more strategic. With real-time data fed through from corporate bank accounts, finance directors can better understand spending patterns, react with greater agility and gain the insight they need to run their businesses more efficiently.

So what of the future? The good news is that open banking is only just getting started. As more sophisticated machine learning algorithms are developed, it has the potential for even greater disruption by empowering SMEs with predictive analytics and forecasting tools, or more accurate fraud checks, for example. Those in Europe may benefit most as PSD2 allows businesses to use tools that work seamlessly and securely across markets, without requiring any duplication of work.

In fact, open banking is not just good for individual SMEs, it’s important for Europe as a whole if we are ever to nurture successful digital unicorns to compete with those coming out of the US and China.

Open banking been described in the past as a quiet revolution. With the right buy-in from business and the continued innovation of digital platforms, it may soon become a full-throated roar.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Business recovery from COVID-19 lies in implementing the practice of Open Book Management 4 Business recovery from COVID-19 lies in implementing the practice of Open Book Management 5
Business14 hours ago

Business recovery from COVID-19 lies in implementing the practice of Open Book Management

By Suranga Herath is CEO of English Tea Shop, the leading independent speciality and organic tea company. Over the course of the...

Making Connectivity A Key Part of Cloud Strategy for Finance 6 Making Connectivity A Key Part of Cloud Strategy for Finance 7
Technology14 hours ago

Making Connectivity A Key Part of Cloud Strategy for Finance

By Eric Troyer, CMO at Megaport Finance organisations across the board are facing unprecedented disruption, with new technology entering the industry...

The Impact of Covid-19 on Planning 8 The Impact of Covid-19 on Planning 9
Business15 hours ago

The Impact of Covid-19 on Planning

By Nilly Essaides, Sherri Liao and Gilles Bonelli, The Hackett Group The economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak vary by...

Covid-19 can reboot belt and road initiative towards a sustainable future 10 Covid-19 can reboot belt and road initiative towards a sustainable future 11
Business15 hours ago

Covid-19 can reboot belt and road initiative towards a sustainable future

A new CMS report reveals that Covid-19 has boosted Chinese enthusiasm for adopting the principles of BRI 2.0, leading to...

The (U)X Factor: The software bringing biometric payment cards to market 13 The (U)X Factor: The software bringing biometric payment cards to market 14
Technology15 hours ago

The (U)X Factor: The software bringing biometric payment cards to market

By Jonas Nilsson, Product Manager at Fingerprints With over 20 bank trials in progress and a second commercial roll-out imminent in...

Corporate treasuries under pressure need multi-banking trade finance technology 15 Corporate treasuries under pressure need multi-banking trade finance technology 16
Finance16 hours ago

Corporate treasuries under pressure need multi-banking trade finance technology

By Andrew Raymond, CEO, Bolero International The pressures on corporate treasuries in global trade have continued to mount since an...

How can financial services companies deliver great customer service and retain customer loyalty?  17 How can financial services companies deliver great customer service and retain customer loyalty?  18
Finance16 hours ago

How can financial services companies deliver great customer service and retain customer loyalty? 

By Chris Angus, Senior Director, 8×8 The reality many banks are facing now is that given Amazon Prime can deliver...

Embracing digital automation without compromising on customer experience 19 Embracing digital automation without compromising on customer experience 20
Technology16 hours ago

Embracing digital automation without compromising on customer experience

By Mang-Git NG, CEO & Founder of Anvil Community banks have always prided themselves on their ability to serve their...

Two-thirds of finance professionals are now more efficient due to the Covid-19 crisis 21 Two-thirds of finance professionals are now more efficient due to the Covid-19 crisis 22
Business16 hours ago

Two-thirds of finance professionals are now more efficient due to the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 crisis is making a big impact on the efficiency of the UK’s finance departments, with 66% of financial...

Two thirds of people believe their work travel patterns have changed permanently 23 Two thirds of people believe their work travel patterns have changed permanently 24
Business17 hours ago

Two thirds of people believe their work travel patterns have changed permanently

Alphabet research shows accelerating demand for mobility and EVs after lockdown Only 35% of people expect to return to normal...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now