WA pilot program for eInvoicing gets underway

Main Roads WA is set to be the first State Government Department in Western Australia to start eInvoicing by undertaking a pilot with Access Point Provider, Link4. 

Electronic invoicing is the automated digital exchange of invoice information directly between a supplier’s and buyer’s software based on an agreed standard. 

Robin Sands, CEO of Link4, says, “eInvoicing is safer than emailing a pdf invoice. It’s great that we’re starting to see more state government departments going digital with their procure-to-pay processes. Departments that are adopting eInvoicing are also seeing benefits such as increased efficiency gains, automation and invoice error reductions.” 

The pilot commences early in 2022 and involves a Link4, KOFAX and Oracle ERP Cloud integration. 


About Link4 

Link4 is an award winning, Peppol certified Access Point that provides seamless eInvoicing services throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. 

Not only is Link4 the most popular eInvoicing service used by Australian government departments (such as The Treasury, DISER, AOFM, Geoscience Australia, Sports Commission and APRA), other users include BOC Australia, the BGW Group, and thousands of Australian businesses that use Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks as their accounting system.

Third anniversary of Episode Six and HSBC’s partnership shows the power of banks and fintechs working together

PayMe, Hong Kong’s leading e-wallet, uses Episode Six’s payments platform

HSBC is an early-stage investor in Episode Six, which has raised US$40m of funding


Episode Six and HSBC are celebrating the third anniversary of a technology partnership that has played a role in helping PayMe from HSBC become Hong Kong’s leading e-wallet provider and proven how Episode Six’s platform, Tritium, can help banks quickly scale up products aimed at large customer bases and easily extend those products into new areas.

Since the partnership between PayMe and Episode Six started in 2018, PayMe’s user base has grown to over 2.5 million, while the app has gained the largest share of all e-wallet peer-to-peer fund transfers in Hong Kong and consistently expanded its merchant network across sectors in the city. Tritium is the industry’s most flexible and extensible technology of its kind with over 600 APIs and ready-to-launch product suites.

“The three-year milestone of our collaboration with Episode Six illustrates our dedication to nurture a strong ecosystem with the wider fintech community.” said Catherine Zhou, Global Head of Ventures, Digital Innovation and Partnerships at HSBC. “Partnerships like this are key to drive innovation within financial services and shape how the future of banking will look. With PayMe, we have re-imagined digital payments, enabling our customers and merchants to transact seamlessly within an engaging digital platform. Episode Six enables banks, fintechs and the broader business community to design effective digital journeys with efficiency.”

“We’re proud to be working with HSBC and growing our partnership while advancing financial technology,” said John Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of Episode Six. “Our platform is enabling traditional and digital first banks around the world to bring on-demand digital payment offerings to their customers, responding to the shifting needs of consumers and businesses globally. Our vision is for our extensible and adaptable platform architecture to empower all of our clients with unparalleled user-driven configurability to enable any payment transaction across any imaginable asset class, any time and in any way.”

#1 social payments app

PayMe from HSBC has quickly become Hong Kong’s most popular social payment app and a preferred channel for transferring money and connecting with friends and family since its launch in 2018. The roll-out of PayMe for Business, PayMe’s business solution, followed in early 2019, offering businesses in the city a new way to conveniently collect digital payments from consumers and manage cash flow.

Episode Six gives banks, fintechs and brands the freedom to design and bring winning payment propositions to market with unmatched speed across any asset class. The firm’s clients include global, regional, and domestic banks, neobanks, fintechs and insurtechs around the world. These organizations are drawn to Episode Six’s proven and high-performance technology, which can handle multiple thousands of transactions per second.

Tritium provides debit and credit wallet management, a native multi-asset ledger, payment processing and closed loop payment between merchants and consumers in one tech stack. By allowing HSBC to configure and reconfigure innovative payment offerings in real-time, the platform has supported PayMe’s efforts to respond quickly to changing consumer needs and merchant demand and become the leading digital payments app in Hong Kong.

Alongside institutions including Mastercard, SBI Investment Co., Ltd., and Anthos Capital, HSBC is also an investor in Episode Six, which has raised US$40m of capital since its foundation in Hong Kong in 2015.


PC: Fintech&Finance News


About Episode Six

Episode Six is a payments technology company that gives banks, fintechs and brands the freedom to design and bring to market leading digital payment propositions. It powers its clients’ payments journeys with the most flexible and adaptable platform on the market today, providing highly configurable products with user-driven tools and technology to optimize competitive response and customer demand. Episode Six’s platform, Tritium, and ledger enables the transfer of value of any kind – fiat currency, cryptocurrencies, brand value points, gold, and more. Episode Six operates globally across 23 countries with an expanding team located in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Investors include HSBC, Mastercard, SBI Investment Co., Ltd. and Anthos Capital. For more information, visit www.EpisodeSix.com or LinkedIn.


Media contact:

Ellin Choy
Ashbury Communications
echoy@ashburycommumications.com
(852) 98397442

Transformd Appoints Kathy Thomas as New Global Head of Operations and Delivery

Australian Fintech company Transformd appoints new hire for global launch of customer experience platform. 

Transformd, welcomes Kathy Thomas as Global Head of Operations and Delivery. Kathy Thomas previously Wealth Portfolio Manager at Suncorp and brings 12 years of Fintech Product development experience to Transformd starting January 2022.

“As a customer-led business, Kathy brings the right balance of customer service and best in class operational and delivery management experience required by Transformd as part of their global program.” said Managing Director, Bruce Emery. 

In Kathy’s previous role as Business Improvement Partner for Suncorp, she was responsible for Strategic Analysis to provide recommended options for improvement of business processes to all business units within the organisation. She supervised the roll out of systems and software to business users, including initial implementation, set up of SLA’s, Vendor Management and ongoing support and development of application and software. 

“Kathy’s contribution to customer excellence and project delivery will be a huge asset to Transformd.” said Bruce Emery. 

Kathy Thomas is an IT professional with a depth of experience in program management, project management and people leadership. Kathy has worked predominantly in the Financial Services arena responsible for delivery teams using both waterfall and agile methodologies. She has worked for both clients and vendors and has an excellent understanding of both business and technology needs from both sides. 

Kathy will have ownership for the customer engagement team, digital delivery specialist and leading the roll out of Tranformd’s new customer engagement program.  This appointment will support the significant growth in new customers to Transformd and our international expansion.  As our customers accelerate their digital transformation, we are ahead of the curve in supporting their aspirations through our own digital consulting services.


About Transformd

15 years ago, founder Mic Fishpool had the vision to bring dream customer experiences to reality with truly customer-focused platforms that put the customer experience first.  Today, Transformd is powering financial services, superannuation funds, corporates, insurance companies and more with the best technology in customer onboarding automation, digital delivery, and end-to-end process workflow automation. Transformd’s no-code platform makes it easy to collect and distribute data whilst effortlessly connecting customers, staff and systems. Easy to use drag and drop interface, fully brand customisable with seamless integrations. A smarter, faster and easier way to deliver automated end-to-end processes.


Media Contact:
Bruce Emery
Managing Director
bruce.emery@transformd.com
+61 2 9099 1066
https://transformd.com/

Introducing Australian Data Exchange x NUAI

A first of its kind partnership that unites consumer privacy with the innovation of artificial intelligence 

Australian Data Exchange forms NUAI partnership to offer ethical AI services for leading Fintech, Health and Platform companies.  

NUAI.ai, a rising star in the global DeepTech space, announced that the Australian Digital Exchange (ADX) had chosen the company as an Artificial Intelligence partner.  

ADX selected NUAI for its unparalleled AI technology that provides customised adaptive AI+ solutions with no downtime and NUAI’s insightful business capability of developing use cases for fast-growing businesses, empowering businesses to scale effortlessly. ADX and NUAI’s partnership delivers robust Data-Centric AI+ solutions that integrate seamlessly with ADX’s clients.  

“ADX is disrupting the first party personal data market and is proving to be one of the most innovative Australian data companies with its focus on consumer-centric and decentralised technologies. We are excited to partner with ADX and promote its global endeavours through NUAI,” said Tick Jiang, CEO and Founder of NUAI. Tick Jiang continued, “The partnership with ADX is an organic fit. ADX is an early adapter of data ownership, data privacy, personal data sharing and data ethics, with the exclusive distributor of 

Digi.me’s data utility platform. This partnership enables easy access to high-quality consented personal data, AI-powered Data analytics and decision intelligence, all at the same time. Our clients will then be able to create Industrial 4.0 and Web 3.0 applications that are highly relevant and personal to their users from those deep data in banking, social, health.”

“We’re optimistic NUAI’s partnership would deliver more innovation to businesses. The decentralised merits of Digi.me is in ADX’s DNA. By providing business-centric ethical AI, it’s clear NUAI shares our vision of leveraging cutting edge technology to bring better, faster and in demand results to businesses. We’re excited to join forces to develop unique solutions that will stand the test of time,” said Joanne Cooper, CEO and Founder of ADX.


For more information, please contact:

Joyce Zhang 

joyce@nuai.io


About NUAI

NUAI is an International Artificial Intelligence company that delivers AI+ solutions for real-world business challenges. NUAI designs and crafts business-centric AI+ solutions from AI strategies to state-of-art AI/ML deployment. 

NUAI has a team of world-leading AI scientists, AI business experts and professors, from Facebook (Meta) AI, Apple AI, Sumsang AI and Didi AI. We also actively collaborate with leading Artificial Intelligence professors and scholars from world-leading universities like ASU, UNC in the US.


Core Service 

  1. Customised AI+ Solution: NUAI will create an AI+ strategy for your business to build and customise the most time-to-value AI+ solutions, ready for petabyte-scale. Execute fully scalable AI+ solutions for your business and enterprises.
  2. End-to-end AI+ Solutions: Complete customised AI solutions that fit seamlessly with your business. End-to-end working pipeline with AI Models. NUAI will perform a full business assessment for you and find the most valuable and affordable solution that AI can do for your business. We build and train AI models that not only grow and evolve with your business but also empower your business that you can even register IP and apply to Patent with it.
  3. AI Consulting & Advice: Learn about how AI can accelerate your business growth. Help with your current AI strategies partnerships, or help you set up your AI strength in the marketplace. 

Specialised AI Technology 

  • Fintech & Open-Banking AI
  • Marketing & Platform AI
  • Gaming & Metaverse AI
  • Healthtech & Medical AI
  • Robotic Automation AI

About ADX

Australian Data Exchange (idexchange.me) develops, collaborate and represent world-leading privacy-enhancing or preserving technologies. 

Founded by Joanne Cooper, a leading female tech entrepreneur in Australia, ADX has pioneered the consumer data rights and privacy movement in Australia.

digi.me App: Consumer-centric data-sharing platform: Join the personal data economy to gain more value, services or rewards by increasing safe and consented multi-sector data exchange directly from a secure Digi.me data wallet.

Consentry App where business can get staff back to work safely through anonymised employee and visitor intelligence during accurate COVID Rapid Antigen screening. 

Temenos Launches Industry’s First AI-Driven Buy-Now-Pay-Later Banking Service on the Temenos Banking Cloud

Temenos (SIX: TEMN), the banking software company, today announced the launch of its Buy-Now-Pay-Later banking service. This offering will open up new revenue opportunities for banks and fintechs, help them reach new markets and cement their relationships with both consumers and merchants through alternative credit products.

Temenos BNPL, combined with patented Explainable AI, can help banks create ethically-driven lending programs by providing transparency into automated decisions and matching BNPL customers with appropriate credit offers based on their history.

As more consumers have turned to e-commerce amidst the pandemic, point-of-sale installment loans have grown in popularity and value. Consumer credit and installment loans have been revolutionized in the Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) era by BNPL, which is seamlessly embedded into the customer buying journey to provide consumers a frictionless digital experience and easy access to finance at the point of sale. It also helps merchants improve retail customer acquisition, share of wallet, and retention. In 2021, online revenue through BNPL increased by 45% compared to 2019.McKinsey estimates fintechs have diverted up to $10bn in annual revenues away from banks over the past ~24 months with BNPL offerings.​

BNPL provides significant advantages for both fintechs and banks. Fintechs benefit from rapid customer and merchant acquisition with relatively lower credit risk and more payments transactions. At the same time, banks can strengthen engagement with their customers, increase wallet share and loyalty by creating seamless, convenient purchasing experiences. BNPL can be profitable for incumbent banks that can build on their strengths, such as providing greater flexibility of loan terms and conditions and higher capital utilization due to faster loan turnover and lower regulatory capital requirements. Furthermore, BNPL presents cross-sell opportunities with potentially more engaged bank and non-bank customers.

The Temenos Buy-Now-Pay-Later banking service is independently consumable via the Temenos Banking Cloud. It’s agnostic of the underlying core banking system, being deployed alongside Temenos Transact or any other core banking solution and incorporates industry best practices while offering responsible lending capabilities to help providers adapt to evolving regulations. By offering the BNPL banking service, Temenos provides a fully flexible, pay-as-you-go solution that enables banks to rapidly introduce BNPL at scale without having to provision new IT infrastructure, so that they can focus on the customer experience.

By embedding XAI, Temenos enables clients to pre-approve loan applications or propose variable installments in real-time based on pre-determined criteria, including soft and hard credit scoring, while providing transparency into how decisions are made. This enables banks and fintechs to lend ethically, provide transparency into recommended payment schedules during the application process, and ensure that consumers can afford the repayments.

A global payments provider launched its Buy-Now-Pay-Later service on the Temenos Banking Cloud, growing to 22 million loan applications in just nine months, the fastest and most successful product launch in the company’s history. 70% of its customers are repeat users who love the product, with 50% using it again within three months.

Ginger Schmeltzer, Strategic Advisor, Retail Banking and Payments, Aite-Novarica Group:

Buy-Now-Pay-Later continues to grow in popularity, and this is reflected in increased adoption by retailers like Target and Amazon as well as a growing number of small and mid-sized merchants. The Temenos SaaS solution for BNPL, combined with embedded AI, brings together proven technology with increased speed, efficiency, scalability and decision-making transparency. Temenos’ robust and flexible BNPL as a Service will make this new business model available to companies of any size from the credit unions and the challengers, to global payments providers and Tier 1 banks.”

Max Chuard, Chief Executive Officer, Temenos, said:

“In an extremely competitive market, financial services providers need to evaluate new business models to drive revenue. As the strategic technology provider for over 3,000 banks worldwide, we are committed to empowering our clients to pioneer and adopt those new, profitable business models. Buy-Now-Pay-Later has shown the industry that we can come up with new solutions to old problems. It has challenged the way we think about customer engagement, acquisition and retention. We are very excited to launch this new solution to enable our clients to offer alternative financing that is fast, seamless, and scalable.”


Temenos Press Contacts

Jessica Wolfe & Scott RoweTemenos Global Public Relations
+1 610 232 2793 / +44 20 7423 3857
press@temenos.comAlistair Kellie & Andrew Adie

Newgate Communications for Temenos
+44 20 7680 6550
allnewgatetemenos@newgatecomms.com

Five Fintechs on Friday – January 21, 2022

The new edition of the five fintechs on Friday is here!

Welcome back and wishing you a happy and prosperous new year. This is the first newsletter on Five FinTechs on Friday for 2022, as we kickstart the year with new announcements and initiatives.

But first, news from the industry…

Verrency, one of the fastest-growing fintechs in payments services goes global. DiviPay raises $20 million Series A to fortify its full-stack spend management suite for SMEs.

Also, Fundsquire partners with Railz to offer an integrated, quicker, and transparent funding platform and Wisr appoints new Non-Executive Director, Cathryn Lyall, to the Board.

Below are five fintechs to know about this fortnight!

 

Zepto

Anchored by its merchant origins, Zepto creates real-time, data-driven, account-to-account merchant payment solutions for the on-demand economy. In 2021, Zepto was the first Australian non-bank payments provider to become an Accredited Data Recipient under the ACCC’s Consumer Data Right, and the first non-bank FinTech to connect directly to the New Payments Platform [NPP] as a Connected Institution. Zepto’s composable API lets merchants acquire, receive, disburse, identify parties, establish consent, create virtual accounts and reconcile automatically. Zepto’s payment messaging is granular & real-time, supporting smarter, data-led business decision making and customer experiences.

 

OnMarket

OnMarket is a capital raising platform and advisory business that uniquely pairs retail and sophisticated investors with Australian businesses – covering a wide-breadth of industries and simplifying the opportunity to invest in SMEs in all stages of growth – from Seed to IPO and beyond. The end of 2021 saw OnMarket achieve the milestone of raising over $170m for 220 Australian businesses from 66,000 investors – positioning them as the leading capital raising platform in Australia. OnMarket welcomes all types of investors to support the Australian start-up space and invest with impact. Learn more about your opportunity with OnMarket here.

 

Assurance Lab

AssuranceLab is a cloud-native audit partner using supporting Regtech and specialising in the “SOC” standards. We help our tech clients unlock Open Banking (ASAE 3150), support publicly listed enterprises (SOC 1), and satisfy security and compliance for global enterprise sales (SOC 2). We launched our Open Banking accreditation services this year with our first audit and application completed last month. We’re now offering no fees until accreditation to kick-start the next wave of innovative, data-driven fintech’s!

 

Ignition Advice

Ignition is a leading global advice technology specialist for financial institutions seeking to help more customers access financial advice in a fast and scalable way. We help clients combine the power of digital intelligence with a human touch to enable smarter, more flexible and secure advice delivery. We partner with banks, insurers and wealth managers worldwide. Our SaaS platform integrates seamlessly into existing systems enabling clients to deliver a customer-centric experience that brings a customer and adviser together into a single advice workflow. We have been featured in global media including Australian Financial Review and UK Financial Times and have released a series of Insights papers. Our latest paper discusses Social Responsibility and Digital Advice. Check it out here: Insights – Ignition Advice | Digital advice. Made human.

 

Binance Australia

Binance Australia is a digital currency exchange platform that enables Australian customers to easily buy and trade cryptocurrencies with Australian Dollar (AUD). Binance Australia offers users deep liquidity and convenient deposit and withdrawal methods while leveraging cutting-edge technology from Binance.com’s advanced trading platform. For more information, visit: https://www.binance.com/en-AU/

Check out our previous issues here

Sandstone Technology recognised as ‘Company of the Year 2021- BANKING’ by APAC Business Headlines

Having the vision to see beyond the contemporary and identify possibilities for the future is a rare skill. Bob Hall and Violet Yu were two such promising individuals who saw the endless possibilities that the internet had to offer to the banking and financial industry. However, taking this idea forward was not easy in the day. Online banking as a concept was still new, and even the most progressive banks were hesitant and apprehensive of shifting online because of the uncertainty and risks associated with it.

Not many have had the conviction to turn an idea so infantile and immature in its respective field into a tangible and marketable product that withstands the screening and harshness of the finance world. But, Bob Hall and Violet Yu, ex-employees of IBM, brought the best of both worlds- finance and technology-together, to launch one of the first ever fintech enterprises in the Australian landscape.

Shortly in 1996, Sandstone Technology was founded in a garage with the mission of providing digital solutions to banks and financial institutions. The company’s aim was to eradicate as many pain points as they possibly could to enhance the day-to-day banking operations and provide digital solutions through their products and services. Today, the company has not only removed the unnecessarily lengthy and complex procedures from traditional banking, but has also made finance accessible, frictionless and a better experience for the banking staff as well as the customers.

The journey

Sandstone Technology achieved its first breakthrough when Adelaide Bank of Australia subscribed to their solutions. Bob and Violet travelled to Adelaide and convinced Adelaide bank to select them. The ideas they expounded looked promising enough for Adelaide Bank of Australia to take their chance upon this bubbling new start up for their internet banking.

The company’s growth has only been upward since then attracting customers from across the globe. However, in order for any business to prosper, boundaries need to be set and direction of growth and expansion needs to be determined to establish a name and identity in the market. And Sandstone Technology knew this.

As success followed, Sandstone made sure that they did not get lost in the attractive yet fatal web of expanding into every marketable domain that came along the way. They narrowed down their products and created a platform focussed on what they did best: digitising banking operations and replacing the complexity from traditional banking processes with AI and automation.

25 years down the lane, Sandstone has expanded in the UK and New Zealand in addition to Australia, catering to over 35 customers based in APAC and the UK, and providing digital products and services in a plethora of areas including mobile banking apps, internet banking, end-to-end origination, AI and machine learning.

The work culture at Sandstone

The secret to Sandstone’s success has been their approach to problem identification and solving. It has enabled the company to come up with solutions that go beyond the ordinary to provide the most optimal of solutions.

Today, under the leadership of CEO, Michael Phillipou, the company’s primary focus is to differentiate by executing on a ‘best people’ strategy. That is, Sandstone Technology is focused on ensuring that it has a highly-engaged team of the most capable and experienced people in banking, financial services and technology, in order to provide its global customers with market leading digital banking platforms. Accordingly, the staff at Sandstone are some of the best from their area of expertise and demonstrate deep knowledge of their respective domains. This helps Michael Phillipou and the Sandstone executive team build an ecosystem that encourages deep market research, collaboration and analytics-based understanding of the future trends, to allow for an informed and well-analysed solution for the customer.

Sandstone follows a customer-first approach in their working model and there is also an active attempt to keep an eye out for customer interest in trying times. For instance, as the firm realised the need for self-service tools very early in the pandemic, they were quick to develop tools to help consumers manage their loans, mortgages etc., ensuring that their customer banks sail easy though one of the worst crises of the century.

The three guiding principles that make Sandstone stand out from its competitors are:

  • Giving the best customer experience,
  • An exceptional product experience, and
  • Creating an ideal space for employees to work

Their approach to products and services

Sandstone is one of the few companies in the Australian landscape that provides financial institutions with an omni-channel end-to-end digital banking solution. Being a business transformation partner, they realise the stakes that banks put at risk and the horrors of a failed or ill-executed plan. They hence conduct multiple test runs and trials and boast a 100% implementation success rate.

With a focus on taking the complexity out of traditional banking operations, they enhance end-to-end customer experience through the use of AI and automation, thereby making it easy for the consumer as well as the internal banking staff. Their focus lies in the automation of low value tasks that are time consuming. This will eventually allow bank employees to focus their time on the more developmental aspects of the job.

Today, the range of products, services and end-to-end solutions offered by Sandstone have become so diverse that they have emerged as a one stop solution to the challenges of digitisation in the finance industry. Customer banks need to figure out only their core operations and the rest of the specifics in their digital transformation can all be taken care of by Sandstone.

Vision and future

For a company that is invested in digitisation, automation and AI, the future holds great promise for growth and abundance of opportunities. As more banks turn to expanding their digital operations, Sandstone Technology, under Michael Phillipou’s leadership, looks forward to partnering with financial institutions across the globe and assisting them with a smooth and viable transformation with their expertise and experience.

As the market slowly transforms to an API and SaaS based economy, there is an emerging need for highly consumable digital offerings, where the company is planning to invest its main focus in the coming future. For a short-term goal, Sandstone is all set to launch a single platform that caters to both consumers as well as small business customers in 2022.

Sandstone Technology, as the name itself suggests is representative of a robust and strong presence in the Australian fintech landscape and has proved itself to be a powerful ally that financial institutions can rely upon for their transformation projects.

Shift grows merchant team

Brings finance on demand to more Australian businesses

Shift, a provider of credit and payment platforms, has announced the expansion of its merchant team.

As part of the expansion, Paul Barker has joined the team in the newly created leadership role of Merchant Sales Director, while Elizabeth Vella has taken on the also newly-created role of National Manager, Go-to-Market and Projects.

Paul’s pedigree includes several roles across technology and payments, having led high growth sales and partnerships teams in several of Shift’s key target markets including trades and services, franchise, FMCG and retail.

According to Paul, the team will work closely with merchants, enabling their customers to multiply their spending power by taking advantage of Shift’s credit, payment, and trade solutions.

“What I’ve experienced over the last couple of years is a rapid acceleration in merchants focused on ensuring they deliver a frictionless customer journey as a means of attracting, retaining and increasing the value of each customer,” said Paul.

“Shift, hands down, has the most seamless customer experience I’ve seen and the funding capacity to deliver at scale. The opportunity in front of us is to enable more merchants to provide a customer experience advantage over their competitors.

“With the product roadmap for Shift Trade and payment solutions, I can confidently say we’re set to make life easier for businesses wanting flexible options for themselves and their customers in 2022.”

In her role as National Manager, Go-to-Market and Projects, Elizabeth Vella will focus on merchant enablement and relationship management, assisting merchants new to the Shift network to implement and run their new trade and payment facilities.

Elizabeth joined Shift following various financial services and fintech roles, where she established and grew key partner relationships.

“With buyers increasingly savvy regarding different trade and payment options, I look forward to working with Paul and the Shift team to bring the same flexibility and choice to merchants across Australia,” said Elizabeth.


About Shift
Originally established as GetCapital in 2014, the company rebranded as Shift in October 2021 as part of its mission to provide businesses with finance on demand. Enabled by streaming data, Shift offers a better way for Australian businesses to trade, pay and access funds.  Winner of the IDC 2020 Digital Disruptor and Omni Experience Innovator awards for Australia and New Zealand, Shift has also been named to the Deloitte Fast50 list four years in a row, the Smart50 awards, the AFR Fast 100 List and voted by LinkedIn as one of the Top 25 Australian Startups to work.  www.shift.com.au


For queries

Ged Mansour
Corporate Communications Lead

T: 0411 349 476
E: ged.mansour@shift.com.au
A: Level 21, 177 Pacific Hwy, North Sydney NSW 2060
W: www.shift.com.au

The big opportunity for Open Finance: Majority of SMEs say financial integrations increase their efficiency

  • Research shows SMEs welcome Open Finance.
  • These businesses believe it’s more important for financial apps to integrate with their accounting software than their bank account.
  • New report explains why Open Finance regulation must prioritise the right data for SMEs

London: 19 January 2022 – New research from Codat has revealed SMEs’ strong appetite for the benefits of Open Finance. As the debate around Open Banking and Open Finance gathers pace, 7 out of 10 of businesses say financial integrations make their business operations faster and more efficient.

However, these integrations must focus on the right data. Businesses think it is more important for a financial app to connect to their accounting software than their bank 21% more respondents stated that they would not use an application that didn’t integrate with their accounting software. Sharing data via a portal is also seen as more secure than via email, with 82% in agreement. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses believe that time spent on accounting admin takes them away from growing their business.

The findings are revealed in Codat’s Open for Business report which explains the case for a fresh approach to Open Finance that will benefit SMEs and their financial service providers, and in turn fuel economic growth.

Currently, policy conversations around extending Open Banking into a broader form of Open Finance are concerned with consumer interests and are not taking into account the needs of small businesses. Opening up datasets such as pensions, mortgages, investments, energy, and telecoms ignores the most vital financial data to small businesses.

It’s time to rethink

The framework for judging which datasets should next be incorporated into Open Finance and Open Data policy must take into consideration the frequency with which the data is shared or moved between systems and the value the sharing process offers.

Gavin Littlejohn, Chair of FDATA Global (Financial Data and Technology Association), said: “Open Banking regimes to date have focused on consumer needs as default. As the conversation develops to address finance more broadly rather than banking, the needs of these two groups will diverge further and therefore, it’s critical that lawmakers consider the distinct requirements for small businesses when designing Open Finance policy.”

The way forward

To best benefit small businesses, policymakers should next consider accounting and sales data, versus for example, mortgage, investment, or utilities data. 

“The advantage of fit for purpose Open Finance for SMEs is evident,” said Peter Lord, CEO at Codat. “We firmly believe that small businesses own their financial data and they should be able to share it freely with whomever they like – no matter which system holds that data. Although many small business financial platforms already have open APIs, the reality is that there are significant hidden barriers that make accessing and sharing data difficult. Appropriate regulation should work for all parties and ensure that small and medium-sized businesses everywhere can benefit from Open Finance.” 

The Open for Business report summarises three recommendations:

  1. The needs of small businesses and consumers will diverge further when it comes to Open Finance than Open Banking. When the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, the CFPB in the United States and other regulatory bodies address and consult on Open Finance, small business needs should receive separate consideration.
  2. The next data sources for Open Finance should be prioritised based on the value of the data sharing process and frequency.
  3. Unquestionably for businesses, accounting data should be next.

Download the full report here.


About the research and report

Codat used a combination of publicly available research and private survey findings to substantiate the Open for Business report. The independent survey was carried out by Attest on behalf of Codat in November 2021. The survey involved a total sample size of 1,200 small-medium sized businesses based in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, of 0-500 employees.


About Codat

Codat is the universal API for small business data. The real-time connectivity that Codat provides enables software providers and financial institutions to build integrated products for their small business customers.

Codat clients range from lenders to corporate card providers and business forecasting tools and use cases include automatic reconciliation, business dashboarding, and loan decisioning. Codat was founded in 2017 and has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Sydney. 

The company has raised over $60M to date from investors including Tiger Global, PayPal Ventures, Index Ventures, and American Express Ventures. 

www.codat.io

Change: Simplifying payment experiences worldwide 

Change Financial (Change) is a global fintech, providing payment solutions to banks and fintechs. Change partners with clients to provide simple, flexible, and fast to market payment solutions and services.

“What many banks and fintech firms need to do is be able to facilitate in person and digital payments for their customers. We provide all of that underlying technology,” said Alastair Wilkie, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Change Financial

Change, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, currently partners with over 146 clients across 41 countries, managing and processing over 16 million credit, debit, and prepaid cards worldwide. 

Change began life by providing a retail banking service via a mobile app and prepaid debit cards to the unbanked and under-banked in the U.S.

“The whole purpose was to give these under banked access to cash through ATMs but there was no credit facility. Ultimately, Change had over 300,000 customers who had decided to activate a card, and this gave them access to money through the banks,” Mr Wilkie said. 

By broadening the digital channels that customers could use to access its services to include Facebook and Google, Change grew rapidly to the point that by the end of 2019 it had been registered as a Mastercard payments processor. This made it the first card issuing and payment platform to complete this process in the previous five years and only the second fintech to achieve this status in the previous 20 years after Marqeta Inc. 

In 2020 Change took another leap forward with the acquisition of the Australia and New Zealand business assets of Wirecard whose clients included the big four Australian banks and major supermarket chains. 

Change has now emerged as a critical service provider that connects licensed banks with companies to provide integrated payment processing and card management services. It also offers performance and maintenance services to ensure business clients meet high standards.

Through its customisable payments platform Vertexon, Change helps businesses to issue cards, digital wallets, and BNPL systems; enables access to major card schemes like Mastercard, VISA and AMEX, and offers Apple, Google and Samsung pay services. 

Vertexon’s software as a service (SaaS) model connects existing licensed banks with modern application programming interface (API) driven businesses. Its payments technology provides the software infrastructure that enables clients to offer a sophisticated, quick to market, payments capability.

Change’s PaySim offers a full end-to-end payment testing solution to ensure clients meet the capability and performance expectations of their customers by simulating the full transaction lifecycle.

PaySim’s API enables clients to automate their testing functions and integrate it with their testing and quality assurance toolsets. 

Along the way to reaching this total product offering, Mr Wilkie said the company faced two key challenges. 

“The first was the strategic move to being a processor as well as being a payments platform service provider, effectively moving from prepaid to a debit and credit card processor. This took over two and half years to complete because of all the regulatory requirements,” he said. 

“The second major challenge was how to encapsulate all the evolving consumer payment needs like mobile access, virtual and digital cards, and the newly emerging payment options like Apple Pay Google Pay and Samsung pay. 

“This was all about creating a wider remit of how you pay which all required a major expansion in technology. This also had to be done without ending up costing clients a lot of money,” Mr Wilkie said. 

While Change developed a strategy to do this in 2020 which it estimated would take up to three years to implement, fortunately at the same time along came the Wirecard acquisition.

“I estimate that 70 to 80 percent of what we were trying to achieve within three years was available to us by making a strategic acquisition of Wirecard’s assets,” Mr Wilkie said.

“We also got access to a highly trained staff and a large revenue base generated from around the world. In all it brought forward our three-year strategic plan by about 18 months,” Mr Wilkie said. 

Looking ahead, Mr Wilkie said Change expected that by the end of the current financial year in June we will have a number of new customers operating on our platform. The company is also looking at all the new forms of digital finance payments like cryptocurrencies. 

“We are engaging with those opportunities, like Crypto and BNPL, that really help to improve the consumer interaction with payments,” Mr Wilkie said.

Change is building momentum in the Australian payments as a service (PaaS) space, leveraging its experience in the US market to become a truly global solutions provider.

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