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3S Money partners with Crown Agents Bank to boost international trade

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3S Money, the UK Fintech scaleup, has partnered with Crown Agents Bank to offer 33 new currencies to its corporate clients for the first time, to support their international growth.

The partnership will enable 3S Money’s clients to make payments in a total of 65 currencies, now including Brazilian Real, Ghanian Cedi, and West African Franc, and have access to 45 new local payment rails. This will help 3S Money’s client base scale faster into new markets, save time and increase their revenue. The partnership will also allow 3S Money’s clients to efficiently enter the African market for the first time.

Founded in 2018, 3S Money has chosen to work with Crown Agents Bank to offer these new currencies and payment rails because of Crown Agents’ secure global infrastructure and coverage. With nearly 200 years of experience, Crown Agents Bank is a UK-regulated provider of wholesale foreign exchange (FX) and cross-border payment services, connected across hard-to-reach markets.

Hard-to-reach (emerging) markets are home to 85% of the global population, and nearly 90% of people under 30. However, in 2022, payments to and from these markets are still challenging, expansive and unreliable. A McKinsey survey suggests that, with banks and non-bank players innovating to reduce friction in domestic and cross-border payments, Africa’s e-payments market is expected to reach about $40 billion by 2025, compared with about $200 billion in Latin America.

Aligned by their mission to promote global financial inclusivity, both 3S Money and Crown Agents Bank are dedicated to connecting emerging markets to the rest of the world, through FX and payments innovation.

Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO at 3S Money comments, “3S Money is a cross-border payments ecosystem for international businesses. Our purpose is to provide businesses with the guidance and financial services required to scale new markets and expand their footprint.”

“We believe that by eliminating passport discrimination in the financial services sector, the growth opportunities for global businesses will be limitless. Crown Agents Bank are the perfect partner to help us offer sustainable, affordable, and accessible FX and currency services in emerging markets that have a wealth of opportunity.”

Gary Willis, Relationship Banker at Crown Agents Bank said, “this partnership makes perfect sense in our mission to connect hard-to-reach markets to the global economy”.

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SVEA BANK ACQUIRES AREX’S FINTECH OPERATION IN FINLAND

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AREX Markets, the data-driven FinTech company that drives financing costs down for SMEs and enables them to get paid quicker, has announced the sale of its Finland operations to Swedish payment and financing institution Svea Bank.

With the deal, Svea will further strengthen its position as a corporate financier, as AREX’s c.1200 Finnish customers and partnerships in the areas of financial management and financial management software will be transferred to the bank’s portfolio. The Finnish operation of AREX has financed over EUR 500M worth of invoices.

AREX’s Spanish and UK operations remain unaffected and remain focused on building embeddable financing products for third party platforms. Customers in Finland have been informed of their transition, and their contracts and service details will port across to Svea.

Svea is reshaping the playing field of corporate finance in Finland, and taking on the operations of AREX in the region is a natural step to strengthen their own business and at the same time offer AREX’s partners and customers an easy path to a wider range of services than before.

“Over the years, Svea has grown a lot also through business transactions, therefore acquiring AREX’s business operations in Finland was a good and natural solution for us. In addition, the deal is pleasant for us at Svea because the focus of our activities is to help partners and customers succeed – offering AREX’s partners and customers a wider range of services is exactly that,” says Pasi Väre, country manager of Svea in Finland.

The deal also brings new opportunities for AREX to focus on the UK and Europe in its roll out of embeddable financing products, which can be white-labelled by neobanks, ERPs and accounting software alike. The business is seeking to bridge the liquidity gap faced by most small businesses in the face of a recessive economic climate.

UK SME’s can continue to access AREX’s core invoice financing product through the Xero marketplace.

“For us at AREX, this is a great step: we are developing a stronger presence in the field of embedded finance, which is underpinned by our sophisticated marketplace software, our strongest point,” says AREX’s CEO, Airto Vienola.

“For the AREX team it was extremely important that we find the best possible corporate financier to take care of the business’ customers and partnerships in Finland. Svea convinced us with their customer and partner-centric approach”, adds AREX’s co-founder Perttu Jalkanen.

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ICICI Lombard and AU Small Finance Bank announce Bancassurance tie-up

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ICICI Lombard General Insurance, India’s leading private sector non-life insurance company, is entering into a Bancassurance tie-up with AU Small Finance Bank. The partnership will provide the Bank’s diverse customers access to the insurer’s portfolio and enhance penetration across India.

AU Bank is rapidly expanding its distribution footprints across India and this tie-up between two giants in their respective industries will aim to further enrich its general insurance offering with agile, digital & paperless solutions offered by ICICI Lombard. The entire suite of products will be offered across 980+ banking touchpoints spread over 20 states & 2 union territories. The customer centric products will provide long-term financial security to customers and their families. With both organizations believing in offering the best to the customers through innovation and consistency, this partnership would offer customers the best of both worlds.

Speaking about the partnership Mr. Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, of ICICI Lombard said, ““At ICICI Lombard, we are in constant endeavour to provide consumers and businesses effective risk management solutions based on their evolving needs. As an industry leader, we are excited to partner with AU Small Finance Bank – India’s largest small finance bank, in providing customers a comprehensive product portfolio. This partnership will help further strengthen our distribution and unravel growth opportunities through the bank’s wide network. With our extensive range of customised solutions for risk management we are confident that we will be able to address varied customer segments across India.”

Highlighting the key aspects of this strategic partnership, Mr. Uttam Tibrewal, Executive Director, AU Small Finance Bank, said, “AU Small Finance Bank always prides in providing customer centric solutions and services. Expanding our bouquet of financial services and customer value proposition, we wanted to associate with additional general insurance partner to add value to our existing range of products & services while helping our customers plan for better financial security. We welcome ICICI Lombard as our valued insurance partner who, we believe, has the ability and experience to understand customers’ needs and offer them customized need-based solutions and provide seamless services. I am sure, the customer-friendly products of ICICI Lombard, combined with our extensive presence and robust technological capabilities, will be the right mix to increase insurance penetration.”

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