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Sentral Pay – Streamlining school finances and providing parents with simple payment solutions

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Leading Australian education management software provider Sentral has released Sentral Pay to further enhance their payments offering to schools, which includes processing direct debit and real time payments directly through a partnership with payments provider Ezidebit.

Schools utilising Sentral’s popular web-based education management software will be able to offer parents additional simple one-click flexible solutions to paying fees and also be able to overcome challenges in efficiently managing school finances. Sentral Pay augments the current payment options within the platform.

Sentral General Manager Greg Coffey said that the additional functionality of Sentral Pay powered by Ezidebit provides an integrated and powerful platform to securely manage digital payments and reconciliation.

“Sentral Pay removes the burden of cash handling and reduces manual processes for school staff and administrators,” Mr Coffey said.

“Sentral Pay makes it easy for administrators to communicate, report, settle and schedule payments for parents.

“It’s a twofold win for schools and parents. Schools are ensured reliability and parents appreciate the payment convenience including the ability to combine or split payments.”

Sentral Pay is now available as a fully integrated module in the proven Sentral education software platform, which provides school administrators with a familiar environment to streamline school finances.

Sentral’s software has an intuitive web-based interface that works for any school no matter where they’re based. With a modular design, schools can activate applications needed and others later as required.

Sentral’s software solution can be found in nearly 30 per cent of Australian schools offering a variety of product modules including administration, attendance, assessment & reporting, payments, wellbeing and parent portal and app.

Mr Coffey said that the new Sentral Pay module offered the following benefits:

  • Everything in one place
    Sentral Pay is powered by Ezidebit and integrates seamlessly into Sentral as a module. There is no need to log in to multiple systems.
  • Simplify payments for your school and parents
    Parents can pay on time with just one click. Schools can also offer ‘set-and-forget’ payment solutions with easy payment options and reduced risk by removing the need for cash handling.
  • Simple automation
    Sentral Pay automates the manual processes associated with multiple payment options. There is access to both Direct Debit (recurring payments) and Real-Time Payments.
  • Easy setup
    End-to-end support is provided from onboarding to set up, ensuring a seamless process.
  • Help when you need it
    Sentral’s payment experts will help guide schools through the change, with every school assigned their own support person, as well as access to live chat.

“We understand the challenges for schools being able to efficiently manage their finances,” Greg Coffey said.

“Sentral Pay is a secure solution for managing digital payments and performing finance reconciliations through easy automation tools. It provides schools with a true end-to-end solution from managing payment requests right through to settlement of funds.”

For more information on Sentral Pay please visit: sentral.com.au/our-products/sentral-pay

Sentral is the trusted school management software provider to over 3,000 schools across Australia, beginning in 1998 with the company’s founders starting the company direct from the education sector having identified the need for affordable, quality technology services for schools.

Sentral became part of the Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) family in 2019 joining Australian payments technology company Ezidebit, payment gateway eWAY and storage management software provider, Storman.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/sentral-pay-streamlining-school-finances-and-providing-parents-with-simple-payment-solutions/

Blockchain

MAS completes multi-currency blockchain testing

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has completed its fifth and final testing phase for a multi-currency blockchain payments network.

MAS believes the prototype could change cross-border multi-currency payments

Codenamed Project Ubin, the blockchain network is jointly developed with JP Morgan and investment firm Temasek.

MAS announced the fifth phase of the project on 11 November 2019, following the successful development of a blockchain-based prototype for multi-currency payments.

Phase five of the test saw payments successfully settled in different currencies on the same network.

It validated the use of smart contracts on the payments network prototype for settlement, conditional payments and escrow for trade.

MAS believes that the prototype could enable faster and cheaper transactions than “conventional cross-border payments channels”.

The regulator adds that its current system can serve as a test network for collaboration with other central banks for developing “next generation cross-border payments infrastructure”.

To that end MAS has made technical specifications public to “further industry development”.

“As with all innovation adoption, there is a time for experimentation, and a time for commercialisation,” says Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at MAS.

“Project Ubin has worked with the financial industry and blockchain community on a journey of experimentation, prototyping and learning.

“Following the successful experimentation over five phases, we look forward to greater adoption and live deployment of blockchain technology.”

Related: MAS launches $1.25m fintech challenge to tackle climate change & COVID-19

Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/07/mas-completes-multi-currency-blockchain-testing/

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Fintech

AMTD Announces A Flurry of Partnerships and the Name of Its Digibank

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AMTD Group announced today several industry partnerships that it has established in efforts to better serve SMEs in Asia.

It has entered into two separate partnerships, one of which is with GlobalLinker that is aimed at helping Asian SMEs in their digitalisation and global expansion while, the other is with Funding Societies and CIMB to explore collaboration opportunities in offering digital finance solutions to SMEs in Singapore and South East Asia.

The partnership with GlobalLinker will see ATMD becoming the preferred financial services partner on the former’s SME focused platform. In their statement, AMTD said that it will deploy the entirety of the ecosystem to serve SMEs on the platform which includes its Hong Kong-based virtual bank Airstar and also its potential digital wholesale bank consortium in Singapore.

The AMTD-led consortium includes Funding Societies, SP Group, and Xiaomi that is subject to approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. They revealed that their Singapore-based digibank will be named Singa Bank.

Meanwhile, the partnership between ATMD, CIMB and Funding Societies will include areas like payroll, mortgage loans, unsecured loans, remittance, and brokerage. It also aims to utilise CIMB’s wide range of banking and capital market services to complement AMTD’s digital solutions to provide SMEs with a one-stop, cross-regional, cross-product financial solution.

These partnerships seem to provide hints as to the shape that AMTD’s digital bank in Singapore will have a particular focus towards serving the SME segment.

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Source: https://fintechnews.sg/41970/virtual-banking/amtd-announces-a-flurry-of-partnerships-and-the-name-of-its-digibank/

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Fintech

US buy now, pay later fintech Sezzle in $60m raise on ASX

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Sezzle, a US-founded buy now, pay later fintech, is raising AUD 86.3 million ($60 million).

The total comprises of an institutional placement which raised AUD 79.1 million.

Sezzle advert

The new capital will help strengthen Sezzle’s balance sheet

Under this placement, 14.1 million CHESS Depositary Interests (CDI) were issued, representing 8.4% of Sezzle’s existing capital.

CDIs allow non-Australian companies like Sezzle to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The other AUD 7.2 million is a non-underwritten share purchase plan which is now in the process of completion.

Sezzle’s move to Australia

The start-up launched its lending platform in 2017 in the US. It then expanded its offering to Canada.

In July 2019, the US fintech launched an oversubscribed initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Australia already has a handful of buy now, pay later competitors which are surging in growth.

This month alone, Afterpay launched a AUD 1 billion capital raising and founder sell-down, Brisbane-based Fu opened its Series A funding round, and Laybuy launched its second pre-IPO raising.

“We appreciate the continued support of our existing institutional investors, particularly those that have remained as CDI holders and supporters since our ASX IPO, around one year ago,” says Sezzle’s CEO, Charlie Youakim.

The new capital will help strengthen Sezzle’s balance sheet, as well as fuel international growth, customer numbers, marketing and new products.

Share prices rocket
Sezzle logo

Sezzle has seen a surge in activity

Following the publication of its second quarter update, Sezzle’s share price rocketed to a record high last week. It hit AUD 8.25 before reaching a trading halt.

During the quarter, the fintech’s underlying merchant sales totalled to $188 million. This represented a 58% quarter-on-quarter increase, and a 349% year-on-year increase.

The strong quarter results were down to increased activity amongst both consumers and merchants, as well as to repeat usage.

“Our strong [first half] performance, improving consumer profile, and confidence in reaching an annualised run rate for UMS [underwriting management system] of $1 billion by the end of 2020 allows us to be uniquely positioned to further expand through a number of near-term growth initiatives,” says Youakim.

“Importantly, this capital raising will give us the ability to invest in these initiatives as well as fortify our balance sheet.”

Read next: Fintech start-up Simpl targets India’s low credit card adoption

Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/07/us-buy-now-pay-later-fintech-sezzle-in-60m-raise-on-asx/

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