B2B Payments

With FinTech Pacts, FIs Take Aim At SMBs, Customer Service

This past week might have been termed small business (SMB) week, if FinTech and financial institution (FI) announcements were any indication.

U.S. Regional bank INTRUST has linked with small business loans provider Funding Circle to support small business growth. The latest announcement, this past week, builds upon an extant relationship between the two firms and brings a co-branded marketing campaign to bear in states, including Oklahoma and Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The firms said that, thus far, more than 150 U.S. small businesses have taken out loans backed by INTRUST and facilitated through the Funding Circle platform. The companies seek to boost that number to more than 500 firms.

Separately, Santander U.K. said it is debuting a new interbank cash management system geared toward corporate customers. That platform, Santander said, will be powered by Infosys Finacle. In a more granular level of detail for the joint effort, the firms said they will debut a new portal, which Santander has said will give those corporate clients cash management services that are also accessible through various types of devices. The goal (through the use of modules spanning online banking omnichannel offerings and liquidity management), as noted in a statement by Santander, is to offer greater levels of personalization and innovation for those customers.

“Corporate banking customers across the world are becoming increasingly digital in their operations, and sophisticated in their demands from their banking relationships,” said Sanat Rao, chief business officer and global head of Infosys Finacle, in a statement.

In South Africa, Standard Bank and Merchant Capital said they have banded to give SMBs access to working capital. Through the financing solution to be offered jointly, the companies will target firms that have POS devices, with the addition of 12 months of trading history and more than R30,000 in monthly card sales. Through the partnership the two companies will let SMBs gain access to cash advances. Capital will be available within hours, and Merchant Capital will underwrite those advances.

Separately, TD Bank said it is working with BizEquity. Like the other announcements noted above, the focus is on SMBs, with digital focus. BizEquity offers online business valuation that the firms said will help calculate fair value in real time, and with a services in place that can typically run thousands of dollars. The reports generated will help TD Bank share valuation and industry performance metrics with those clients. The focus will be on firms that range geographically from Maine to Florida, and valuation includes enterprise and liquidation values. The service will be offered free of charge.

Turning to the courtroom, as reported by Marketwatch, a suit that alleges through criminal and civil indictments  that KPMG and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) obtained confidential data to cheat audits. KPMG, reported the site, allegedly hired Palantir to help predict which of the firm’s engagements would gain scrutiny from the oversight board. The contract was worth $250,000 upon commencement in 2015 and was short lived, according to reports. The data analytics firm said there was no progress beyond an initial pilot phase.

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