Fintech, Finance, Technology, Banking Highlights – 28 September 2018

Alibaba Group, Banking Circle collaborate on futureproof payments

Alibaba Group has signed up with Banking Circle, the global scale financial utility, to utilise Banking Circle’s infrastructure and global network to facilitate its business.

It was announced in June that global investment firm EQT (through the EQT VIII and EQT Ventures funds), together with company founders and other co-investors entered into an agreement to acquire Saxo Payments Banking Circle from Saxo Bank A/S and other minority owners. The partnership with Alibaba Group underlines the effectiveness of Banking Circle as a next-generation provider of mission-critical infrastructure for online cross-border payments.

On the announcement of the partnership, Paul Li, Head of Payments, Alibaba Group commented: “We are delighted to partner with Banking Circle. Its global network and disruptive technology makes it an ideal partner for Alibaba’s future ambitions, building on the global infrastructure and technology platform that underpins the financial utility.”

Real-time Payment System Growth Surging Worldwide: FIS Report

Deployments of real-time payment systems are surging worldwide, according to new research from FIS.

In its fifth annual Flavors of Fast report, FIS identified 40 active real-time payment programs around the world, up from 25 in 2017 and nearly three times as many as the company’s inaugural 2014 study. Further, the report identified five payments programs under development, and another 16 expected to be live in the next 12-18 months – double the number of programs on the radar in 2017.

“We live in a now world. Consumers are demanding more transparency, certainty and immediacy when moving their money, and they won’t settle for incremental innovation,” said Raja Gopalakrishnan, head of Global Payments, FIS. “Financial institutions are responding in growing numbers – modernising their payment infrastructures to provide real-time payment capabilities that demonstrate their value to customers.”

BofA Merrill to Expand CashPro Mobile Capabilities

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) is accelerating its investment in mobile capabilities, and is introducing a second wave of enhancements for 2018 that improve the CashPro Mobile user experience.

The new features that are available now offer a simpler and more personalized experience and include:

• Simpler navigation.
• Enhanced user interface.
• A personalized home view that allows clients to take action on their most critical “to-do’s.”
• Ability to send feedback directly from the app.

Over the last 12 months, the number of users accessing CashPro Mobile has jumped more than 180 percent. “The statistics behind mobile adoption are compelling. We understand that clients like the convenience and portability that mobile access offers, and we’re pleased to bring to market more features that will make their lives easier – allowing them to transact business anywhere and anytime they choose,” said Julie Harris, head of Global Banking Mobile Strategy at BofA Merrill.

U.S. Bank Launches Digital Small Business Lending

US Bank has created a new, fully digital option for small businesses to apply for and receive a loan or line of credit.

The digital process is part of a broader evolution of how the bank interacts with customers. Single-owner businesses within U.S. Bank’s 25-state footprint can qualify for up to $250,000 through the all-digital process. The application can be completed on any device – mobile, tablet or computer – and if approved, it will allow the borrower to review their loan details and electronically sign their closing documents.

The entire process, from application to funding, can be completed same day, often within an hour or less, dramatically speeding up the experience for busy entrepreneurs. It provides access to existing U.S. Bank lending products, which carry the same attractive rates, full-service support and deep resources of the nation’s fifth-largest bank.

“We created this new digital experience to deliver on our commitment to continuously improve the way we serve our customers,” said Tim Welsh, U.S. Bank vice chairman of Consumer Banking Sales & Support. “This is the first of several exciting digital initiatives we’re pursuing that we believe will better serve the needs of small businesses and consumers.”