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Movers and Shakers: Finastra hires new payments lead, Credit Suisse onboards tech chief

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Banking core provider Finastra, Credit Suisse and Automation Anywhere announced new senior executive hires this month. Bank Automation News offers a wrap-up of some recent industry staffing shuffles. Finastra taps Marmur to lead payments division Financial technology and enterprise software provider Finastra has hired Oren Marmur as general manager of payments. Based in Israel, Marmur’s […]
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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/corp-bank/movers-and-shakers-finastra-hires-new-payments-lead-credit-suisse-onboards-tech-chief/

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Extend Teams Up with Amex to Bring Virtual Card Solution to SMEs

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A new partnership between American Express and New York City-based fintech Extend will give small businesses in the U.S. new options when it comes to using and deploying virtual cards. Specifically, U.S. companies with eligible American Express Business Cards will be able to use Extend’s technology to enroll and create virtual cards in as little as five minutes.

American Express EVP for Global Commercial Services Dean Henry highlighted the increased use of virtual cards during the pandemic – and the continued interest companies have in using the technology to facilitate contactless payments. “With today’s announcement, our Business Cards can work even harder for our Card Members through this quick and easy virtual Card option,” Henry explained. “This gives our Card Members enhanced flexibility and control across their day-to-day business spending, including for B2B purchases and enabling their employees to pay for expenses.”

The statistics on virtual card use by businesses support Henry’s assessment. A study conducted by American Express indicated that 39% of U.S. businesses expect to increase their use of virtual cards over the next 12 months. American Express’s Global Business Spend Indicator noted seven benefits virtual cards offered businesses – not including touchless payment ability. These advantages included fast onboarding, flexibility and ease of use, spending controls due to the use of tokenization, better security and protection against fraud, streamlined expense reporting, automated card issuance, and the ability to earn rewards.

The two companies also noted in their partnership announcement that they planned to offer additional features and expand functionality in the future. Among the new functionalities anticipated is the ability to add American Express virtual cards to mobile wallets to facilitate in-store transactions.

“This market is rapidly growing as businesses realize just how versatile and effective virtual Cards can be,” Extend CEO Andrew Jamison said, “whether it’s managing subscription payments, equipping employees with secure company cards, or developing custom payment solutions with our APIs.”

Founded in 2017, Extend made its Finovate debut two years later at FinovateSpring in San Francisco, California. That same year, the Manhattan-based company raised $11 million in Series A funding in a round led by Point72 Ventures and the FinTech Collective, giving the firm a total capital of $14 million. More recently, the virtual card platform company forged partnerships with Mastercard and TSYS in the fall of 2020, and with City National Bank in January of this year.

American Express joined the Finovate alum club via its 2015 presentation at our developers conference FinDEVr Silicon Valley. At the event, members of the company’s engineering team discussed the evolving role of B2B payments in the e-commerce ecosystem, and how American Express was “bringing commercial payments to the cloud.”


Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

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Source: https://finovate.com/extend-teams-up-with-amex-to-bring-virtual-card-solution-to-smes/

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AI-powered chatbots: Evolution and expansion

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When Bank of America virtual assistant Erica was first introduced in 2018, it was lauded by industry analysts as the leading example of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots in banking. But like most technology, Erica is ever evolving. The $2.2 trillion bank is now deploying Erica as a digital assistant to support live chat agents in […]

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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/ai-powered-chatbots-evolution-and-expansion/

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Crypto trading: Opportunity and risk for banks

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Visit the website of $785 million Vast Bank and you can’t miss it: The primarily commercial bank with a retail community presence based in Tulsa, Okla. now offers a cryptocurrency trading service called Crypto Banking in its mobile app. The app links users’ checking accounts with the cryptocurrency trading service, allowing clients to buy, sell […]

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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/center-of-excellence/crypto-trading-opportunity-and-risk-for-banks/

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3 Takeaways from Jill Castilla’s Keynote at FinovateFall

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At FinovateFall last week, Citizens Bank of Edmonds CEO Jill Castilla described how she is leading her bank through the pandemic. In her 16-minute address, she described how her bank navigated the decision making process and leveraged fintech relationships to help their small business customers survive COVID lockdown.

Citizens Bank of Edmonds was founded in 1901, has $400 million in assets, and 55 employees. The bank aims to serve everybody and has a goal to be the best at everything. And while that sounds like a lofty goal, the bank has proven that it is up to the task by implementing unique solutions that come alongside customers to meet their needs.

So what does it take to be such a successful bank in both the eyes of competitors and customers? Here are three takeaways from Castilla’s keynote that are worth considering.

Communication is foundational

By today’s standards, Castilla is very liberal about offering up her contact information. During the pandemic, she was quick to share her cell phone number; she even tweeted it out multiple times! Providing this open line of communication to both staff and customers was key to ensure that nobody fell through the cracks. Castilla even concluded her keynote by sharing her phone number, saying, “You’re welcome to text me any time.”

But it doesn’t end there. When the pandemic hit, Castilla made sure to contact all of the bank’s business customers to determine their main areas of stress. And when the bank had to close its lobby, it sent employees to meet customers at the curb to schedule time slots to serve its customers and maintain the personal touch.

Look forward

Castilla watched Frozen II during lockdown and the quote, “All one can do is the next right thing” caught on. In trying to make decisions for the bank, Castilla and her team would consider “the next right thing.” In other words, the bank would think about what its decision would be in the future, and not in the present moment.

Castilla offered the example of using the mantra to determine if the bank should host its annual block party at a time when COVID was just getting started. Thinking about the next right thing made it easy for the bank to call off the party.

And while a block party may seem trivial, consider this mantra implemented in a larger, more strategic decision. Questions such as, “should we make an investment in AI technology?” or, “should we partner with this up-and-coming fintech?” are a bit easier to answer when filtered through the lens of the next right thing.

Focus on the needs of clients

This takeaway ties back into the first two points, because if financial institutions maintain a foundation of communication while focusing on the next right thing, they will ultimately be doing what is best for their clients.

“Doing the right thing will help you find your people,” Castilla said during her keynote, “And talking about what’s important to you out on social media and the digital space will help you connect with people.” She also noted that both banks and fintechs are trying to do what is best during this challenging time, adding, “Collectively and individually, while working together and on our own, we’re going to change the world for [consumers and small businesses], we’re going to provide greater access to credit, we’re going to have a better understanding of what their financials are, (and) we’re going to help them run more successful businesses.”


Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://finovate.com/3-takeaways-from-jill-castillas-keynote-at-finovatefall/

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