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Times International and SaaScada partner to deliver innovative trade and commerce financial solutions

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Global trade is forecast to increase between 30% and 70% by 2030, with 80% relying on trade finance. With traditional merchant banks struggling to meet the challenges of digitisation needed to deliver faster trade flows, Times International will focus on bridging the current supply chain funding gaps, offering market leading digital finance and FOREX services to SMEs in addition to insurance and logistics.

Times International will initially launch as a wholesale funded lender in the first quarter of 2023 and apply in parallel for approval to become a fully regulated Bank.

SaaScada’s flexible and scalable technology has been selected to deliver the core banking solution and the team will work closely with Times International to build a cohesive eco-system of financial technology suppliers.

This will deliver greater transparency and an elevated customer experience for all users across the full trade cycle which will deliver international trade finance to SMEs in the UK, continental Europe, and APAC.

Times International chose SaaScada’s core banking technology due to both the excellence of its platform and alignment of sustainability goals.  With an increased expectation for ESG accreditation driving behaviours, the need to simplify the supply chain through directly contracted trade has created a growing need for finance options for SMEs.

SaaScada’s data architecture is designed to enable fast and efficient reporting of financial data as well as consumption of external data, making it possible for Times International to interrogate data sourced from traditional market sources such as Bill of Lading & Customs Data in conjunction with their customer data. SaaScada’s data approach combined with open APIs, will enable one-click SME access to reporting across the Times International portal and minimise rekeying of data for faster and efficient customer verification, processing and approvals.

Importantly, the easy access to real-time data will facilitate both self-assessed and 3rd party assessment of ESG performance to ensure that transactions meet the criteria of green deposits.

Steve Round – ‘SaaScada are very excited to be part of this venture which will power finance to facilitate shorter supply chains and support SMEs to deliver more sustainable global commerce. We are very much looking forward to working closely with Times International to develop their offering and deliver real change in international trade.

Steve Rose – ‘Our partnership with SaaScada will enable us to offer finance solutions not traditionally available to SMEs in this space.  SaaScada’s unique data architecture and extremely flexible product configuration will enable us to support our customer base and respond quickly to their changing needs, which is especially important in the current global economic climate.  Culturally, their shared sense of purpose for sustainability and collaborative approach has made us a natural fit. 

Business

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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