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Watching the “second wave of digital transformation” come to life with Microsoft

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In the lead-up to EBAday 2021, Bill Borden, corporate vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft, speaks about the state of play across the financial services industry, the “second wave of digital transformation”, the company’s new Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, and the benefits we can expect from this latest initiative.

Sponsored | what does this mean?

This content has been created by the Finextra editorial team with inputs from subject matter experts at the funding sponsor.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/videoarticle/2531/watching-the-second-wave-of-digital-transformation-come-to-life-with-microsoft?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

Crowdfunding

Digital Money Firm Merchantrade Asia Partners LintraMax to Offer Digitized Payroll to Malaysian Plantation Workers

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Earlier this week, Merchantrade Asia, a digital money services business operator and e-money issuer, teamed up with palm plantation management services provider LintraMax in order to digitize the payroll system for underserved plantations workers in Malaysia.

Through the partnership, Merchantrade Asia and LintraMax plan to reach out to the plantations’ workers in order to show them the benefits of using Merchantrade Money, a digital wallet offered by Merchantrade.

Merchantrade’s management noted that digital wages payment services may assist firms with lowering the overall risks associated with using or carrying physical cash. The solutions may also help with minimizing or eliminating the need to make physical contact during the COVID-19 health crisis while ensuring greater transparency of company payroll processes.

Through the digital wallet, workers should be able to get their wages and have improved access to virtual payments platforms, which should allow for convenient cashless purchases of provisions as well as being able to send funds back home to friends and family.

The firm further noted that migrant workers will find its online wallet solution ideal or well-suited for their needs as it comes with support in several different languages.

Additionally, they’ll  offer the Merchantrade’s digital payment solutions to oil palm plantations that have been using the Quarto plantation management system provided by LintraMax.

At present, there are around 100 plantation firms across Malaysia that are using the Quarto plantation management system offered by LintraMax.

Khor Kheng Khoon, Founder and Managing Director of LintraMax, stated:

“Payroll processing at plantations is the main pain point that we are trying to address through this partnership. Currently, many plantations still rely on cash and cheques to pay employee wages every month. These methods are not the most efficient or safest, so LintraMax hopes to turn these methods of wages payment into digital, such as through the use of digital wallets. This is where Merchantrade’s expertise is crucial for the mission, and we are excited to partner with them.”

Ramasamy K. Veeran, Merchantrade’s Founder and Managing Director, remarked:

“We are excited to partner with LintraMax to enable seamless digital experience into their growing ecosystem through our innovative Merchantrade Money e-wallet. We believe that this collaboration is a definite step in the right direction and will indeed benefit the plantation management space and drive digital payments adoption as it not only benefits plantation companies as well as directly impacts workers daily lives by encouraging digital experience.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176563-digital-money-firm-merchantrade-asia-partners-lintramax-to-offer-digitized-payroll-to-malaysian-plantation-workers/

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Crowdfunding

Luxembourg Fintech Finologee Develops Automated Payments Solutions for Enhancing Workflows

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Luxembourg-based Fintech Finologee has reportedly created a hosted system that offers API end-points in order to automate payments and support secure web interfaces which improve workflows and data visualization while establishing a direct connection to the SWIFT network.

The product’s development has been supported by the Luxembourg government. Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE) is notably the first client/end-user to adopt the new platform.

Finologee started the development of its Enterprise Payments (ENPAY) platform in 2020 with the goal to assist the financial services sector with addressing business process enhancement and various automation requirements (with its payment workflows and interactions).

Instead of managing multiple, host-to-host banking channels or adapting consumer-focusing PSD2 access-to-account channels to their specific needs, users may work with FinologeeENPAY, a platform hosted in a secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) setup in Luxembourg, using a bank-agnostic connection to manage any bank account.

To streamline and automate their payment processes, companies may connect through Finologee’s API end-points. The platform comes with a modern web interface that uses multi-factor authentication and allows customers to implement complex workflows and advanced transaction signature processes.

The ENPAY system is hosted on the company’s Trusted Fintech Platform, along with Finologee’s bank compliance, KYC and digital payments infrastructure. The SaaS setup meets outsourcing compliance requirements that apply to financial services providers, significantly lowering their implementation lead times.

For payment network and messaging connectivity with banking institutions, Finologee decided to implement direct access to SWIFT, the provider of secure financial messaging services, which connects over 11,000 banking and securities organizations, market infrastructures and corporate customers globally.

User authentication and manual transaction signature components are being offered with assistance from Luxtrust, a Luxembourg-based provider of digital identities and a trust service.

Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE), one of Luxembourg’s largest life insurance providers, is the first client/end user to integrate FinologeeENPAY. Accounts with multiple banks have been connected, now covering Indosuez Wealth Management, CACEIS, ING, BGL BNP Paribas and Spuerkeess, and others will be added in the coming weeks.

Finologee also entered a joint financing agreement with the Luxembourg government that supports the process and organizational innovation objectives of the initiative.

Franz Fayot, the Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, stated:

“Luxembourg is the perfect breeding ground for digital products addressing the needs of financial industry professionals. The country is well positioned to trigger projects that combine regulatory, communications, financial and technological aspects. The Luxembourg Government’s unique set of research, development and innovation programs and the encompassing ecosystem provide the right toolset to support digital innovation projects efficiently. Projects led by Fintech companies such as the Finologee ENPAY platform and boosting their relationship with established businesses effectively demonstrate how cooperation cannot only solve current business challenges but also reshape existing technical setups to be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, remarked:

“I salute the Enterprise Payment initiative ENPAY, which is another successful illustration of the potential of cooperation between a traditional player like Credit Agricole Life Insurance Europe and a new FinTech like Finologee. By providing innovative financial solutions that benefit all actors, such collaborations strengthen our ecosystem and thus fully reflect the philosophy and vision that lies behind the LHoFT (Luxembourg House of Financial Technologies).”

Raoul Mulheims, CEO of Finologee, added:

“We firmly believe that our Enterprise Payments platform can be the missing link many financial service professionals and institutional players are looking for to automate their payment processes and reduce risks. From the start, the project received strong support from partners and stakeholders. We would like to thank them for their contributions and encouragements, as well as our team for its commitment and its expertise. We are eager to quickly build up this new product and we are looking forward to establishing the foundations to a new ecosystem that has the potential to have a genuine positive impact for many businesses in Luxembourg.”

When developing the FinologeeENPAY product architecture and associated roadmap, the firm depended on its expertise and experience working with this type of project (stemming from various other digital platforms the firm and its founders have been working with for the past 15 years in Luxembourg).

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176496-luxembourg-fintech-finologee-develops-automated-payments-solutions-for-enhancing-workflows/

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Blockchain

Algorand could soon process up to $800 million in healthcare costs in Bermuda

MAPay, a global healthcare technology firm with a focus on decentralized payment networks, will use Algorand to issue a stablecoin for facilitating over $800 million worth of healthcare-related costs in Bermuda, as per a development this past week.

The post Algorand could soon process up to $800 million in healthcare costs in Bermuda appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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MAPay, a global healthcare technology firm with a focus on decentralized payment networks, will use Algorand to issue a stablecoin for facilitating over $800 million worth of healthcare-related costs in Bermuda, as per a development this past week.

The firm boasts healthcare partnerships in the US and beyond, and will use Algorand’s blockchain as the backbone for its forthcoming advancements in the healthcare sector.

Onboarding Algorand

Traditional healthcare payment systems are slow, cumbersome, and riddled with unnecessary expenses. But by using a high-speed blockchain, MAPay aims to create efficiency in the system, across stakeholders like insurance companies, government health providers, and banks.

The collaboration will allow MAPay to provide Bermuda with a country-wide deployment plan to lower transaction costs of healthcare encounters through the MAPay network, which will run on Algorand.

MAPay will also implement a patient-driven data exchange aimed at providing medical interoperability, population health management, and better overall outcomes.

“Our relationship with Algorand is a global game changer in healthcare commerce and data exchange,” said MAPay CEO Michael Dershem. 

Kevin Richards, head of portfolio and investment advisor Bermuda Asset Management (BAM), said that Bermuda’s innovative regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies continues to attract transformational projects.

“[It] places us at the center of what could power a global change in the way healthcare payments are transacted in Bermuda and around the world,” he said in a statement.

At a conference earlier this year, Dershem stated that if global healthcare transaction costs could be reduced by even 10 percent, nearly $1 trillion in capital would be freed up in the world, preferably to be used for providing vaccines in developing geographic regions, access to care in urban health deserts, and orphan drug research instead.

The Algorand blockchain operates at over 1,000TPS and is final in under 5 seconds on a platform that is verified to not fork. And in addition to providing an open, public infrastructure, Algorand’s technology is a high performing Layer-1 that enables immediate transaction finality, security required in the healthcare space, and advanced smart contracts that expand future potential.

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/algorand-could-soon-process-upto-800-million-in-healthcare-costs-in-bermuda/

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Fintech

Fintech Klarna hits mammoth $45.6bn valuation through new funding round

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Online payments provider Klarna has raised more than $639m in a new private fundraising round, led by Japan’s SoftBank to boost its valuation to almost $46bn, making it the second-biggest FinTech startup by valuation after Stripe

The quadradecacorn’s existing investors Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group also participated in the raise.

In the past Klarna has received backing from Sequoia Capital, SilverLake, Dragoneer, Permira, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bestseller Group, Ant Group, Northzone and GIC, as well as funds managed by BlackRock and HMI.

Klarna said it would use the new cash injection to continue to expand internationally and to develop new products. It has been investing heavily in the US, where it now has 18 million customers.

The new valuation represents an increase of almost 50% from Klarna’s post-money valuation of $31bn in March, when it raised $1bn.

Klarna, a regulated bank, touts itself as an alternative to credit cards. It allows shoppers to buy online through merchant partners including Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and Peloton among others and split payments into interest-free instalments.

Commenting on the mammoth round, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said, “Consumers continue to reject interest-and fee-laden revolving credit and are moving toward debit while simultaneously seeking retail experiences that better meet their needs.

“Klarna’s more transparent and convenient alternatives align with evolving global consumer preferences and drive worldwide growth. I’m very proud of the investors who are supporting Klarna’s ambition to challenge these outdated models to empower consumers with fair, transparent, and convenient products to help them bank, shop and pay each day.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Yanni Pipilis added, “Klarna’s growth is founded on a deep understanding of how the purchasing behaviours of consumers are changing, an evolution which we believe is accelerating.

“Klarna has already successfully expanded into the U.S., and we are excited to continue supporting the team in bringing the next generation of financial services to new markets worldwide.”

The use of BNPL services has indeed surged during the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent review by the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s former interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard, found that the value of transactions using BNPL had nearly quadrupled between January and December 2020. Overall BNPL is around 1% of the total credit market, the review found.

This funding round provides GiveOne, the initiative to support planet health established by Klarna earlier this year, with its third significant donation since launch. Recent investor A$AP Rocky pledged to support the Miti Alliance in Kenya and its founder Michael Waiyaki, who is fighting to slow down the effects of climate change due to deforestation. Klarna has also launched a CO2 tracker on every purchase.

It’s worth noting that investors continue to pump in money towards BNPL ventures despite the sector being criticised for putting customers’ financial well-being at risk. In response, regulators in the US and the UK have either launched or are expected to introduce new rules for the BNPL market.

Klarna witnessed a record annual revenue of $1.2bn in 2020. However, losses also climbed 50% to about $109.2m due to increased costs associated with its international expansion.

Klarna was also hit with a data breach last month, with users reporting they were being accidentally logged into other people’s accounts. The firm temporarily shut down its app. In a blog post, Klarna said the issue, which affected more than 9,500 users, was a bug caused by “human error,” and that it had “informed appropriate authorities.”

Copyright © 2021 AltAssets

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Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/deal-news/fintech-klarna-hits-mammoth-45-6bn-valuation-through-new-funding-round.html

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