Five Application Scenarios of AI in Banking

DENIS OSTAPCHENYA | April 13, 2021 | 35 views

Over the past decades, banks have been improving their ways of interacting with customers. They have tailored modern technology to the specific character of their work. For example, in the 1960s, the first ATMs appeared, and ten years later, there were already cards for payment. At the beginning of our century, users learned about round-the-clock online banking, and in 2010, they heard about mobile banking. But the development of the financial system didn’t stop there, as the digital age is opening up new opportunities — the use of Artificial Intelligence. By 2023, banks are projected to save $447 billion by applying AI apps. We will tell you how financial institutions are making use of this technology in their operations today. 

AI-powered chatbots
Chatbots are AI-enabled conversational interfaces. This is one of the most popular cases of applying AI in banking. Bots communicate with thousands of customers on behalf of the bank without requiring large expenses. Researchers have estimated that financial institutions save four minutes for each communication that the chatbot handles.
Since customers use mobile apps to carry out monetary transactions, banks embed chatbot services in them. This makes it possible to attract users’ attention and create a brand that is recognizable in the market.
For example, Bank of America launched a chatbot that sends users notifications, informs them about their balances, makes recommendations for saving money, provides updates to credit reports, and so on. This is the way the bank helps its clients to make informed decisions.
Another example is the launch of the Ceba chatbot, which brought great success to the Australian Commonwealth Bank. With its help, about half a million customers were able to solve more than two hundred banking issues: activate their cards, check account balances, withdraw cash, etc.

Mobile banking
AI functionality in mobile apps is becoming more proactive, personalized, and advanced. For example, Royal Bank of Canada has included Siri in its iOS app. Now, to send money to another card, it’s enough to say something like: "Hey, Siri, send $30 to Lisa!" - and confirm the transaction using Touch ID.
Thanks to AI, banks generate 66% more revenue from mobile banking users than when customers visit branches. Banking organizations are paying close attention to this technology to improve their quality of services and remain competitive in the market.

Data collection and analysis
Banking institutions record millions of business transactions every day. The volume of information generated by banks is enormous, so its collection and registration turn into an overwhelming task for employees. Structuring and recording this data is impossible until there is a plan for its use. Therefore, determining the relationship between the collected data is challenging, especially when a bank has thousands of clients.
There used to be the following approach: a client came to a meeting with a bank employee who knew their name and financial history and understood what options were better to offer. But that's history now. With the wealth of data coming from countless transactions, banks are trying to implement innovative business ideas and risk management solutions.
AI-based apps collect and analyze data. This improves the user experience. The information can be used for granting loans or detecting fraud. Companies that estimated their profit from Big Data analysis have reported an average increase in revenue by 8% and a reduction in costs by 10%.

Risk management
Extension of credit is quite a challenging task for bankers. If a bank gives money to insolvent customers, it can get into difficulties. If a borrower loses a stable income, this leads to default. According to statistics, in 2020, credit card delinquencies in the U.S. rose by 1.4% within six months.
AI-powered systems can appraise customer credit histories more accurately to avoid this level of default. Mobile banking apps track financial transactions and analyze user data. This helps banks anticipate the risks associated with issuing loans, such as customer insolvency or the threat of fraud.

Data security
According to the Federal Trade Commission report for 2020, credit card fraud is the most common type of personal data theft.
AI-based systems are effective against malefactors. The programs analyze customer behavior, location, and financial habits and trigger a security mechanism if they detect any unusual activity. ABI Research estimates that spending on AI and cybersecurity analytics will amount to $96 billion by the end of 2021.
Amazon has already acquired harvest.AI - an AI cyber security startup - and launched Macie - a service that applies Machine Learning to detect, sort, and structure data in S3 cloud storage.

Spotlight

Mazuma Capital Corp

Mazuma Capital Corp is a national direct lease originator. Funding transactions for middle-market customers from $100k-$20m. Mazuma provides equipment lease financing delivered with exceptional customer service at the lowest possible cost. A strong, stable lessor who understands your industry is an invaluable partner. We have a broad knowledge of many equipment-heavy industries and emerging technologies. Mazuma works with many different industries and types of equipment. Here are just a few industries we work with: Construction/Comercial Equipment, Renewable Energy, Medical/Healthcare/Biotechnology, Information Technology/Software/Services, Aerospace/Aviation, Mining, Telecommunications, Food and Beverage, Gas/Oil/Utilities, Agriculture, Manufacturing/Packaging/Tooling, Services/Insurance and more. Equipment Lease/Financing, Vendor Financing Programs, Strategic Partner Programs, Broker Programs, Capital Lease Finance

OTHER ARTICLES

3 Reasons CFOs Should Care About Investing in Cloud Based Banking

Article | May 26, 2022

Consumers today want fast, seamless, and effective services at their fingertips. In a world of virtualization, these demands keep bank C-levels on their feet. What better than cloud technology to address these demands? Cloud computing uses the internet to access data stored on external servers. Traditionally, banks have been slow adopters of technology and for good reasons. The risks involved in becoming a heavily cloud-dependent organization aren’t few. And banking institutions too, take their own time to assess risks. Despite this, cloud computing in banking presents a glowing opportunity for financial institutions to transform their operations. On-premise banking infrastructure no longer cuts it. It cannot meet modern challenges that require banks to access applications via the internet. Moving to the cloud isn’t a not an easy bargain, but one with many paybacks that bank CFOs must take note of. In this article we talk about the intricacies of switching from on-premise to the cloud in a modern context. We also talk about how CFOs can regulate costs and drive long-term financial strategies using the cloud. Ironclad Security Security is a serious concern for banks when moving to the cloud. Although 90% of banks use cloud computing for non-core processes, core services remain on the premise and off the cloud. This leaves a huge opportunity unused. With the unique security challenges so common to banking institutions, CFOs can advocate for specialized security enforcement solutions inside and outside the cloud that can meet rigorous security parameters. Fraud detection- It is important to mention here that public clouds are known to be more secure than on-premise infrastructure. This is thanks to the layers of protection that the cloud can be equipped with. Cloud-based banking also offers seamless fraud detection and protection by assessing large amounts of data from a variety of sources. It empowers banking institutions to stay ahead of the curve when anticipating discrepancies beforehand. Blockchain integration- Blockchain is the latest in technological innovation to provide ground-breaking use cases. In cloud banking services, blockchain is outgrowing its cryptocurrency ecosystem. It can be used to add a layer of security to data and cloud architecture. Richer Analytical Insights, Better Financial Reporting Cloud services for banks arm banking and financial institutions with the ability to breakdown data silos across the organization. This leads to centralizing data and generating 360-degree insight for analytics. Data insights have been proven to transform decision-making, operational efficiencies, and organizational processes. The most significant advantage, however, is product and consumer analytics. Product analytics- A reduction in product deployment cycles is just one of the many advantages that cloud computing in banking has to offer. It simplifies product testing in a way that enables organizations to test new solutions and to meet market demands and challenges while thinking on their feet. One of the most significant advantages is the easy facilitation of cloud banking possibilities that can empower customers of both traditional and non-traditional financial services. Consumer analytics- The cloud offers a hyper-flexible platform that is ideal for processing tremendous amounts of real-time data. For instance, when the cloud replaced an investment bank’s legacy banking infrastructure, it yielded an enormous boost in analytics. The transformation enabled trading teams to explore new strategies, execute experiments, and adopt analysis of data points they did not have before. Barclays, a premier banking institution, was able to free up resources for its risk analysis team by implementing a cloud-based automation process. This is further helping banks and financial firms tailor products that align with consumer demand while also balancing financial risks in a volatile market. Companies that do not make customer experience a priority will struggle and quickly fall behind.” Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO at The Pedowitz Group Agility in Developing and Scaling New Product Offerings Agility is not just a buzzword in business. Today’s processes need to be lean and simplified to support growth in a fast-changing market. Cloud computing empowers organizations to be nimble in reacting to competitive market landscapes. In addition, accompanied by the power of data, modern financial institutions can go further than they would have anticipated in designing solutions. The wide-berth of opportunities posed by cloud computing for financial services can help create a highly competitive, agile, and scalable financial organization. Constraints to Look Out for When Switching to Cloud Computing for Banks While cloud banking services provide a new vista for banking and financial services, the transition to cloud banking may not be simple. The banking sector is evolving, and the demonstrated capabilities of the cloud come with a significant challenge that senior leaders must take into account. Migration Costs- The upfront cost of using cloud computing in banking is high. This may keep many banking and financial services’ organizations, especially smaller ones, from truly leveraging the cloud for open banking. A thorough financial analysis and planning is required to attain an equilibrium in cost through cloud banking services. Skill Shortage in Cloud- According to an Accenture study, 41% of organizations rank a shortage of cloud skills as one of the top three barriers to adopting the cloud. Achieving a balance of in-house and third party cloud talent is key. A great example of this was demonstrated by the banking industry itself when it transitioned from brick-and-mortar operations to digital and from websites to mobile. Compliance Concerns- Meeting security regulations and banking compliance codes is another significant challenge for cloud banking. Although regulatory authorities are increasingly supporting the cloud transformation, many banking institutions are cautious when it comes to exposing critical moving parts to regulation and the risk of non-compliance. To Round Off The cloud offers modern technology that is ready to scale at a day’s notice. With agility on offer, cloud computing in finance is much more than just an on-demand access to computing resources. Banking technology services are poised for a revolution, and cloud banking will play a major role in it. The points covered in this article discuss the immediate benefits that the cloud can offer. But as consumer demands and expectations undergo a whirlwind of activity, banking and financial services must join the bandwagon. They will need to assess how to leverage the cloud for their specific needs in a way that increases ROI and creates a sustainable, thriving organization. Frequently Asked Questions What are some storage options for cloud computing in finance? Public cloud storage is easily scalable as well as economical while private cloud storage offers complete control and greater scalability. Hybrid cloud storage offers the best of both worlds with significant user control and simplified customizations. Banks can explore a combination of cloud storage solutions that align with their security needs. What are the types of cloud banking services used by banking institutions? The types of cloud banking services that banks can opt for include: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) How many banks are now using the cloud? An IBM banking multicloud survey revealed that over 91% of banking and financial institutions were already actively using cloud technology.

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SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE

How Open Banking is Uncovering the Shroud of Consumer Experience

Article | August 4, 2022

The future of financial services is here, and transparency is at the core of the evolution. While technology, as with other industries, is at the center of the transformation, the unfolding face of finance is fueled by more than just innovation in technology. Putting the Consumer at the Heart of Banking Open banking is the latest advancement to come out of the crucible of technology and growing consumer demands. Open banking is the practice of enabling third-party financial solutions providers complete access to the consumer financial data stored by banks and non-banking financial institutions. This is executed with the help of application programming interfaces, or APIs. The concept of open APIs has been around in the form of standard web APIs that provide limited access to consumer data to IT departments of financial institutions (FIs). How Open Banking Aims to Raise the Bar? Currently, several process challenges are hampering customers’ banking experiences across the board. Some of these include lack of proactive customer service, lengthy resolutions, and delayed support. Open banking will get the ball rolling for new and small banks to compete with larger, established banking institutions. The increase in competition, transparency, freedom, and clarity is aimed at empowering consumers to seek out comparisons and customizations in financial services. For instance, through open banking solutions, consumers can easily access details on interest rates, banking fees, and other costs associated with a financial product or service. What’s in it for Financial Institutions? Any new financial and banking concept must be lucrative for it to be sustainable. So, it wouldn’t be unwise to ask how it benefits financial institutions of all shapes and sizes. While the open banking practice is customer-centric at heart, it has several benefits for everyone, from large corporations to small banks. Increasing Traction for a Wider Range of Products and Services Open banking will offer next-generation analytics capabilities that will set the ball rolling for banking institutions to cross-sell their products. By storing and managing all banking data on one platform, organizations will be able to optimize business resources while personalizing cross-selling and upselling offers to customers. Garnering Clear Insights to Inform New and Better Business Decisions Consumer research will no longer be needed for rolling out new products and services. With a holistic view of the banking customers’ data at hand, FIs can drum up their investments and make better business decisions. Gaining an Edge Over Competitors with Much Lesser Market Research Open banking allows fintech companies and other financial institutions access to data. But in addition, it also allows institutions to communicate with each other, which means being able to diversify and offer financial products that are a departure from the usual offering. Even then, FIs will be able to mold their solutions to meet the most urgent challenges of customers. Preparing for the Inevitable Disruption Whether or not you’re looking to adopt the open banking system, it is on a path towards disruption in financial services. Where FIs have been traditionally closed in order to maintain security, open banking is delivering iron clad security and privacy without the restrictions. Getting a peek into a rich set of consumer data is the best way to create valuable offering that uplifts traditionally banking service to be innovative and customer-centric and thus sustainable and effective.

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CORE BANKING

Blockchain and Its Most Useful Applications in Finance

Article | July 20, 2022

Blockchain technology is notable for its transparent database, safe data, decentralized network, and cryptographic transactions. By incorporating blockchain into existing banking procedures, FinTech firms have advanced even further. The powerful blockchain technology notably stores and records information on identities, assets, transactions, money and asset swaps in a secured network. Interestingly, the data is stored in blocks, each with a storage capacity of 1 MB. Having said that, Blockchain capabilities have contributed a new dimension to the Fintech scene, evolved as a technological revolution, provided enormous potential, and resulted in substantial changes to business structures and operations. Furthermore, they have piqued the interest of both start-ups and financial application development firms in investigating the demand for blockchain. Principles of Blockchain Blockchain, aside from being safe, gives true democracy and equality to financial institutions overseas. Blockchain has grown as a tremendous possibility for banking services to give billions of people the best and most convenient financial operations worldwide. Behind the successful virtue of blockchain, what are the core principles based on which blockchain is in demand nowadays? Find out the core in the following: Peer-based communication Computational logic A distributed database Permanent records Consensus protocol Distributed ledger All of the above principles of blockchain are successfully catering to the financial industry. Useful Blockchain Applications in Finance Blockchain applications gained popularity after the digital transformation of the finance industry. Some of the applications have assisted finance in shifting its operations to a more efficient and effective path. Based on these blockchain applications, Accenture predicts that embracing blockchain will save banks $8 billion in costs by 2025, a 27 percent decrease from 2019. Reduced costs of transactions Secured digital identity management A global network having no geographic limitations Crypto lending Regulatory compliance New crowdfunding models KYC Verification Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Dilemmas Blockchain technology applications in finance have shown maximum benefit and have minimized a lot of financial glitches that existed before. To stay abreast, the legacy system of financial deeds is becoming increasingly rare, as most financial institutes and banks implement the technology globally. According to a Deloitte analysis, revenue from business blockchain applications is expected to reach $19.9 billion by 2025, giving considerable prospects for growth in blockchain FinTech. While talking about the transformation to the blockchain, automation played a crucial role in reshaping critical financial, operational risk and finance systems on a cloud platform. Most financial organizations now store their data on the blockchain, eliminating inefficiencies such as input failures, duplication, fraud, and other issues. The combination of automation and data empowers faster financial services that is likely to enable more effective financial services and client experiences in the future.

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FINTECH

Can Blockchain Revolutionize the Banking System?

Article | May 16, 2022

Today, we live in a world where a new wave of technological transformation occurs on a regular basis. Each day, we are exposed to new buzzwords and a plethora of news. Additionally, cryptocurrency or blockchain is a buzzword in the business world. Blockchain is well known for its critical function in cryptocurrency systems such as bitcoin, in ensuring the security and decentralization of transaction records. Cryptocurrency has been around for more than a decade. However, countless controversies and discussions continue to swirl around cryptocurrency. Some say it is a new-age currency, while others refer to it as a hoax. Nonetheless, one thing is certain: We cannot afford to be indifferent to this movement. An Overview of Blockchain Technology As the name suggests, it creates a chain of blocks where each block contains a transaction ledger and the link of the subsequent transaction. This explanation might remind you of the data structure of a traditional “linked list.” However, blockchain has a more complex system, where a child block will be chained with a parent block hash while supporting the benefits of linked lists like the flexibility of dynamic data structures. A major differentiating factor for the blockchain lies in its distributed architecture. The blockchain creates an extensive network of peer-to-peer nodes that store the transaction ledger in the form of a block in multiple data systems. These data systems can be decentralized across various data centers, which creates the chain of transactions on each of the data systems when a single transaction is initiated. Limitations of the Current Banking System As we all know, current financial sectors across the globe work on centralized data platforms. Moreover, any of the transactions between two entities are managed by a central entity, which could be like the Federal bank in the U.S. This leads to the limitations of the system, like limited working hours for interbank transactions. Although countries such as India have enabled interbank transactions (RTGS) 24x7 for all 365 days to overcome the limitation, and yet, it is difficult to implement in several different states due to infrastructure or operational issues. Similarly, international transactions are managed by a single entity, SWIFT. This gives the power in the hands of a few people to manage the international economy by way of sanctions. These situations were seen during the recent Ukraine-Russia crisis. These sanctions lead to the deflation of the local currency and high inflation in the local market, which worst affects the normal citizens of the state. Moreover, when we have a centralized ecosystem for the banks, it leads to a lack of transparency and balance sheet manipulation. In particular, these malpractices in the banking system can lead to a nationwide or worldwide economic crisis, particularly in some extreme cases like Lehman Brothers’ fall. Implementation Approach & Benefits There could be several ways to implement a decentralized payment system. However, we can discuss one of the possible implementations. All the entities, which could be banks or even central banks of a country, participating in the implementation can either set up their own infrastructure or subscribe to and integrate with the services enabled by other entities. However, the bigger question lies in the exchange values. When we try to implement payment systems between two entities, the major challenge is the exchange value. For transactions within a country, the solution will be very simple, to use the local currency or a fiat currency coin. In the U.S., USDF consortium has implemented an interbank payment system using stable coins, a fiat currency coin. This implementation has not only helped the banks to overcome the “Fed’s working hours” limitation but also brought down the cost of transactions. As we write this paper, several countries, such as the UK and India, have been planning to launch a govt-backed crypto / digital coin. It would ease such implementations in the future. Whenever we extend the blockchain implementation across borders, the challenge of identifying a central exchange currency arises. In such a situation, we can use a fiat crypto coin, which would be pegged by gold value. This will not only create an alternative system for payments but also reduce the dependency on a specific currency, as well as contribute to the decentralization of economic power. Additionally, since these multi-node clusters are maintained at different data centers as well as the messages exchanged are not just encrypted but also follow the hashing sequences, it would be very difficult to hack the entire network. This feature adds an extra layer of data security. A blockchain-based decentralized banking system can also resolve issues like accounting manipulation. When all the bank level balance sheets are maintained with central banks or similar government entities, it would be less likely to have an unnoticed crisis due to account manipulations. Besides, auditor appointments will be managed by government-owned entities and not by banks. Challenges of Using Blockchain As we know, blockchain, being a decentralized multi-node system, every node will hold the transaction ledgers for transactions across the network. This characteristic can subsequently lead to high data storage requirements and high carbon footprints. However, a significant challenge lies in replacing the currently stabilized “centralized financial system.” Bottomline As we see the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, we hope to see blockchain making a larger penetration in the global financial and banking systems, although it seems to be making baby-steps at present.

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Spotlight

Mazuma Capital Corp

Mazuma Capital Corp is a national direct lease originator. Funding transactions for middle-market customers from $100k-$20m. Mazuma provides equipment lease financing delivered with exceptional customer service at the lowest possible cost. A strong, stable lessor who understands your industry is an invaluable partner. We have a broad knowledge of many equipment-heavy industries and emerging technologies. Mazuma works with many different industries and types of equipment. Here are just a few industries we work with: Construction/Comercial Equipment, Renewable Energy, Medical/Healthcare/Biotechnology, Information Technology/Software/Services, Aerospace/Aviation, Mining, Telecommunications, Food and Beverage, Gas/Oil/Utilities, Agriculture, Manufacturing/Packaging/Tooling, Services/Insurance and more. Equipment Lease/Financing, Vendor Financing Programs, Strategic Partner Programs, Broker Programs, Capital Lease Finance

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FUNDING

Pivotal Capital Secures $55 Million in Funding Facilties

Pivotal Capital, Axis Auto Finance, Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada | July 08, 2022

Axis Auto Finance Inc. (“Axis” or the “Company”) (TSX: AXIS), a fintech lender servicing the alternative auto finance market, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pivotal Capital Corp. (“Pivotal”) has secured an additional Funding Facility (the “Facility”) with Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, Inc. (“MHCCA”). Pivotal is an independent Canadian commercial equipment finance company active across the transportation, construction, manufacturing and food services sectors. The Facility adds to Pivotal’s existing funding relationships. Unique in the Canadian marketplace, Pivotal can lend across the credit spectrum with rates from investment grade to sub-prime. Facility highlights include a Purchase facility, with capacity of up to $50 million in annual purchases, and a Warehouse facility, with a limit of $5 million. The Facility will be used to finance and purchase the payment receivables generated from commercial finance contracts. “The addition of this Facility means that Pivotal has on balance sheet funding capacity in excess of $100 million. This will drive our aggressive growth plans for fiscal 2023 and continue our national expansion. This is the next step in becoming Canada’s largest independent equipment finance company,” said President Steven Koster. CEO Todd Hudson stated “Adding the $55 million in funding is an important strategic step for Pivotal. As Pivotal’s presence in the market grows, expanding our lending capabilities is crucial. This Facility will enable Pivotal to pursue even greater market share.” “We are proud to be part of Pivotal’s growth strategy,” said François Nantel, President Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada. “Pivotal is a significant player in the equipment finance industry and we believe this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.” About Pivotal Capital Pivotal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Axis Auto Finance (TSX: AXIS). With offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, Pivotal is a national commercial equipment finance company, active across the transportation, construction, manufacturing and food services sectors. Further information on Pivotal can be found at https://www.pivotalcapitalcorp.com About Axis Auto Finance Axis is a financial technology company changing the way Canadians buy and finance used vehicles. Through our direct-to-consumer portal, DriveAxis.ca, customers can choose their next used vehicle, arrange financing, and get the car delivered to their home. In addition, the company continues to grow B2B non-prime auto loan originations by delivering innovative technology solutions and superior service to its Dealer Partner Network. All Axis auto loans report to Equifax, resulting in over 70% of customers seeing a significant improvement of their credit scores. Further information on the Company can be found at https://www.axisfinancegroup.com/investors-press-releases/. About Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada is a specialty finance company that brings a consultative approach and expertise to customers of all sizes to help their businesses grow every day. Serving as a collaborative partner, we provide customized financing solutions for a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, work trucks/transportation, IT, staffing, healthcare and clean technology/mobility.

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CORE BANKING

Customized Business Support: Regions Bank Announces Commercial Corporate Finance Team

Regions Financial Corporation | July 08, 2022

Regions Bank on Wednesday formally announced the establishment and continued business growth of a Commercial Corporate Finance (CCF) team that is connecting business leaders with specialized resources, insights, and guidance on opportunities including ownership transitions, financing alternatives, and risk management. The team is led by Coulter Warlick, who joined Regions in 2021 to develop and launch this team. “The Commercial Corporate Finance team is positioned to further enhance and expand Regions’ financing capabilities as we serve Commercial Banking clients with complex capital needs,” said Brian Willman, head of Commercial Banking for Regions. “The Commercial Corporate Finance team is positioned to further enhance and expand Regions’ financing capabilities as we serve Commercial Banking clients with complex capital needs,” said Brian Willman, head of Commercial Banking for Regions. “Our work starts with building a deep relationship with the client, understanding their opportunities and challenges, and developing tailored solutions. This team works hand-in-hand with commercial bankers across our footprint to provide specialized experience and insights. It’s another way we are creating greater value for existing clients – and for prospects who can benefit from a more customized approach to banking.” Additional focus areas for the CCF team include growth capital, management buyout needs, loan syndications, M&A opportunities, dividends, recapitalization and more. Warlick’s team provides guidance, structure, and support from concept through completion. “Amid the current volatility in the economy, companies especially value a banking relationship that helps them navigate the issues of today while keeping their long-term objectives within reach,” Warlick said. “At Regions, our relationship-driven model of service aligns with the needs and preferences of today’s business owners and managers. Working with our commercial bankers, the Commercial Corporate Finance team can be a trusted source of additional guidance in helping business leaders with customized solutions to meet their financial goals.” Warlick joined Regions from South State Bank, where he served as director of Middle Market Banking and developed a team of bankers serving mid-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. He previously worked at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Warlick began his banking career at BB&T in 2005. Warlick earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently chairs the board of directors for Furman University’s Bridges to a Brighter Future Program Scholarship Fund. In addition, Warlick serves on the executive leadership team of the Alzheimer’s Association of Charlotte, and he recently completed service on the board of directors for Classroom Central, a nonprofit focused on serving teachers and students in Charlotte. About Regions Financial Corporation Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $164 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Markacy Announces New Finance-Based Marketing Solution

Markacy | July 07, 2022

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FUNDING

Pivotal Capital Secures $55 Million in Funding Facilties

Pivotal Capital, Axis Auto Finance, Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada | July 08, 2022

Axis Auto Finance Inc. (“Axis” or the “Company”) (TSX: AXIS), a fintech lender servicing the alternative auto finance market, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pivotal Capital Corp. (“Pivotal”) has secured an additional Funding Facility (the “Facility”) with Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, Inc. (“MHCCA”). Pivotal is an independent Canadian commercial equipment finance company active across the transportation, construction, manufacturing and food services sectors. The Facility adds to Pivotal’s existing funding relationships. Unique in the Canadian marketplace, Pivotal can lend across the credit spectrum with rates from investment grade to sub-prime. Facility highlights include a Purchase facility, with capacity of up to $50 million in annual purchases, and a Warehouse facility, with a limit of $5 million. The Facility will be used to finance and purchase the payment receivables generated from commercial finance contracts. “The addition of this Facility means that Pivotal has on balance sheet funding capacity in excess of $100 million. This will drive our aggressive growth plans for fiscal 2023 and continue our national expansion. This is the next step in becoming Canada’s largest independent equipment finance company,” said President Steven Koster. CEO Todd Hudson stated “Adding the $55 million in funding is an important strategic step for Pivotal. As Pivotal’s presence in the market grows, expanding our lending capabilities is crucial. This Facility will enable Pivotal to pursue even greater market share.” “We are proud to be part of Pivotal’s growth strategy,” said François Nantel, President Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada. “Pivotal is a significant player in the equipment finance industry and we believe this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.” About Pivotal Capital Pivotal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Axis Auto Finance (TSX: AXIS). With offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, Pivotal is a national commercial equipment finance company, active across the transportation, construction, manufacturing and food services sectors. Further information on Pivotal can be found at https://www.pivotalcapitalcorp.com About Axis Auto Finance Axis is a financial technology company changing the way Canadians buy and finance used vehicles. Through our direct-to-consumer portal, DriveAxis.ca, customers can choose their next used vehicle, arrange financing, and get the car delivered to their home. In addition, the company continues to grow B2B non-prime auto loan originations by delivering innovative technology solutions and superior service to its Dealer Partner Network. All Axis auto loans report to Equifax, resulting in over 70% of customers seeing a significant improvement of their credit scores. Further information on the Company can be found at https://www.axisfinancegroup.com/investors-press-releases/. About Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada is a specialty finance company that brings a consultative approach and expertise to customers of all sizes to help their businesses grow every day. Serving as a collaborative partner, we provide customized financing solutions for a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, work trucks/transportation, IT, staffing, healthcare and clean technology/mobility.

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CORE BANKING

Customized Business Support: Regions Bank Announces Commercial Corporate Finance Team

Regions Financial Corporation | July 08, 2022

Regions Bank on Wednesday formally announced the establishment and continued business growth of a Commercial Corporate Finance (CCF) team that is connecting business leaders with specialized resources, insights, and guidance on opportunities including ownership transitions, financing alternatives, and risk management. The team is led by Coulter Warlick, who joined Regions in 2021 to develop and launch this team. “The Commercial Corporate Finance team is positioned to further enhance and expand Regions’ financing capabilities as we serve Commercial Banking clients with complex capital needs,” said Brian Willman, head of Commercial Banking for Regions. “The Commercial Corporate Finance team is positioned to further enhance and expand Regions’ financing capabilities as we serve Commercial Banking clients with complex capital needs,” said Brian Willman, head of Commercial Banking for Regions. “Our work starts with building a deep relationship with the client, understanding their opportunities and challenges, and developing tailored solutions. This team works hand-in-hand with commercial bankers across our footprint to provide specialized experience and insights. It’s another way we are creating greater value for existing clients – and for prospects who can benefit from a more customized approach to banking.” Additional focus areas for the CCF team include growth capital, management buyout needs, loan syndications, M&A opportunities, dividends, recapitalization and more. Warlick’s team provides guidance, structure, and support from concept through completion. “Amid the current volatility in the economy, companies especially value a banking relationship that helps them navigate the issues of today while keeping their long-term objectives within reach,” Warlick said. “At Regions, our relationship-driven model of service aligns with the needs and preferences of today’s business owners and managers. Working with our commercial bankers, the Commercial Corporate Finance team can be a trusted source of additional guidance in helping business leaders with customized solutions to meet their financial goals.” Warlick joined Regions from South State Bank, where he served as director of Middle Market Banking and developed a team of bankers serving mid-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. He previously worked at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Warlick began his banking career at BB&T in 2005. Warlick earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently chairs the board of directors for Furman University’s Bridges to a Brighter Future Program Scholarship Fund. In addition, Warlick serves on the executive leadership team of the Alzheimer’s Association of Charlotte, and he recently completed service on the board of directors for Classroom Central, a nonprofit focused on serving teachers and students in Charlotte. About Regions Financial Corporation Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $164 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Markacy Announces New Finance-Based Marketing Solution

Markacy | July 07, 2022

Remote Work, HR departments, HR TechMarkacy, (“the Company”) a digital strategy and marketing firm headquartered in New York City, today unveiled its Finance-Based Marketing solution (“FBM”). This new capability is aimed at methodically improving profitability and empowers brands to identify immediate cost savings and marketing efficiencies without sacrificing long-term growth. FBM is an evolution of Markacy’s financially driven approach to digital and e-commerce direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies for new and established brands across sectors. “When the market is thriving, it seems less risky to spend frivolously. However, spending that is not optimized creates challenges when there is an economic downturn,” said Chris Jones, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Markacy. “When the market is thriving, it seems less risky to spend frivolously. However, spending that is not optimized creates challenges when there is an economic downturn,” said Chris Jones, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Markacy. “We expect brands to re-evaluate their marketing budgets over the coming months. Knowing how and when to adapt expenditures throughout the entire marketing program is absolutely crucial, especially with current market volatility. We built FBM as an all-encompassing solution focused on driving P&L objectives and achieving sustainable growth.” Deploying FBM requires a comprehensive evaluation of a brand’s enterprise-wide commercial objectives and an audit of its P&L. This enables Markacy’s marketing strategists to gain a deep understanding of the brand’s financials and its most pressing challenges and the biggest opportunities. To that end, at the very outset, Markacy defines marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) including Media Efficiency Ratio (MER) targets that are reverse-engineered from a brand’s P&L objectives using its proprietary calculator. This strategy ensures that all expenditures - ranging from advertising cost, and the use of marketing technology platforms, to headcount - are fully aligned and optimized in accordance with enterprise-wide business goals. During economic downturns, many DTC brands have been known to uniformly cut operating and marketing expenditures, often stunting mid and long-term growth. Informed by FBM, Markacy is working with clients to mitigate this effect by prioritizing strategies and advertising channels that drive profitable growth while also cutting back from marketing programs that do not advance MER targets or the bottom line. Tucker Matheson, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Markacy added: “Our multidisciplinary offering fills a gap in traditional digital marketing strategies that brands use despite today’s uncertainties. We put a critical lens on the quantitative financial impact of marketing and bring it to life. FBM will raise our impact to another level, enabling us to advise clients in a more focused and precise manner directly tied to financial performance. We have a set of critical, proprietary tools that enable us to understand which channels and campaigns are the most impactful and shift budgets accordingly when necessary.” Markacy’s work is guided by the evolving and growing expertise of its team, combined with the leadership’s experience in finance and strategy consulting. To receive a complimentary assessment for your brand using our FBM solution, contact Markacy. About Markacy Markacy is a digital strategy firm helping brands launch, grow and scale, by developing and executing cross-channel strategies. Specializing in finance, media, strategic planning, creative, and marketing operations, the company is headquartered in New York City with teams in multiple cities including Boston and Los Angeles. Visit us at http://markacy.com/

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