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AURIGA, PROVIDER OF NEXT-GEN BANKING TECHNOLOGY, OPENS ITS FIRST OFFICES IN SPAIN AND MEXICO

Specialising in omnichannel banking and cybersecurity, the Italian company continues its international expansion with two new offices in Madrid and Mexico

 

Auriga, an Italian company specialising in omnichannel banking solutions, today announced the opening of two new branches in Spain and Mexico, following its international expansion strategy. The subsidiaries, Auriga Iberia and Auriga Latin América, will manage the integration of Lookwise Device Manager (LDM), the cybersecurity solution acquired from S21sec, into Auriga’s portfolio of omnichannel banking solutions. With this milestone, the company now employs 400 professionals.

Auriga’s objective is to become a reference point for financial institutions in the Spanish and Latin American regions. The Latin American office is situated near to Guadalajara, Mexico and represents a real stepping stone towards reaching the local market. The Spanish office is a research and development hub focused on cybersecurity, with the aim of enriching Auriga’s offering and expertise to support banks in their digital transformation path.

These two new openings are in line not only with the acquisition of LDM, but also form part of Auriga’s ongoing strategic partnership programme, which is aimed at consolidating its presence on a global scale. Auriga recently announced strategic alliances with the system integrators Minsait, a company from Indra, and TRSYS.

 

They are also in line with the membership recently signed off with:

  • ATM Security Association, part of the ATMIAnetwork, aimed at bringing manufacturers and their suppliers together with the common goal of establishing vendor independent standards for security solutions within the industry.
  • ATEFI, the Latin American association of operators of electronic transfers of funds and information services aimed at promoting and ensuring the exchange of information among associates, the development and competitiveness of electronic funds transfers and information services in the Latin American financial sector.
  • ECSO(European Cyber Security Organisation), whose main goal is to develop a competitive European cybersecurity ecosystem, to support the protection of the European Digital Single Market with trusted cybersecurity solutions, and to contribute to the advancement of European digital autonomy.

 

Auriga provides omnichannel banking solutions to support its clients in the digital transformation of bank branches, a key area of focus for financial institutions.

“These openings are in line with Auriga’s ongoing investments and current local partnerships aimed at promoting our solutions in the Spanish and Latin American markets”, explains Vincenzo Fiore, CEO, Auriga. “The current pandemic has highlighted, like never before, the power of technology in helping the financial sector continue to provide excellent service to its customers while ensuring their security. As specialists in omnichannel banking, Auriga wants to assist Spanish and Latin American financial services to make this leap into the branch of the future.”

For years, the company has been one of the key technology providers in Europe for the digital transformation of bank branches. Founded in Italy, 70% of the country’s ATMs are equipped with its WinWebServer (WWS) software. This advanced omnichannel solution enables the efficient integration of various modules into banks’ systems and provides an enhanced customer experience while optimising costs.

 

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LAW FIRMS SET TO BENEFIT FROM NEW CHEQUE-WRITING PLATFORM AND IMAGE SURVIVABLE FEATURES

“Solicitors and other professionals involved with transfers of customers’ money must ensure their own systems are not vulnerable to being hacked and warn customers that last-minute changes to payment accounts are likely to mean fraud is being attempted.”

Katy Worobec, Managing Director: Economic Crime, UK Finance made the statement in her introduction to ‘Fraud – The Facts -2020’ report published by UK Finance in June this year. The report went on to highlight the fact that “cheque fraud losses increased to £53.6m in 2019…. Intelligence suggests the increase was largely a result of fraudsters targeting high-value corporate accounts, where losses per case are typically far higher than on individual customer accounts. Personal customers only accounted for a small fraction of the total losses. This raises the question of whether large firms need to enhance the security features on cheques to deter fraudsters.”

Banks are fighting back with the introduction of Image Survivable Features (ISFs) on both personal and corporate cheques. These features, typically a Unique Coded Number (UCN) or QR code (UCN Plus®) are printed on the face of the document and encrypt details from the cheque to help prevent fraudulent transactions. Introduced since the UK’s cheque clearing process switched to the use of cheque images rather than the transfer of the paper document in clearing, ISFs flag potential fraud in clearing where the cheque details do not match the encrypted information held in the printed ISF.

Leading security print specialists, the TALL Group, who hold the UK patent for the UCN Plus®, working in conjunction with DIA Kappa, the power behind the cheque clearing fraud prevention systems, have worked with the UK’s clearing banks to encourage particularly corporate customers to adopt ISFs on their special cheques. TALL will work with bank customers to advise how the introduction of an ISF can be achieved either on a pre-printed cheque or using in-house cheque infilling systems.

Early adopters, Bott and Co, a multiple award-winning No Win No Fee solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire have installed a complete UCN Plus® solution to enable them to apply the UCN Plus® ISF on their corporate cheques infilled in-house. Gary Froggatt, Finance Director at Bott & Co said that working together with their bank and TALL, they had been able to produce a corporate cheque design that included the UCN Plus®. “We see this as a major deterrent against fraudulent cheque transactions moving forward”, he added.

Whilst larger organisations have been able to deal recent events, for those law firms that are struggling to make regular cheque payments during the current COVID-19 crisis as a result of their accounts staff working from home, or being furloughed, they can now access a new secure cheque-writing service offered by the TALL Group. The Send-A-Cheque™ service enables partnerships and businesses to simply supply the payment details, via a secure link, and within 48 hours a fully and securely infilled cheque, fully inclusive of ISFs, will be posted back to them for distribution to their clients or suppliers.

The initiative, by the TALL Group, C&CCCo (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, Part of Pay.UK) accredited cheque printers, also includes an option for law firms to authorise a securely pre-signed cheque meaning it can be sent directly to the recipient. Indeed, it can also be used by law firms that are looking to further reduce overheads within their business moving forward and those with remote locations where a cheque book is not always accessible.

Martin Ruda, Managing Director of the TALL Group, said: “From just one to hundreds or even thousands of cheques, this service acts as an extra pair of hands for law firms, securely creating and distributing cheques on a company’s behalf with a very simple, easy-to-set-up service. It is time-saving, and once the company is set up on our systems, we can offer a rapid service with a same day despatch of cheques.

The inclusion of an ISF, a UCN or our patented UCN Plus®, on the face of cheque will also help prevent cheque fraud. A move that will benefit the industry as a whole.

As a further commitment to make our Send-A-Cheque™ service as accessible as possible to all law firms, we will waive its set-up charges for new users, for at least the next two months.”

 

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AZZURRO ASSOCIATES FURTHER STRENGTHENS TEAM WITH SENIOR APPOINTMENT

Azzurro Associates, a pioneer in commercial debt solutions (CDS), has appointed experienced Fintech executive Stefan Acklam as Finance Director.

 

Stefan has more than 20 years’ expertise in Financial Services in the UK and US, having recently been Finance Director for a well-known Challenger Bank, supporting the business through its Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) approvals and successful multi-million-pound fund raising. He has a proven track record in building strong finance teams, and in putting in place the necessary financial systems and processes demanded of a highly regulated industry.

 

A former senior consultant with KPMG, Stefan was attracted to the new role by the team and the opportunity: “Azzurro Associates is a well-funded business that is clearly at a very exciting stage of its development,” he says.

 

“It not only has a credible executive team with a healthy appetite to grow, but also a genuinely exciting market opportunity with a range of debt management solutions that will be of significant help to many businesses and CFOs as the UK heads towards recovery.”

 

Andrew Birkwood, Founder and CEO of Azzurro Associates, is similarly pleased to welcome Stefan to the team: “Stefan’s experience of Financial Services, and his proven track record with a Fintech and Challenger Bank specifically, will be of particular benefit as we look to grow the business and promote a new generation of debt management solutions to an increasingly demanding market.”

 

An Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA), Stefan began his career with Bass Leisure before moving to Capital One Bank where he had a spell in the US. As well as Banking, he also has experience of insurance and pensions with Capita PLC and Liverpool Victoria. He holds a BA (Hons) in Industrial Economics.

 

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