Blockchain

CloudWalk, a Brazilian Unicorn, Unveils its Own Blockchain

Cloud_Walk_a
CloudWalk, a Brazilian fintech company that offers payment solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, has reached a new milestone: it will launch its own blockchain, a ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions and operations. This announcement comes just seven months after CloudWalk announced it had raised US$150 million in a new investment round and had reached a market valuation of US$2.15 billion.

To grow the business is the objective, which has already been accomplished. With its own network, it can process 500 transactions per second, which is 70 times more than before it was based on Ethereum and Polygon and other blockchain platforms. The ambitious target for the upcoming months is to process 5,000 transactions per second.

Blockchain makes this speed possible. For instance, it can take up to a day for store owners to collect their money when they use Visa or Master. They can receive the funds in as little as two seconds using blockchain and our currency, The proprietary ecosystem will be responsible for the entire Smart Lending platform, which includes money storage, as well as authorization and settlement of payment transactions. CloudWalk intends to make the financial industry more agile and efficient."

Luis Silva, The CEO and Founder, CloudWalk


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Fintech

VoPay Unveils Instant Micro-Transaction Service for Bank Account Verification, Marking a First in Canada and the US

VoPay | January 11, 2024

VoPay, a leading provider of embedded financial technology solutions, has launched VoPay Verify, an Instant Bank Account Verification solution via microtransactions - pioneering the first-of-its-kind service in Canada and the United States. Recognizing the escalating adoption of bank account payments as a credit card and paper cheque alternative, the demand for a steadfast bank account verification method has become imperative for businesses. VoPay’s innovative solution empowers enterprises to rapidly authenticate and confirm any US or Canadian bank account, eliminating the protracted waiting times of up to 24 hours or more for micro-transactions to finalize. Micro-transactions, a stalwart tool for confirming bank account ownership over the years, entail crediting or debiting a nominal amount into the account. They offer several advantages for businesses, encompassing heightened security, improved user experience, regulatory compliance, and reduced chargebacks. However, the current process is notoriously slow and disruptive to users' experience, with transactions typically spanning at least a day to complete. By leveraging VoPay's real-time transaction capabilities, companies will reduce the risk of reversals, NSFs, and transaction failures, ultimately improving their bottom line. VoPay Verify offers a fully managed account verification experience by providing a pre-built user experience and intellectual logic that determines the transaction amount considering many different risk criteria. “This initiative gives our clients an out-of-the-box method for account verification. It means that they don't have to stitch together a solution and can utilize an optimized set of endpoints for micro-transaction verification,” says Hamed Arbabi, VoPay Founder & CEO. “Fast and easy account validation has become a crucial component in customer onboarding, and enterprises are struggling to find a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to validate new accounts. VoPay's new Instant Micro-Transaction Verification tool does just that.” VoPay's latest offering further strengthens the company's position as the leading provider of Fintech-as-a-Service tools and a go-to provider for businesses looking to integrate embedded financial services into their offerings. VoPay Verify will be available to new and existing customers from February 1st. Sign up here for early access. About VoPay At the core of VoPay's offering is a multi-tenancy architecture, seamlessly integrated with a comprehensive payment engine and financial services solutions, epitomizing the concept of Fintech-as-a-Service. For software enterprises seeking to accelerate growth, expedite time to market, reduce operational costs, and enhance efficiency within their core platform, VoPay provides an embedded payment solution.

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Financial Management, Fintech

ONE ROCK CAPITAL PARTNERS EXPANDS OPERATING PARTNER TEAM WITH ADDITION OF SHANNON CRESPIN

One Rock Capital Partners | December 18, 2023

One Rock Capital Partners, LLC a value-oriented, operationally focused private equity firm, is pleased to announce that Shannon Crespin has joined its team of Operating Partners. Ms. Crespin will be involved with evaluating prospective investments and building capability of One Rock's portfolio companies in the disciplines of integrated supply chain, working capital management and planning. Ms. Crespin joins One Rock with nearly 30 years of experience working in an array of supply chain-related disciplines, both in-industry and as a consultant. She previously served as Chief Operations Officer of Tonal, where she led end-to-end operations, research and development and program management for a fast-growing fitness equipment and technology business. Prior to Tonal, Ms. Crespin served as the Vice President Global Orthopedics Supply Chain for Depuy Synthes, the orthopedics company of Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Crespin had earlier supply chain roles with Medtronic, Keane Consulting, Lucent Technologies and Health South Rehabilitation. "Ongoing efforts at One Rock to grow our Operating Partner team are designed to enhance our ability to improve the businesses in which we invest," said R. Scott Spielvogel, Managing Partner of One Rock. "We often encounter businesses with significant opportunities in various aspects of supply chain, and we look forward to having Shannon as part of our effort to augment portfolio company performance." "I admire One Rock's emphasis on building better businesses, often in complex situations. I very much look forward to working with the Firm's portfolio companies to drive a higher level of execution across supply chain disciplines," said Ms. Crespin. Utilizing the expertise of Operating Partners has been an integral part of One Rock's strategy since its inception. Shannon Crespin joins a growing team, which now includes 27 Operating Partners at One Rock. ABOUT ONE ROCK CAPITAL PARTNERS, LLC One Rock makes investments in companies with potential for growth and operational improvement using a rigorous approach that utilizes highly experienced Operating Partners to identify, acquire and enhance businesses in select industries. The involvement of these Operating Partners is designed to afford One Rock the ability to conduct due diligence and consummate acquisitions and investments in all types of situations, regardless of complexity. One Rock works collaboratively with company management and its Operating Partners to develop a comprehensive business plan focused on growing the enterprise and its profitability to enhance long-term value.

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Financial Management

Finastra showcases strategies for lending growth and compliance at its User Connect series

Finastra | December 05, 2023

Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, brought together leaders from community banks and credit unions across the United States to discuss innovation in lending technology, operational and strategic initiatives, and trends in mortgage and retail lending. The series, open to current Finastra lending customers, was hosted in Chicago, Orlando, Dallas, and Scottsdale from September through mid-November. With presentations from Lending business unit product and compliance experts, various financial institutions, and industry partners, User Connect explores how financial institutions can maximize their fintech solutions, offering strategies for achieving increased growth, productivity, and compliance readiness. User Connect is a unique opportunity to come together with customers and ecosystem partners to share ideas and best practices. Insights from the event are invaluable, and we look forward to conversations like this throughout the year so that we can enable more seamless customer journeys and more productive time to revenue for lending teams across the US. Mitch Lucas, head of retail lending at Finastra Throughout the series, several significant takeaways were highlighted: Optimization of tech stack is key: To generate leads more quickly and easily, nurture these leads, and increase chances to convert them to being a customer, a modern end-to-end tech stack is crucial. If a borrower encounters any technical obstacles from application through the onboarding process, the risk of losing the lead to a competitor increases significantly. Automation and streamlined processes address operational challenges: To process loans quickly and underwrite more efficiently, leveraging integrated services, embracing workflow automation, and utilizing document management for a paperless loan file eliminates many operational challenges. Systems that migrate borrower information from the point-of-sale to the loan origination system automatically reduce human error, decrease incidences of regulatory compliance issues, and speeds up prequalification, approvals, and processing times. Research from Finastra and East & Partners supports this takeaway, noting that lending process automation remains a major area for improvement, with significant room for growth in approvals, closing, origination, and servicing. 11% of respondents said they utilize automated approvals, while just 10% offer automated loan closing processes. Even fewer respondents have succeeded with origination and servicing automation, at 7% and 6% respectively. Importance of readiness for increased loan applications: According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the mortgage origination market is expected to improve by 19% to $1.95T in 2024, a rebound after the estimated 30% drop from 2022 to 2023 and 50% fall from 2021 to 2022. While volume has significantly slowed, lenders must be ready for an uptick in applications, so they do not lose leads to competitors. Financial institutions can prepare by investing in scalable technologies, setting up parameters for automatic prequalification, focusing on personalized experiences, and building self-service portals for document management. Section 1071 is looming, and financial institutions need to be ready: Although Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act is currently wrapped up in ongoing litigation, borrowers and compliance experts agree preparation is important. Users throughout the series were polled and noted that banks and credit unions are paying close attention in order to train staff and align processes. Attendees agreed that since commercial lending practices are often challenging to implement, preparing early is critical should the litigation fail. Supporting younger generations on their homebuying journey: According to a presentation from David Lykken, chief transformational officer at Transformational Mortgage Solutions, the typical American dream of home ownership has not gone away, but younger buyers are struggling to break into the market, noting that people aged 28-38 have only a 28.87% rate of home ownership. When rates decrease, an increase in this number is expected, but planning is important. Brian Bone, president and CEO at American Partners Federal Credit Union stated during a panel discussion, "My kids are very concerned about their ability to buy a home. We as an industry need to do everything we can to help them, whether that means credit coaching, down payment assistance, or other programs. This also includes ensuring we offer the best of both worlds – the human touch of financial services with a technology stack suitable for their needs." Brian Bone added, "The User Connect series in Orlando was a valuable experience for me and my credit union. I learned a lot from Finastra's experts and partners. I also appreciated the opportunity to network with other financial institutions and share best practices. Finastra's User Connect series is a great event for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the curve in the lending industry." About Finastra Finastra is a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, and launched the leading open platform for innovation, FusionFabric.cloud, in 2017. It serves institutions of all sizes, providing award-winning software solutions and services across Lending, Payments, Treasury & Capital Markets and Universal Banking (Retail, Digital and Commercial Banking) for banks to support direct banking relationships and grow through indirect channels, such as embedded finance and Banking as a Service. Its pioneering approach and commitment to open finance and collaboration is why it is trusted by more than 8,000 institutions, including 45 of the world's top 50 banks. For more information, visit finastra.com

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Core Banking

Backbase Enters Into an Agreement With Danske Bank to Enhance Its Digital Customer Experience

Backbase | January 12, 2024

Backbase, the global leader in Engagement Banking, has made an agreement with Danske Bank, a leading Nordic bank based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This agreement provides Danske Bank with access to Backbase's Engagement Banking Platform, which will progressively be implemented across our digital channels in the coming years. This will enable Danske Bank to offer its customers a continuously improved digital customer experience, as the enhanced flexibility allows it to tailor its business operations around customer journeys. Frans Woelders, Chief Operating Officer at Danske Bank, highlights: “This engagement is a testament to our customer focus and our commitment to ensuring the best digital banking experience for the future. A new platform that works across the web, mobile apps, and our adviser tools is one of the ambitions in Danske Bank’s Forward ’28 strategy, and the agreement with Backbase is the next step towards achieving that ambition.” Our Engagement Banking Platform plays a pivotal role in achieving Modernization and simplification of the existing IT landscape by reducing the number of silo-ed channel applications. Mobile-first engagement model, establishing a customer-centric approach, seamlessly guiding customers between automated and expert advice. Unified platform, consolidating data, business logic, and workflows into a single, customer-centric platform for efficient journey orchestration, benefiting both customers and bank employees. Agility and freedom, enhancing flexibility to swiftly implement business capabilities and adapt to evolving market dynamics. Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers and Financial Crime Risk and Prevention at Danske Bank, says: “This platform will allow us to take our interaction with customers through our digital solutions to the next level and to introduce enhancements at greater speed than ever before. It will thus enable us to provide market-leading convenience and personalization for our customers with great insights, increased proactivity, and easy access to assistance and advice.” Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, shares, “We are thrilled to announce the engagement with Danske Bank, a visionary collaboration set to redefine the future of banking. Together, we will execute a bank-wide, digital transformation program and elevate Danske Bank's customer experience to new heights.” About Backbase Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer. Backbase created the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform – a unified platform with the customer at the center, empowering banks to accelerate their digital transformation. From customer onboarding to servicing, loyalty, and loan origination, our single platform — open and frictionless, with ready-to-go apps — improves every aspect of the customer experience. Built from the ground up with the customer at the heart, our Engagement Banking Platform easily plugs into existing core banking systems and comes pre-integrated with the latest fintechs so financial institutions can innovate at scale. Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia, and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform - including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, RBC, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist, and TPBank.

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Tax groups have a meaningful opportunity to enhance the value of their organization’s digital transformation effort. This priority, which involves migrating tax automation to the cloud in tandem with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migrations is becoming even more time sensitive. This white paper examines leading

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