How CFOs Can Reduce Hefty Business Costs

Anusree Bhattacharya | May 5, 2022 | 29 views

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“Blockchain has remarkable potential for financial institutions, changing and releasing novel abilities to transform financial institutions and banks to interact and collaborate with customers.”

 - Max Di Gregorio, Financial Head of PwC, Middle East

The potential of blockchain has piqued the interest of the financial sector in particular. Its distinct functionalities have enabled financial institutions to operate more promptly and inexpensively—reducing their error rate, lowering their capital requirements, and at the most, their vulnerability to cyber-attacks. A survey by Gartner of 251 CFOs and other finance leaders in November 2021 revealed that 47% of businesses were ready to assess blockchain technology in 2022.

An interesting study by Santander FinTech reveals that distributed ledger technology (blockchain services) can reduce costs by approximately $15 billion to $20 billion per annum by 2022, primarily by reducing IT costs.

Businesses looking for ways to cut costs must understand the core mechanisms of blockchain to encourage the next generation of financial innovations.


Blockchain Driving Value in Financial Services

The current enthusiasm for blockchain and the subsequent years of rapid development have provided the finance industry with opportunities to reflect on its successful operations worldwide. Moreover, blockchain has also provided banks with the ability to identify viable and valuable developments in the widespread and growing financial services landscape. Let’s identify some areas in which blockchain technology is revolutionizing banking services:


Claim Management

The benefits of blockchain technology are mostly reducing, not eliminating, fraud in claim management. Also, blockchain is highly recommended for storing historical claims data on the ledger technology. This enables insurers to detect suspicious activity and improve fraud detection easily.

Claim management data controlled under blockchain technology is registered and administered by smart contacts in a particular network.

The potential areas of claim management to benefit from blockchain services are:
  • Interpreting incidents claimed in banks
  • Soliciting excessive claims cover
  • Uncovering the process of delayed pay-out
  • Diminished profitability from excessive or lower pay-outs

Due to these unfortunate instances in the claim management process, the FBI studies that over 700 insurance companies in the U.S. receive over $1 trillion annually in premiums. The estimate of the total cost of insurance falls under the heading of fraud, valued at more than $40 billion annually.

This indicates how critical it is to promptly develop an intellectual capacity to recognize fraud in the banking system.


Financial Institutions

Blockchain in financial services eliminates untrusted parties in financial institutions and banks. Based on its efficient database, it has removed the status of a middleman.

At the same time, blockchain facilitates the use of “smart contracts,” which are self-executing contact systems for automating manual processes. The technology covers everything from compiling claim data to providing relevant claims to customers. In this way, businesses can reduce the costs of manual processes that require multiple employees, assets, and infrastructural needs.

Apart from this, blockchain in finance has massive opportunities by transforming some of the essential traditional services of banks, including:


Legal Management and Regulatory Reporting

With blockchain, data accumulation can be stored and protected simultaneously while removing asynchronous reporting cycles across regulatory, statutory, and management reporting.


Fundraising

A blockchain-based initial coin offering (ICO) has garnered popularity as a new financing model in fundraising. In this model, smart contacts are generated, which results in reduced costs that stay in demand and encourage non-stop trading globally.


Trade Finance

Blockchain technology has simplified trading by storing transaction-related documents in a database. As a result, it eliminates the need for multiple copies of documents, plummeting operational costs to a bare minimum. The technology consolidates all data into a single sizeable digital document that can be modernized in real-time and accessed by all network users.

Ornua, an Irish dairy product manufacturer, partnered with Barclays to accomplish the world's first blockchain and banking trade transaction in 2019. Similarly, IBM and Maersk teamed up in 2020 to develop the first cross-border, blockchain-based supply chain system.


Digitalized Assets

Digital assets can be distributed more quickly than paper-based or physical assets. Their electronic format assists in streamlining the transaction process and reducing administrative and physical storage costs.

Digitized assets such as stocks, shares, and funds can be managed end-to-end on a blockchain or existing systems through application programming interfaces (API). Keeping digital assets reduces substantial business costs and allows CFOs to invest in other costs to improve business ROI.

 

Where does Blockchain Fit in Finance?

According to a recent Deloitte 2020 Global Blockchain Survey, 84% of financial experts responded that blockchain will eventually reach mainstream adoption in the finance sector by 2023.

However, other financial experts also mentioned that 29% of businesses are still skeptical of blockchain implementation. They are considering a “wait and see” strategy. According to them, blockchain services are not among the top five strategic priorities for their businesses. At the same time, 21% of businesses are clueless about where to begin with blockchain technology implementation in their businesses. 

Therefore, CFOs should consider implementing blockchain services that will provide a better understanding of the technology. They can then identify and prioritize the financial pain points that the technology can potentially address. To begin with, here are some ways to better understand blockchain usage.


Radical Transformation

Blockchain mainly benefits financial businesses in terms of crowdfunding projects and security generation. With built-in authentication keys and distributed networks, blockchain addresses some of the most critical vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure of banks today. This mostly refers to the centralized systems that prevent hackers from hacking and controlling a bank's network.


Facilitating Faster and More Affordable Transactions Internationally

Ripple, a blockchain services company provider, is the most notable player operating in international transactions. Even so, the company is best known for its cryptocurrency platform because it uses blockchain-based global solutions for affordable money transactions.

The centralized blockchain network enables the transaction process seamlessly, popularly using SWIFT mode. That means, instead of relying on a network of complicated services and correspondent banks, international transactions can be settled directly on a public blockchain. Again, this helps alleviate the high cost of maintaining a global network of correspondent banks.

“SMBC lately initiated live transactions on the Marco Polo platform in Japan with major Japanese exporters. We hope to provide effective blockchain-based finance solutions to our customers globally by collaborating with Marco Polo Network.”

- Mr. Kazuo Yoshimura, Managing Director & General Manager, Global Trade Finance Department

In a nutshell, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the finance function. It will provide CFOs with the tools and capabilities necessary to become key business partners in the strategic planning process while running a highly efficient and trustworthy operation.


Frequently Asked Question


Why is blockchain essential in finance?

Blockchain technology provides better capital optimization by reducing high operational costs. When banks share a blockchain, the entire functionality of the banking system reduces the initial individual costs required for managing transactions at a bank.


What is blockchain used for in banks?

Blockchain in banks is used for both public and private networks. It can be implemented in the financial cores by adding new services, transactions, accounting, and other features. It allows customers to do faster, more secure, and cost-effective transactions.


How does blockchain benefit banking and financial systems?

Blockchain technology improves payment transparency, trust, efficiency, and security and reduces costs for financial services firms and users. Now, payments from one bank to another can be made instantly.

Spotlight

Objective Capital Partners, LLC

Objective Capital Partners is a leading M&A investment banking firm whose Principals have collectively engaged in more than 500 successful transactions serving the transaction needs of growth stage and mid-size companies. The executive team has a unique combination of investment banking, private equity, and business ownership experience that enables Objective Capital Partners to provide large enterprise caliber investment banking services to companies. The firm focuses on three areas: middle market M&A and capital raise activities for companies with enterprise values between $15-150 million, healthcare & life sciences and valuation advisory services.

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Article | June 24, 2022

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Loss of Data Management Loss of data is also an essential risk that banks face several times. Data management is an integral part of the banking operation, which means it needs core risk management strategies to keep it secure. Data management includes several functions, but the most essential is maintaining data records securely. This is one of the prime risks that banks, even today, keep a close eye on. The Current State While banks have been aware of operational risks, they need to be prompt in adapting risk management capabilities and tools to eradicate the complexities and introduce smoothness in the workflow. Currently, banks have developed taxonomies on risk-identification and risk-assessment processes, extensive controls through cloud support, and cyber and control-testing procedures. While the banking industry practically succeeded in reducing the industry-wide regulatory system, there are now fewer losses from operational risks in banks. "In financial services, if you want to be the best in the industry, you first have to be the best in risk management. It's the foundation for every other measure of success. There's almost no room for error." John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Integration of ORM Strategies Evaluate Risk Profile Every financial institution and bank should assess their risk profile to reduce operational risks and improve information security. It should also evaluate the resilience of its business processes, map them to associated risks and controls, and build a database of potential operational risk events. To facilitate this under operational risk management, deploy analytics into the process and evaluate potential threats at a particular time. In this way, banks can minimize risk factors in the future. Introduce Risk Indicators Most banks examine their sales-operating models meticulously because of regulatory concerns about sales practices, such as product features, incentives, sales procedures, frontline-management routines, and customer-complaint processes. Risk management in the banking sector can now be possible as banks can enhance their operational risk coverage with the help of the ‘three lines of defense” model. This model is widely used to define and manage operational risks. It is a solution framework that functions at a granular level to help identify and control risks. 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They are: Total count of assets Allocated assets The value of each asset Details of acquired assets The expected life cycles of the assets Banks can easily implement a robust risk management plan for future safety by accessing all of them. A Comprehensive Approach to ORM Banks taking a comprehensive approach toward building an ORM (operational risk management) framework can bolster business growth rapidly. The first step to creating a productive ORM capability is to access the existing risk potential in banks. This would help banks create a base out of all internal and external risk events. Then, to deal with the different types of risks, the development of key risk indicators (KRI) will serve as early warning signals to potential risks. Once the banks successfully identify it, they can decide on mitigation options. Next, the question arises, how can financial businesses and institutions establish a robust ORM for risk management in the banking sector? 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A Move Forward with the Operational Risk Management Framework The components of risk management in banks examined above have proved beneficial for the operational risk management function. Operational risk management in the banking sector should ensure that an institution's operational risk framework is reliably implemented and performs well. The institution should ensure that the framework provides thorough coverage across the various operational risk event types and conduct ongoing support for individual components and the overall operational risk framework. Businesses and financial institutions should leverage the operational risk management framework as part of a broader effort to improve sustainability, including estimation of forecasting efforts. Therefore, the operational-risk discipline can create a more secure and profitable institution in the future. 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Article | April 29, 2022

Digitalization is a high-priority initiative that has uplifted the banking industry by exploring new profitable areas. However, the strategies for becoming digital must rely on efforts to focus on making a bank’s administration and internal operations more efficient. Digitalization refers to a wide range of tools that can create personalized and hyper-personalized experiences for people. How Banks Have Evolved with Technology Implementation The banking industry has been consistently embracing technological advancements. Since 2020, banks globally are making heavy investments in digitalization and are focusing on efficient banking operations. With the help of digitalization, the banking and financial sectors are going through a paradigm shift and are progressively offering personal touches to their operations, services, and products. Most banks now offer digital features that allow customers to conduct basic banking activities remotely using a browser or a mobile app. This development has resulted in less traffic at bank branches and has assisted banks in optimizing costs and capital expenditures fairly. Hyper-personalization in banking is becoming increasingly important. As a result, the use of technology in banks has equally surged, mainly in operations and customer services. Hyper-personalization has become an essential part of banks and other financial services providers. With this, banks are now focusing on core customer experiences to provide unique services to their customers. Today, new-age customers need hyper-personalization in banking. In 2020 ‘The Future of Retail Banking,’ A Deloitte report has stressed that hyper-personalization is crucial for banks and enables them to respond to customers’ basic needs. While this approach is widely accepted in the banking system, let’s understand a brief difference between hyper-personalization and personalization and which method is more enticing to customers. Personalization vs. Hyper-Personalization Personalization focuses on promoting a customer’s name, location, purchase history, buying behavior, and others. The most common example is including the first name of a customer in an email or promotion asset. The hyper-personalization approach uses a customer’s browsing habits and then reveals real-time behavioral data to determine customer needs. The entire activity builds contextualized communication and encourages more incredible conversions driven by AI and aligned data. For example, they send push notifications to customers, adding high-engagement sections on the website—chatbots. Therefore, it is evident that personalization banking will be further enhanced and become more personal with hyper-personalization. According to a study by Deloitte, banks are ready to embrace digital opportunities, which would be advantageous for over a trillion dollars. The movement will continue until 2025 and beyond. Growing Expectations from Customers Since 2020, banks worldwide have been striving to improve their customer experience and business operations. The digital transformation of the banking sector has changed consumer banking trends. This gives rise to one of the main concerns — what are the top priorities for customers regarding banking services? According to a survey by Wipro, 80% of customers expect their banks to provide upgraded services with improved products and easily accessible apps and websites. At the same time, 20% of customers hope banks have valuable services to benefit them. In addition, 5% of them expect improved communication channels for distributing products and services. On the other hand, according to a recent Salesforce survey, two-thirds of today's customers expect their banks to understand their unique needs and expectations. Moreover, up until 2021, 52% of customers found hyper-personalized offerings from their banks. Therefore, banks must extensively use customer data to anticipate customers’ banking needs. Gartner estimated that approximately 48% of customers want value-added services, making hyper-personalization engagements of strategic relevance. This was followed by personalization in banking with products and services. When it comes to using hyper-personalization in banking, Capital One, a U.S.-based company, stands out. It is one of the finest examples of digital marketing. It usually sends notifications to clients, assists them with simple tasks, sends new offers, and efficiently manages personal finances. In addition, they are currently using geolocation technology by partnering with several retailers. With this, they can reach customers and provide them with purchasing offers. The Marketers’ Complications What were the practical problems or challenges for marketers approaching their customers right away? Markets face several roadblocks to achieving the desired level of personalized customer engagement. Some of these challenges include: Profile: Marketers usually face challenges in categorizing, compiling, and saving online and offline customers’ data. Identity: Marketers must deal with the fragmentation of customers' identities and how they see them across devices and channels. Relevant Communication: Marketers often fail to reach people at scale across different channels with relevant information. Measurement: Marketers often complicate the accuracy of measuring customer behavior, buying habits, and needs. Therefore, marketers need to sort out these parameters and then proceed strategically to deliver hyper-personalized engagement to customers. Now let’s find out how to do it. Solutions Emerging technologies, mainly AI, data analysis, automation, and blockchain, give an insight into customers’ needs, behavior, and activities like transactions, money transfers, deposits, availing insurance, and other banking activities. Marketers can leverage these technologies, crack code, use hyper-personalization in strategies, and work to meet customers’ needs. There are a series of interconnected strategies following technology in banking that will enhance the use of hyper-personalization in banking in the future. It will enable customers' digital requirements according to products and services and identify intent-based customers in the banking system. Series of Interconnected Strategies Customer Segmentation Having an accurate identification of customer profiles and details determines how to proceed with hyper-personalization. First, you must build a digital identity solution that links customer data across devices and locations. After this, study and get profound customer insights with the help of a third-party customer database to obtain accurate customer information such as: Demographics Online and offline purchases Digital consumption Online interactions Cross-device information according to the usage of personal devices By identifying these parameters, marketers can effortlessly create a community for their highly engaged customers. In this way, marketers can include value-proof hyper-personalization methods to reach out to customers and fulfil their expectations in banking. Lead Generation & Nurturing For lead generation and nurturing, marketers should activate paid search, paid/owned social media, and affiliate sites using intelligent and real-time customer data. This will help understand the effectiveness of the platforms in generating potential leads and nurturing them in the best ways. A Data-Driven Path Banks using customer data can monetize it by differentiating between actionable and non-actionable customers. Even so, they can conduct data-driven optimization (DDO), a measurable approach when banks interact with their customers. This approach includes monetizing and identifying customers’ behavior patterns and optimizing their decision-making processes faster and more accurately. In addition, data-driven optimizations range in different types and sizes—for example, new features, CTAs, pricing, page flow, navigation, and templates. With the help of these, marketers can get a lot of data and use hyper-personalization strategies accordingly. A Hybrid Environment Given the current situation, banks should prioritize intelligence by implementing a security-rich hybrid cloud for their hyper-personalization in their banking processes. With this in place, banks can efficiently, inexpensively, and rapidly deliver hyper-personalized services to customers under a hybrid setup. For this, banks should have a robust data analytic infrastructure that can filter the most operational customer data. Prominent Examples of Hyper-Personalization in Banking American Express Sends Videos to Increase Engagement American Express’s business model includes hyper-personalization of its customers globally. We’re delegating much deeper hyper-personalization at a company level.” Harry Mole, Director of Marketing at American Express American Express demonstrates its commitment to hyper-personalization by creating videos for its customers. For example, it makes videos accompanying a customer's monthly credit card statements. The video helps customers explore and learn new ways of managing their credit shares. It also helps them learn about account creation for new customers, share financial tips and tricks, and introduce new rewards. These activities further help consumers maximize the benefits of their American Express account. Since using a hyper-personalization strategy, American Express has seen a threefold increase in marketing conversations and a considerable decrease in the cost of acquiring new customers. Edward Jones Uses Personalization to Increase App Downloads Edward Jones, a financial services firm, offers a mobile app that allows customers to easily access their accounts and investment options. The app effectively conveys the benefits of security and convenience and is equally friendly. Edward Jones initiated an email campaign to encourage customers to download and engage with the entire app. It added a messaging section for app users and highlighted services such as tracking investments, depositing checks, transferring funds, and more without visiting a branch. Frequently Asked Question What do customers expect from their bank? Customers need assistance and want their needs to be understood by their banks. They do not prefer a generic approach to services. They prefer a more customized and solution-driven approach. How is the hyper-personalization approach implemented in banks? Hyper-personalization in banks can be implemented in the following ways: Compile essential customer data and utilize it to create strategies Create hyper-personalized content according to the customer base Distribute the content across channels to reach customers Why is personalization important in banking? According to a study by Gartner, 67% of customers are unaware of the services and products their banks offer. So, with the help of personalization, they can easily connect to banks’ offers, benefits, and services. This is where personalization comes into play.

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Spotlight

Objective Capital Partners, LLC

Objective Capital Partners is a leading M&A investment banking firm whose Principals have collectively engaged in more than 500 successful transactions serving the transaction needs of growth stage and mid-size companies. The executive team has a unique combination of investment banking, private equity, and business ownership experience that enables Objective Capital Partners to provide large enterprise caliber investment banking services to companies. The firm focuses on three areas: middle market M&A and capital raise activities for companies with enterprise values between $15-150 million, healthcare & life sciences and valuation advisory services.

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Paystand Leads the Blockchain for Business Movement, Surpassing $2B in Payment Volume Over Its Zero-Fee B2B Network

Paystand | August 18, 2021

Paystand, the blockchain-enabled payment network for business, today announced another year of record-setting growth, with payment volume over its network accelerating past $2B. By doing so, Paystand becomes the fastest B2B payment company to reach this milestone, which comes amidst the larger fintech movement toward an open financial infrastructure. “There’s no question that blockchain is the unstoppable future for every essential business function, and Paystand has been pioneering blockchain applications for enterprise since 2013,” said Jeremy Almond, Paystand’s co-founder and CEO. “In the same way that the birth of the internet led to a universal shift in the way we produce and consume information, blockchain has the ability to transform every aspect of how we do business. We’re excited to make that transformation a reality in the realm of B2B payments.” Paystand’s rapid growth has continued throughout the pandemic as a direct result of the company’s ability to streamline essential accounts receivable (AR) tasks for finance teams, including automating cash application, reducing DSO by as much as 62% by offering embedded “pay now” buttons for email invoices, and digitizing cash flow management. Now, Paystand has been named to the Inc. 5000 list for the second straight year, and is growing at nearly 2x the median for all companies on the list – underscoring its impact in transforming B2B payments and commercial finance. Driven by a flat-rate, Payments-as-a-Service business model that creates a predictable cost structure for AR, Paystand has built the first real alternative to today's monopolistic card networks and paper-heavy processes: a B2B payment network that delivers unrivaled speed, security, and cost. Paystand’s growth acceleration over the past 12 months – due largely to the superior economics its payment network offers businesses – is evident across all areas of the company: “As our team continues its growth rate of 100%, we will continue to hire top talent that’s dedicated to rebuilding our financial infrastructure from the ground up,” says Aliyah Nance, Paystand’s VP of People. “Being named to the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row highlights Paystand’s position as the leader of the next wave of fintech, and we’re looking forward to expanding every facet of our organization with individuals who are dedicated to our mission.” About Paystand Paystand is on a mission to create an open commercial finance system, starting with B2B payments. Using blockchain and cloud technology, the company has pioneered Payments-as-a-Service to automate the entire enterprise cash cycle. Paystand makes it possible to digitize receivables, automate processing, reduce time-to-cash, eliminate transaction fees, and enable new revenue. Paystand has been consistently recognized as a top innovator in enterprise financial services and was named to the Inc. 5000 list in both 2020 and 2021.

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BLOCKCHAIN

Mastercard Introduces A New Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Program For Startups

Mastercard | July 28, 2021

Mastercard today unveiled a new Start Path global startup engagement programme aimed at assisting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency businesses. As part of Mastercard's digital assets work, seven startups have joined the programme, including GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold, with the goal of expanding and accelerating innovation in digital asset technology and making it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend, and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Mastercard today unveiled a new Start Path global startup engagement programme aimed at assisting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency businesses. As part of Mastercard's digital assets work, seven startups have joined the programme, including GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold, with the goal of expanding and accelerating innovation in digital asset technology and making it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend, and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets. This implies that the platform can create, sign, and send secure blockchain transactions without relying on internet input, hence reducing any potential cyberattack vectors. Taurus (Switzerland) offers advanced infrastructure to manage any digital asset, including crypto assets, digital currencies, and tokenized assets, through a single platform that covers issuance, custody, asset servicing, or trading. Other participating startups and fast-growing digital asset and blockchain enterprises have been chosen to attend the Start Path program's initial track: • Domain Money (USA) aims to provide a next-generation investment platform for ordinary investors, striking a balance between digital assets and traditional finance. • SupraOracles (Switzerland) is a strong blockchain oracle that assists organisations in connecting real-world data both to the public and private chains, permitting interoperable smart contracts to automate, simplify, and protect financial markets' future. • STACS (Singapore) develops a blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry in order to unlock tremendous value and enable effective, long-term financing. Global banks, national stock exchanges, and asset managers are among its clients and partners. • Uphold (USA) is a cryptocurrency-native, multi-asset digital money platform that provides investing and payment services to consumers and businesses all over the world. Uphold's one-of-a-kind 'Anything-to-Anything' trading experience allows users to trade directly between asset classes with embedded payments, paving the way for a future in which everyone has access to financial services. The founders of digital asset and blockchain startups participating in the new Start Path initiative hope to address a variety of issues, such as asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security, and smooth access between the traditional and digital economies. Each startup is focused on tackling a specific industry need and will leverage Mastercard's experience throughout the programme to support the continuous growth and development of their solutions. Fintech Innovation and Digital Assets Supporting the startup ecosystem is important to Mastercard's mission, and more than 250 firms have participated in the Start Path programme since its inception in 2014. Mastercard is expanding Start Path to include fast-growing crypto, blockchain, and digital assets entrepreneurs, giving these companies access to the latest tools and solutions to help them scale their ideas and cutting-edge technology. To create new solutions, these entrepreneurs use the programme to interact with our global ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners, and digital actors. About Mastercard Mastercard is a payments technology firm with a global presence. By making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible, we hope to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere. Our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and organisations realise their full potential by leveraging secure data and networks, relationships, and enthusiasm. Our decency quotient, or DQ, is at the heart of our culture and all we do both inside and outside of the office. With connections in over 210 countries and territories, we are constructing a sustainable world that unlocks precious opportunities for everybody.

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BLOCKCHAIN

NEM Introduces Symbol, the Next-Gen Enterprise-Grade Blockchain Platform

NEM | March 16, 2021

The NEM group has created ripples in CBDC space by launching Symbol, the world’s first central bank digital collector token launched on platform. It’s a next generation Proof of Stake (POS) Public Blockchain, boasting its corporate-grade programmability and security. With Symbol, NEM serves the latest technical features which financial institutions can leverage in building Fintech, Healthcare, and Supply Chain Products in this stabilizing economy. This new platform uses XYM, the native currency from NEM platform, used for the transaction within the network. David Shaw, CEO of NEM Group, comments on the inauguration of Symbol, “We believe that we are starting a complete new economic and digital system with maximum inclusivity and accessibility. We positioned Symbol at the forefront of the decentralization, digitization, and tokenization movement. The multiple features of the platform make it suitable for number of industries and use cases, including enterprise, financial services, regulated assets, and wider blockchain spaces. NEM plays a vital role working and integrating with other platforms, in this new value paradigm.” Symbol can support public/hybrid models, trust-less cross-chain swaps and it can integrate with existing systems and processes. The atomic cross-chain swaps the trust-less data and value flow throughout various different blockchain, allowing it to eliminate all intermediaries. It can also create the digital assets and represent shares of stock, signatures, votes, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other currencies, going beyond singular token services. The public chain of Symbol makes two chains available in the NEM project, the first being a 6-year old project, NEM NIS1(V1) continuing to run in parallel with no downtime, security breach, or asset loss in its entire history. Expanding this functionality, Symbol becomes the first platform to give public blockchain to bring on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This attribute helps the co-signatory of a multi-signature account to be a multi-signature account with its own set of co-signers. One unique feature of Symbol is its hybrid chain architecture, that helps it to separate from other platforms. It permits the deployments of both public and private chain use cases, while supporting the trust-less data flow between Private-Private and Private-Public deployments bidirectionally. This gives us the “win-win for everyone” solution, as it gives us great flexibility in how businesses store and share data. Symbol is set to take the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) space by storm with LBCOIN, the world’s first blockchain-based digital collector coin issued by the Central Bank. It is committed only to NEM platforms. LBCOIN will transfer to Symbol chains to get the advantage of this advanced platform.

Read More

PAYMENTS

Paystand Leads the Blockchain for Business Movement, Surpassing $2B in Payment Volume Over Its Zero-Fee B2B Network

Paystand | August 18, 2021

Paystand, the blockchain-enabled payment network for business, today announced another year of record-setting growth, with payment volume over its network accelerating past $2B. By doing so, Paystand becomes the fastest B2B payment company to reach this milestone, which comes amidst the larger fintech movement toward an open financial infrastructure. “There’s no question that blockchain is the unstoppable future for every essential business function, and Paystand has been pioneering blockchain applications for enterprise since 2013,” said Jeremy Almond, Paystand’s co-founder and CEO. “In the same way that the birth of the internet led to a universal shift in the way we produce and consume information, blockchain has the ability to transform every aspect of how we do business. We’re excited to make that transformation a reality in the realm of B2B payments.” Paystand’s rapid growth has continued throughout the pandemic as a direct result of the company’s ability to streamline essential accounts receivable (AR) tasks for finance teams, including automating cash application, reducing DSO by as much as 62% by offering embedded “pay now” buttons for email invoices, and digitizing cash flow management. Now, Paystand has been named to the Inc. 5000 list for the second straight year, and is growing at nearly 2x the median for all companies on the list – underscoring its impact in transforming B2B payments and commercial finance. Driven by a flat-rate, Payments-as-a-Service business model that creates a predictable cost structure for AR, Paystand has built the first real alternative to today's monopolistic card networks and paper-heavy processes: a B2B payment network that delivers unrivaled speed, security, and cost. Paystand’s growth acceleration over the past 12 months – due largely to the superior economics its payment network offers businesses – is evident across all areas of the company: “As our team continues its growth rate of 100%, we will continue to hire top talent that’s dedicated to rebuilding our financial infrastructure from the ground up,” says Aliyah Nance, Paystand’s VP of People. “Being named to the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row highlights Paystand’s position as the leader of the next wave of fintech, and we’re looking forward to expanding every facet of our organization with individuals who are dedicated to our mission.” About Paystand Paystand is on a mission to create an open commercial finance system, starting with B2B payments. Using blockchain and cloud technology, the company has pioneered Payments-as-a-Service to automate the entire enterprise cash cycle. Paystand makes it possible to digitize receivables, automate processing, reduce time-to-cash, eliminate transaction fees, and enable new revenue. Paystand has been consistently recognized as a top innovator in enterprise financial services and was named to the Inc. 5000 list in both 2020 and 2021.

Read More

BLOCKCHAIN

Mastercard Introduces A New Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Program For Startups

Mastercard | July 28, 2021

Mastercard today unveiled a new Start Path global startup engagement programme aimed at assisting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency businesses. As part of Mastercard's digital assets work, seven startups have joined the programme, including GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold, with the goal of expanding and accelerating innovation in digital asset technology and making it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend, and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Mastercard today unveiled a new Start Path global startup engagement programme aimed at assisting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency businesses. As part of Mastercard's digital assets work, seven startups have joined the programme, including GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold, with the goal of expanding and accelerating innovation in digital asset technology and making it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend, and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets. This implies that the platform can create, sign, and send secure blockchain transactions without relying on internet input, hence reducing any potential cyberattack vectors. Taurus (Switzerland) offers advanced infrastructure to manage any digital asset, including crypto assets, digital currencies, and tokenized assets, through a single platform that covers issuance, custody, asset servicing, or trading. Other participating startups and fast-growing digital asset and blockchain enterprises have been chosen to attend the Start Path program's initial track: • Domain Money (USA) aims to provide a next-generation investment platform for ordinary investors, striking a balance between digital assets and traditional finance. • SupraOracles (Switzerland) is a strong blockchain oracle that assists organisations in connecting real-world data both to the public and private chains, permitting interoperable smart contracts to automate, simplify, and protect financial markets' future. • STACS (Singapore) develops a blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry in order to unlock tremendous value and enable effective, long-term financing. Global banks, national stock exchanges, and asset managers are among its clients and partners. • Uphold (USA) is a cryptocurrency-native, multi-asset digital money platform that provides investing and payment services to consumers and businesses all over the world. Uphold's one-of-a-kind 'Anything-to-Anything' trading experience allows users to trade directly between asset classes with embedded payments, paving the way for a future in which everyone has access to financial services. The founders of digital asset and blockchain startups participating in the new Start Path initiative hope to address a variety of issues, such as asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security, and smooth access between the traditional and digital economies. Each startup is focused on tackling a specific industry need and will leverage Mastercard's experience throughout the programme to support the continuous growth and development of their solutions. Fintech Innovation and Digital Assets Supporting the startup ecosystem is important to Mastercard's mission, and more than 250 firms have participated in the Start Path programme since its inception in 2014. Mastercard is expanding Start Path to include fast-growing crypto, blockchain, and digital assets entrepreneurs, giving these companies access to the latest tools and solutions to help them scale their ideas and cutting-edge technology. To create new solutions, these entrepreneurs use the programme to interact with our global ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners, and digital actors. About Mastercard Mastercard is a payments technology firm with a global presence. By making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible, we hope to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere. Our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and organisations realise their full potential by leveraging secure data and networks, relationships, and enthusiasm. Our decency quotient, or DQ, is at the heart of our culture and all we do both inside and outside of the office. With connections in over 210 countries and territories, we are constructing a sustainable world that unlocks precious opportunities for everybody.

Read More

BLOCKCHAIN

NEM Introduces Symbol, the Next-Gen Enterprise-Grade Blockchain Platform

NEM | March 16, 2021

The NEM group has created ripples in CBDC space by launching Symbol, the world’s first central bank digital collector token launched on platform. It’s a next generation Proof of Stake (POS) Public Blockchain, boasting its corporate-grade programmability and security. With Symbol, NEM serves the latest technical features which financial institutions can leverage in building Fintech, Healthcare, and Supply Chain Products in this stabilizing economy. This new platform uses XYM, the native currency from NEM platform, used for the transaction within the network. David Shaw, CEO of NEM Group, comments on the inauguration of Symbol, “We believe that we are starting a complete new economic and digital system with maximum inclusivity and accessibility. We positioned Symbol at the forefront of the decentralization, digitization, and tokenization movement. The multiple features of the platform make it suitable for number of industries and use cases, including enterprise, financial services, regulated assets, and wider blockchain spaces. NEM plays a vital role working and integrating with other platforms, in this new value paradigm.” Symbol can support public/hybrid models, trust-less cross-chain swaps and it can integrate with existing systems and processes. The atomic cross-chain swaps the trust-less data and value flow throughout various different blockchain, allowing it to eliminate all intermediaries. It can also create the digital assets and represent shares of stock, signatures, votes, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other currencies, going beyond singular token services. The public chain of Symbol makes two chains available in the NEM project, the first being a 6-year old project, NEM NIS1(V1) continuing to run in parallel with no downtime, security breach, or asset loss in its entire history. Expanding this functionality, Symbol becomes the first platform to give public blockchain to bring on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This attribute helps the co-signatory of a multi-signature account to be a multi-signature account with its own set of co-signers. One unique feature of Symbol is its hybrid chain architecture, that helps it to separate from other platforms. It permits the deployments of both public and private chain use cases, while supporting the trust-less data flow between Private-Private and Private-Public deployments bidirectionally. This gives us the “win-win for everyone” solution, as it gives us great flexibility in how businesses store and share data. Symbol is set to take the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) space by storm with LBCOIN, the world’s first blockchain-based digital collector coin issued by the Central Bank. It is committed only to NEM platforms. LBCOIN will transfer to Symbol chains to get the advantage of this advanced platform.

Read More

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