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Commercial finance fintech and business lender join forces to give Australian small businesses a fighting chance



The funding gap in small and medium business (SMB) lending in Australia is estimated at more than $90 billion. It was reported in late 2020 that the major banks are rejecting more than a quarter of SMB loan applications, and – pandemic aside – it has been difficult for SMBs to get traditional financing for years.

Yet many need help with cashflow, with injections of capital to help them grow and with purchases of equipment and stock to help them run their businesses. It’s not just about survival and day-to-day operations; many businesses need access to funding to help them take advantage of opportunities

They need funding options. Compounding the problem, small business owners are time poor as they focus on making a go of it, so it’s difficult for them to be fully across the lending alternatives that actually do exist. They need help.

“We strongly believe in enabling businesses greater access to aligned funding solutions that alleviate working capital challenges or facilitate growth,” said Donelle Brooks, Head of Third Party, Lend.

“We’re delighted to welcome Limba Loans to our lender panel – particularly at a time when many businesses will benefit from additional capital leading into the end of the financial year,” Ms. Brooks continued.

Lend continues to actively extend its secured and unsecured small business loan facilities to support brokers as they ‘bridge the gap’ between SMBs and alternative commercial finance. Its partnership with Limba Loans will be a welcome addition and aligns with the growing requirement for SMBs seeking fast, flexible, short-term loans.

The Lend commercial finance platform provides a centralised hub of alternative finance solutions to brokers and businesses nationally. It is renowned for its sophisticated AI product-lender matching technology that instantaneously provides business borrowers an overview of product(s) that directly align with their profile and requirements.

“What we like most about Lend is that they are as much about providing alternative finance options to brokers as we are,” said Olly Guilleaume, General Manager, Limba. “Following an online Lend inquiry, brokers can deal with a real person at Limba who will take the time to understand their particular situation and walk them through what’s required. Coming at it from an educational and informative perspective is a cornerstone to the Lend-broker proposition as well.”

“Brokers, especially those diversifying into the small business lending space, need lenders and application processes that are easy to deal with, that are responsive and informative, and that specialise in loan products that are designed with small businesses in mind,” said Guilleaume. “Limba will contribute just that to the Lend platform.”

Together, Lend and Limba are bringing brokers and small to medium sized businesses options outside of the traditional banking and lending institutions, so they can access the funds they need to grow and succeed.

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Brazilian Fintech EBANX, a Cross-Border Commerce Platform, Secures $400M from Advent International, Another $30M in Commitments



Brazil-based EBANX, a cross-border commerce platform, recently acquired $400 million in capital from Advent International and another $30 million commitment. The company is now planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the US.

Advent has reportedly made strategic investments in Vantiv, Worldpay, Nets, Nexi, Planet, Xplor Technologies, Prisma, Concardis, Monext, and Stone. Advent has now joined FTV Capital as a minority investor in EBANX.

For the very first time, all four of Advent’s funds, which includes Latin American Private Equity Fund (LAPEF), Global Private Equity (GPE), Advent Tech, and Sunley House Capital, are taking part in the same investment deal.

The proceeds will be channeled towards supporting EBANX’s business expansion across the Latin America (LatAm) region.

EBANX‘s management noted that they will continue to hire additional staff members. The Brazilian company recently appointed Alexandre Dinkelmann as Chief Financial Officer, who brings his extensive public company experience as CFO at TOTVS, a software firm based in Brazil.

EBANX has assisted large firms like Amazon, Alibaba, Shopee, Spotify, and Uber with reaching and carrying out commerce activities with more than 70 million LatAm-based clients across 15 different countries, through its proprietary platform and solutions. Last year, EBANX reportedly handled more than $3.5 billion in volume and 150 million transactions.

João Del Valle, CEO and co-founder of EBANX, stated:

“Our goal has always been to develop the highest-performing digital payments solutions, recruit the best technology talent and business minds, and deliver a superior value proposition that makes it easier and more cost effective for global companies to access and grow their businesses across Latin America. We are excited to have Advent join us on our journey and help us accelerate our growth.”

As covered in May 2021, João Del Valle, Co-founder at Ebanx, began serving as the new Chief Executive of the firm.

After working as COO for several years, preceded by nearly seven years as company CTO, Del Valle has now taken over the executive leadership of the Fintech firm, which was being led by Co-founder Alphonse Voigt for nearly a decade (since it was established in Curitiba, Brazil).

With this senior management change, Voigt will be serving as the Head of the Board of Directors, as Executive Chairperson, and Wagner Ruiz, also a company Co-founder, is now the Chief Risk Officer, leaving the CFO role to the newly appointed Alexandre Dinkelmann, the former executive in the Brazil-based BTG Pactual and TOTVS.

As COO, Del Valle led key initiatives for the Fintech firm’s business expansion, like the ensemble of the international commercial team, the deployment of 50 new integrations and payment methods within the firm’s B2B solutions portfolio (last year), and the Push LatAm, a project that aims to establish EBANX business operations in various other Latin American (LatAm) countries, including in Central America and the Caribbean.

Del Valle stated (last month):

“EBANX has a unique story and it will be a privilege to lead this next chapter. Our vision of being the best payment provider in Latin America is growing stronger, and always fueling the urge to innovate. The path we want for EBANX is very clear for the three of us, co-founders: focus on the mission of providing access in Latin America, through technology, speed, consistency and quality of execution.”

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Weekly Wrap: China pushes U.S. to take central bank digital currency seriously



This week, Bank Automation News delves into a House committee’s inquiry into a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC), and explored China’s role in prompting the U.S. to explore a CBDC, as well as the U.S. hesitancy to adopt digital currency. The BAN team also explored how neobanks are causing more banks to abandon a […]

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Mexican Fintech Credijusto, an SME Lending Platform, Acquires Local Bank Banco Finterra for Under $50M



Mexico-based Fintech firm Credijusto, an SME lending solution provider, has confirmed its acquisition of a local banking provider, Banco Finterra which focuses on offering financing solutions for small businesses and the country’s agriculture industry.

Credijusto acquired the regulated banking institution in a deal valued at under $50 million, according to a report from Reuters. Credijusto is now the first Brazilian Fintech company to have finalized this type of transaction.

The strategic acquisition should allow Credijusto to become a more established neobank in Latin America (LatAm). The company says it will continue to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

Allan Apoj, Co-CEO of Credijusto, stated:

“Our acquisition of Banco Finterra creates the first truly digital banking platform for Mexican SMEs. This acquisition marks a major milestone in Mexico and the region, and we are proud to be revolutionising the future of banking in Latin America.”

David Poritz, Co-CEO of Credijusto Banco Finterra, remarked:

“By combining our proprietary software and data science expertise with Finterra’s banking capabilities, we are building a next generation financial services business. Our acquisition will also enable a digital cross-border experience to the thousands of businesses engaged in commerce between the U.S. and Mexico, an opportunity that we see as a major driver of growth for Credijusto.”

As reported in April 2021, Credijusto had announced its acquisition of Visor, a data analytics and digital factoring platform.

As covered, Visor has analyzed over 15,000 companies in Latin America. Additionally, the company’s services have been used by over 40 financial institutions, marketplaces, and corporations to assess credit risk of the companies they do business with.

Roberto Velarde, Visor’s CFO, had noted (in April):

“Visor has raised capital from leading US-based tech investors such as American Express Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, Finrebel, Leap Global, Mission Gate and 500 Startups, as well as Latin American-focused funds such as ALLVP, Ignia, Mexamerica and Vincus, raising over $12 million since inception.”

Credijusto further explained that the acquisition supports its vision to become the leading financial services provider for Latin American SMEs by offering innovative solutions, including data analysis and digital factoring, which Visor has successfully developed during the past five years.

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Look to Asia for Fintech Trends in 2021-2022



This is a guest post from Adam Goulston, copywriter, editor, marketer, and researcher with Scize Group.

Asia is the global leader in fintech, according to a survey of 27,000+ digitally active consumers in 27 markets. And in Asia, China and India are big leaders – over half their active adult consumers use fintech services regularly. Asia sets the pace and it’s not slowing down.

In 2019, digital financial services earned $11 billion in Southeast Asia. That’s expected to grow to over $38 billion, or 11% of all financial services revenue, by 2025. Demand for fintech solutions is stronger than ever, so 2021 and 2022 are key years for retaining relevance and for new innovation.

Major trending areas include automated finance, mobile payment and, of course, blockchain. And not everything’s about machines – Asia’s huge workforce will play a major role.

Digital payment solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to improve automated services. In China, Alipay rolled out digital tools to support local businesses in Wuhan. This helped revive the city after the strict lockdown.

Malaysia offered WeChat Pay in 2020. It’s the first country outside China to use WeChat in the local currency. Local banks like Hong Leong Bank and Maybank were quick to link up. WeChat could expand this model elsewhere.

In Hong Kong, ZA Bank Ltd was the first virtual bank to launch a digital-only banking service. It offered a 6% opening rate on all deposits.

Meanwhil Japan, slower in shifting to cashless transactions, saw app-based payments finally go mainstream in 2020. Options include Rakuten Pay, LINE Pay, and PayPay backed by the SoftBank Group. The country was overwhelmingly cash-based just 2 years ago.

Vietnam has seen the most growth with mobile payment users increasing by 24% in the past year. The adoption rate in Thailand was 67%. China still leads, with 86% using smartphones for payments.

There are at least 150 e-wallet providers in Southeast Asia alone. Most of these apps are run by tech giants like Grab, Tencent Holdings, Singapore Telecom, and AirAsia.

More open banking solutions

The pandemic also sped up adoption of fintech banking apps and solutions, as in-person banking was often limited or unavailable. Online banking advanced. The trend has spread to investment, as seen with the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Singapore Financial Data Exchange answered by launching the world’s first public–private open banking solution. Singaporeans could now keep track of their finances in one simple platform.

Other Asian countries are also working to build open banking structures. DBS Hong Kong introduced digital banking to provide easy access and less paperwork for SMEs.

Better financial literacy and inclusion

The World Bank notes financial inclusion is a good way to reduce poverty and improve economies. Industry’s role as a financial leader is important in poorly developed and emerging markets.

South Asia has some of the world’s lowest levels of financial literacy, but Asian fintech startups are seeking to change this and increase financial inclusion. They include Julo (Indonesia), ZigWay (Myanmar), and Wing (Cambodia). They’ve designed easy-to-understand games and products to help consumers learn how to spend, save, and invest better.

Regarding financial inclusion, Jeff is an app providing loan services in Vietnam. The app aims to open lending services to people likely to be rejected by traditional banks.

Growth of blockchain and cryptocurrency

Look to Asia for the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency. NASDAQ reports more than 31% of all cryptocurrency transactions from mid-2019 to mid-2020 were in East Asia.

Asia is a crypto mining hub, with 65% of the global Bitcoin hashrate centered in China. The South Korean market has high use of altcoin, with over 30% of convenience stores already accepting digital money. There are also large crypto exchanges in Asia trading at nearly four times higher volume than North American exchanges.

In the Philippines, the mobile game Axie Infinity is creating a way out of poverty. Created by a Vietnamese startup, it features a farming simulation. It uses Ethereum Blockchain as its currency, which helps players learn about the currency, and how to manage their finances.

Shifting employment trends

COVID-19 spurred many businesses to digitize, which shifted employment trends. In Singapore, software engineers are in high demand and experiencing net job growth. There’s higher demand for skilled fintech talent in Hong Kong as well.

Other countries are also in search of tech talent. According to CXC Global, businesses in Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong are searching for staff in data sciences and online communications.  

Companies, however, aren’t rushing to replace employees – 37% of companies in Asia Pacific are making sure staff are onboard with changes, and RPA responsibilities are defined.

Asia fintech isn’t slowing down

Fintech adoption continues to expand in Asia as it becomes part of everyday life, irrespective of economic status. The fintech market in APAC is expected to grow at 72.5% annually through 2025, continually showing dynamic growth and adaptation, moving at speeds Western countries may not match.

Adam Goulston, MS, MBA, is a U.S.-born, Asia-based content marketer and copywriter. His Japan-registered company Scize helps globally-sighted business and organizations communicate their value in universally clear language.

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