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The Monday Roundup: what we are watching this week | January 15th

By Puja Sharma

January 15, 2024

  • Credit on UPI
  • FinTech Deals
  • fintech funding

MondayThe Monday Roundup sets the scene for the week’s biggest news stories, industry deals, and upcoming events. For Prime subscribers only.

Digital services portfolio for underbanked

Money bagYES BANK, India’s sixth largest private sector Bank, has announced the launch of SmartFin. This cutting-edge, end-to-end Digital Supply Chain Finance (SCF) platform, powered by Veefin Solutions, the leader in SCF technology in India, marks a significant leap in the digital finance landscape in India.

SmartFin facilitates digital SCF loans for dealers and suppliers of corporate clients, enabling them to achieve their strategic business objectives, which include working capital efficiency, market expansion, sales acceleration, and strengthening supply chain partnerships. The platform’s comprehensive capabilities in digital onboarding, credit underwriting, loan management and transaction processing redefine the accessibility of SCF products.

Ajay Rajan, Country Head- Government, Multinational & International Business, Transaction Banking & Knowledge Units, YES BANK, said, “At YES BANK, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to support MSMEs and with the growing significance of Supply Chain Financing (SCF) as a model to drive working capital efficiencies. We strongly felt the need to invest in a robust platform like ‘SmartFin’ to help augment our digital offerings in this space. The SmartFin platform, through its end-to-end digital offerings, will help us drive required operational & financial efficiencies for all the stakeholders.

Credit cardMastercard has formed a strategic partnership with illicocash, the FinTech arm of Rawbank, to introduce a virtual card program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The strategic partnership aims to facilitate financial inclusion by providing consumers and businesses with a new and effortless way to conduct eCommerce transactions.

“illicocash is a pioneer in the digitalization of payments in the DRC and is accelerating the shift away from cash in the country. The new virtual card program, launched in collaboration with Mastercard, is a crucial addition to our digital services portfolio that addresses the needs of the unbanked and underbanked,” said Karim Nouri, GM, illicocash.

Efficient financial operations

ComputerPrometeo, a Uruguay-based FinTech infrastructure company focused on financial institutions in Latin America, has raised $13 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Antler Elevate with participation from new investors PayPal Ventures, Samsung Next and partners from DN Capital, as well as existing backers including Cometa and Magma Partners. The company plans to use the funds to expand its multi-banking data and payments offerings in the region.

Ximena Aleman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Prometeo, said, “We have always believed that Latin America can function as a unified market, despite the fact that financial technology infrastructures differ throughout these countries. Our vision has consistently been focused on consolidating these diverse infrastructures under one single API, thus providing the essential layer of standardization required to deliver efficient financial operations across Latin America. Closing our Series A funding round confirms that Prometeo has played a key role thus far.”

Flying moneyLondon-based digital identity firm Yoti has secured £12.5 million in debt funding from HSBC, along with an additional £7.5 million in convertible debt funding from existing shareholders. The total £20 million injection will support the company’s growth and efforts to achieve profitability.

This follows a £10 million investment from Lloyds Banking Group in March 2023, bringing Yoti’s total funding to over £166 million, primarily from founders and angel investors. Established in 2014, Yoti offers digital identity solutions, including a free app enabling individuals to verify their identities on their phones without additional documents or personal data.

What is the buzz

Mobile phone with arrowIndians can now receive instant and secure remittances from Singapore directly into their bank accounts, owing to the cross-border linkage between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow.

According to an announcement by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), this transaction facility can be accessed by users of BHIM, PhonePe, and Paytm apps. Additionally, banks such as Axis Bank, DBS Bank India, ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, and SBI also provide this functionality through their respective mobile apps.

More Third-Party Application Providers (TPAPs) and bank apps such as Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, IndusInd Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, and UCO Bank are expected to be added to the linkage soon.

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