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Anthem Foundation Takes Action Directing More Than $20 Million to Nonprofits in the Wake of COVID-19

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Anthem Foundation continues to make a lasting impact in communities across the country with its unwavering commitment to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its $50 million pledge for COVID-19 relief efforts, Anthem Foundation today announces nearly $24M in new grants to nonprofit organizations across the country that will largely focus on addressing food insecurity, mental health and housing and economic recovery.

Our communities have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the work our nonprofits are doing is vital as communities look ahead to their recovery, said Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem, Inc. Todays announcement reinforces our commitment to help meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations and support organizations who continue their work on the frontlines addressing areas that were severely impacted by the pandemic.

As local communities evaluate safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation, together with its nonprofit partners, share a common vision to continue to lift up those in need and look towards  the possibility of a better tomorrow, by addressing health disparities and inequities and promoting health and wellness for all.

Food Insecurity

Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that 11 percent of households in America were food insecure. In recent surveys, nearly 40 percent of households now report moderate to high levels of food insecurity, with children being impacted the most. On a national level, we are helping the following organizations address food insecurity:

  • The Food Trust with continued support for the Community Food Retail Program. Together, the grant will advance health equity and expand access to heart-healthy foods/beverages, including culturally relevant and locally grown fresh produce in strategically selected communities. The programming involves partnering with residents, local suppliers and store owners to improve stock, affordability and promotion of heart-healthy foods;
  • Studies find that 36 percent of college students are experiencing hunger and lack stable housing. To help alleviate this struggle, Anthem Foundation has partnered with The Foundation for California Community Colleges in a new program called First Response Healthcare Student Support Fund (First Response Fund) to provide emergency financial assistance for the needs recipients deem most urgent, such as food and housing assistance. Additionally, our renewed partnership with Virginia Foundation for Community College Education will reduce non-academic barriers that impede student success such as food, housing and mental health. Grant funding will be used to identify the specific student needs in VA colleges and communities to make available healthy nutrition options for students at all 23 community colleges so they maintain a path to college completion;
  • City Harvest, Inc. and its Mobile Markets to help meet the immediate need for food while taking a long-term approach to building healthy eating habits in targeted, high-need communities. Our collaborative efforts will provide residents access to retail food outlets or emergency food, and will take place twice a month at nine locations across the five boroughs, equating to over 200 distribution events.

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and impacts how we act, think and feel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 percent of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. The following organizations have been provided grants to propel their programs and services to those in local communities including:

  • A partnership with Healthier Kids Foundation in California to support the My Health First Program that will focus on screening for health issues and allocate case management resources to help parents access the specialized care their children need;
  • Continued collaboration with NAMI in Indiana and Virginia, supporting programs for individuals who have mental health conditions. In Indiana, the partnership will support the Family-to-Family educational class designed for families, partners and friends of people who have mental health conditions. And with new challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts in Virginia will support volunteer program leaders and support group participants who are experiencing distress due to isolation and fears around illness, along with the support of several other programs aimed to increase coverage and resources;
  • Managing type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an around-the-clock job of checking blood sugar numbers, counting carbohydrates, and dosing the right amount of insulin at the right time. This relentless regimen has a direct psychological impact on people with T1D and their loved ones. Anthem Foundation is partnering with JDRF International to provide funding to support the development of two series of digital resources to be used in both the community and through clinical intervention, providing practical mental wellness techniques to families and individuals managing type 1 diabetes.

Housing and Economic Recovery

U.S. jobless claims surpassed 40 million as a result of COVID-19; the largest unemployment rate since the Great Recession, and the highest in U.S. history. Minorities, especially Latino and Black individuals, make up 25 percent of unemployment rates. Additionally, homelessness puts individuals at higher-risk of victimization, criminal justice system involvement, and poor mental and physical health. The organizations the Foundation will work with to help alleviate homelessness and provide economic recovery support to include:

  • Partnering with the Coalition for Homeless Intervention of Greater Indianapolis by providing flexible resources to obtain permanent housing or substance abuse treatment. With Street Reach Indy, we will work together to fill in gaps in service, provide assistance when no other resource exists, and ultimately reduce homelessness;
  • In New York Citys low-income communities, housing instability and poor housing quality are closely linked. Together with Local Initiatives Support Corporation our grant will assist residents who are at greater risk of complications with COVID-19 with access to comprehensive programs that will help alleviate health disparities caused by lack of housing;
  • Our grant to the Alameda Point Collaborative, Inc. in California will support programming to develop a data collection system with process and outcomes measures to track health benefits and cost aversions to strengthen the medical respite field based on APC’s national research, and shape a service model, architectural design and housing placements with trauma-informed care principles.

The Foundation continues to work with organizations that provide critical community services to those on the forefront of prevention, treatment, recovery and relief efforts in affected areas across the country. The philanthropic investments will continue to build on economic and social resilience, working to remove systemic barriers and provide opportunities to our nations most vulnerable populations. For a full list of new grant recipients, visit the Anthem Foundations blog.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organizations commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the companys year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.

Eric Lail

[email protected]

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Federal Reserve Announces Finzly as FedNow Pilot Program Participant

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Finzly, a fintech provider of modern banking applications for foreign exchange, trade finance, payments and digital account opening, has been selected to participate in the Federal Reserve Banks' pilot program for its FedNowSM Service, a new instant payment service that will enable U.S. financial institutions of all sizes and communities to provide safe and efficient instant payment services in real-time.

Most notably, FedNow will allow businesses and individuals to send and receive payments 24x7x365. Designed to support the development, testing and adoption of the FedNow Service, the program will also promote the growth of services and use cases that leverage FedNow functionality. According to the Federal Reserve, more than 80 submissions were vetted “to ensure the program is representative of various types of institutions and service providers, connection types, settlement arrangements and experience levels.”

Winner of the 2020 Finovate award for “Best Enterprise Payments Solution,” Finzly's recently enhanced Payment Hub supports multiple payment networks through a single, consolidated system and will support newer RTP networks, including the FedNow Service. Payment Hub is interoperable, leveraging open APIs in the cloud to centralize consumer and business payment processing, monitoring, reporting and compliance, allowing FIs to provide customers with a more seamless payment experience.
“The FedNow Service marks a turning point in the industry's move to making real-time payments a reality,” said Booshan Rengachari, founder and CEO, Finzly. “We created our Payment Hub specifically to help FIs prepare and go to market faster with newer RTP networks and address the challenges of offering single payment API for multiple payment networks without having to run disparate payment systems from multiple vendors. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of this historical pilot program and help shape the service's features and functionality.”

To view the FedNow release and the list of organizations that have announced their participation, visit here.

About the FedNow Service
The Federal Reserve Banks are developing the FedNow Service to facilitate nationwide reach of instant payment services by financial institutions – regardless of size or geographic location – in near real time, around the clock, every day of the year. Through financial institutions participating in the FedNow Service, businesses and individuals will be able to send and receive instant payments conveniently, and recipients will have full access to funds within seconds, giving them greater flexibility to manage their money and make time-sensitive payments. Access will be provided through the Federal Reserve's FedLine® network, which serves more than 10,000 financial institutions directly or through their agents. For more information, visit FRBservices.org.

About Finzly
Finzly connects financial institutions with customers through a modern digital experience and an efficient, real-time payment services hub. Freeing financial institutions from core system limitations, Finzly's open, cloud-based bank operating system, BankOS, enables transformation and innovation at the speed of fintech. With the freedom to adopt solutions from Finzly and third parties of choice, financial institutions can implement apps in three simple steps – subscribe, try and launch. Serving customers across North America, Finzly has been modernizing international banking and treasury management solutions since 2012. For more information, visit http://www.finzly.com.

Media Contact

Augusta Bauknight, William Mills Agency, 678-781-7214, [email protected]

Nick Beyer, Finzly, 844-792-7783, [email protected]

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ASTRALABS Raises $100,000 in First 6 Hours

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AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Newchip Inc. has rebranded to ASTRALABS INC. The company experienced exponential growth as their revenues climbed a staggering 357% from 2019 to 2020. As a result, the strategic decision was made to divide its company into a new parent structure with its product lines as independent wholly owned subsidiaries as part of the new venture studio model. 

ASTRALABS officially launched a public offering campaign on Wefunder on Jan. 25, 2021, and surpassed $100,000 within the first six hours. The company is raising at a $69.3 million pre-money valuation and has previously raised $4.5 million from investors and executives from Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, YGC, JV, Sputnik, YC & Polymath. 

ASTRALABS is a team and network of hundreds of top startup founders, expert mentors, and investors around the globe focused on rebuilding the world post-COVID-19. This new structure is a strategic move that will allow its subsidiaries to focus and grow independently while also contributing to the overall vision of the parent company. 

ATRALABS is currently made up of three wholly owned subsidiaries: Newchip – the flagship, global accelerator; Sofos.ai – an investor and sales lead generation platform; and Journey Venture Partners an investment management company. The creation of the parent company, ASTRALABS, will allow the individual business units to have a greater impact on the global startup ecosystem by providing resources at the different pain points in the founder's funding and growth journey. This move allows for further expansion such as the acquisition of companies that have previously completed the Newchip Accelerator or other companies that might align with the ASTRALABS' mission.

Founder and CEO of ASTRALABS, Andrew Ryan, speaks of the opportunity at hand for investors, “I believe this model is revolutionary. It's unlike anything that's been available to everyday investors.” In the past year we have already secured over $100 million in future equity warrants,” says Ryan.

Investors can learn more about the investment opportunity and the current offering at the Wefunder on ASTRALABS' campaign page.

About ASTRALABS

ASTRALABS is a team and network of over 1,200 top startup founders, expert mentors, and investors focused on rebuilding the world post-COVID-19. As a venture studio, the company's aim is to build a new global startup ecosystem and product portfolio focused on educating and equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs with what they need to succeed. With over 750 graduated startups, ASTRALABS possesses over $100 million in equity warrants in a combined estimated market size of over $5 billion. ASTRALABS in the parent company of the Newchip Accelerator, Journey Venture Partners and Sofos.ai. For additional information, interview or speaking requests and for all other inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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Apollo Bank Adds CheckAlt's Lockbox Services on Top of Item Processing Solutions

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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Apollo Bank of Miami has expanded its relationship with CheckAlt, the largest independent provider of item processing and treasury management solutions in the U.S., to provide lockbox services for its corporate clients in addition to item processing including at-branch check image capture and statements.

“Seeking an outsourced lockbox payment processor that could be implemented quickly, we turned to our known and trusted vendor, CheckAlt,” said Jeannie Spano, VP of Deposit Operations for Apollo Bank. “CheckAlt's straightforward implementation and effective collaboration has made turning on lockbox processing for our clients on the new platform easy.”

Apollo Bank knew it did not want to build its own in-house lockbox scanning department. CheckAlt's lockbox services and corresponding web-based platform enables the bank's business clients to simplify reconciliation and realize check payments faster.

“CheckAlt is proud to deepen our relationship with Apollo Bank as now their provider of item processing and lockbox services,” said Carolyn Morris, Relationship Manager for CheckAlt. “It has been a pleasure assisting Jeannie and her team at Apollo Bank with the implementation of our lockbox solution as well as training for their clients.”

For more information about CheckAlt's lockbox services, please visit https://www.checkalt.com/products/lockbox-services.

About CheckAlt

In the past 10 years, CheckAlt has become the leading provider of check payment processing solutions for hundreds of financial institutions across the country. As both bank agnostic and demographic agnostic, CheckAlt is uniquely positioned for payments convergence. It has been our focus to process check payments while also eliminating paper from the system with robust electronic payment APIs. CheckAlt's solutions include lockbox processing across a nationwide hub-and-spoke network of processing sites, consolidated item processing, integrated treasury solutions, and mobile capture services. CheckAlt is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif.

Media Contact

Tiffany Rider, CheckAlt, +1 (310) 663-7062, [email protected]

Twitter, Facebook

 

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