Centtrip launches new feature that enables businesses to make hundreds of payments in multiple currencies with one click

Centtrip, an international payments, FX and treasury management specialist, has introduced a unique ‘Batch Payments’ feature that enables corporate clients to pay hundreds of recipients, in any currency, in one go with a single click.

Accountants can now make frequent and recurring payments, such as payroll or expenses, without having to re-enter information each time they need to set up a transfer. Whether you run a multi-national company or a small enterprise, this new development, which is not offered by high-street banks, will save you a huge amount of time and resource.

Corporate clients can set up a dedicated batch to pay multiple recipients in any currency via a bank transfer or make instant payments via the CenttripNow network. The intuitive feature allows accountants to match files from mainstream treasury management systems such as Xero, Sage, SAP and Oracle, with a Centtrip template, and vice versa.

Ronny Munster, Financial Director at Centtrip, said: “If your company is looking to save on bank fees and run swift and smart accounting systems, then this is a perfect solution for you. This new feature is all about efficiency.”

Viet Hyunh, Head of Engineering at Centtrip, added: “Automation is key to building successful and efficient operations. This new feature is a huge step forward in that direction. Batch Payments are totally unique and can be tailored to your company’s exact requirements. No banks offer anything like this to corporate clients.”

Tinubu Square wins Eurocloud Award ‘Best Vertical SaaS Solution’

Tinubu Square, a leading provider of trade credit, bonding & surety and receivables finance solutions, has been awarded the 2018 “Trophées du Cloud” by Eurocloud as “Best Vertical SaaS solution”. The company has been rewarded for its ability to support the digital transformation of the credit insurance industry.

During the 12th edition of the EuroCloud France “Trophées du Cloud” Awards yesterday, Tinubu Square won the award for the best “Vertical Saas Solution”. This award ceremony, held during the Cloud Week Paris 2018, distinguished six companies amongst 52 applications. The aim was to highlight the success of the organisations in the cloud market.

The jury comprised 16 members, all experts and analysts in the cloud industry, and chose to reward Tinubu Square for its ability to rethink the management of commercial credit through a cloud-based platform which supports credit insurance companies during their digital transformation process.

“The cloud is in the DNA of our company. Our know-how is based on a cloud-based software platform in SaaS mode and also on risk underwriting services. These cloud-based solutions have been adopted by major international players and credit insurers all over the world. They have chosen our technology to overcome technical constraints & implementation time, and improve their competitiveness in the globalized market,“ said Jérôme Pezé, Founder and CEO of Tinubu Square.

Olivier Placca, Founder and Deputy CEO of Tinubu Square said: “It is a great honour for us to be recognized by this award, which will expand our visibility and credibility in the European market”.

Target Group and Telrock Systems announce partnership

Target Group Limited, the business process outsourcing and operational transformation provider and Telrock Systems Limited, a leading global provider of modern SaaS based technology solutions in the collections and digital engagement markets, have partnered to deliver best in class collections solutions to Target Group’s servicing clients.

As part of its broader business process outsourcing and transformation services, Target Group provides cost-effective and compliant outsourced collections services to a number of UK banks, utility companies and other credit providers. With growing demand for solutions capable of delivering increasingly effective and compliant treatment strategies, coupled with the need to service increasingly mobile consumers, Target Group searched the market to find a modern collections platform capable of delivering optimum performance and supporting its future collections services growth.

“We were impressed with the Optimus solution from Telrock” commented Andrew Simpson, Business Development Director at Target Group. “It was clear that substantial design, collections domain and compliance expertise had gone into the development of the Optimus solution and its integrated digital channel and consumer self-serve portal capabilities are a differentiator.”

“Entering into this partnership with Target Group represents a very exciting stage in our growth” said Dale Williams, CEO at Telrock Systems. “Target Group’s deep experience in providing outsourced collections services coupled with Telrock’s leading edge Optimus collections platform represents a strong fit for both companies.”.”

‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway

Independent technology consultancy 6point6 Cloud Gateway warned today of faith in “the cloud” peaking in 2019 before collapsing in 2020, then recovering from 2022 with better business analysis, more realistic expectations and a greater appreciation of hybrid cloud environments.

Justin Day, managing director of Cloud Gateway, said: “Essentially, what we’re witnessing – and I see evidence of it every day – is something like Gartner’s Hype Cycle in action, for the cloud. We’re in the middle of a headlong rush to ‘full cloud’ infrastructures, driven by digital evangelists who convince their leaders that it will all result in amazing business transformation and lower costs. Their faith is absolute: we hear all too frequently that ‘everything must be in the cloud’, but – equally frequently – we see insufficient objective assessment of what the actual business requirement is.

“I’m expecting that within 12-18 months CEOs will start to feel the heat from their boards, having bet the farm on digital transformations that have then failed to deliver on the promise. CFOs will be reporting that the cost savings they were expecting have failed to materialise – or, worse, that costs are higher because of the unexpected and to some extent uncontrollable costs. And, at some point between now and peak cloud, there will be a monstrous data loss of such epic proportions that it will force CISOs to concede that full cloud environments provide insufficient security, governance and control. There will be an overwhelming, crushing weight of doubt at senior levels.

“The result will be a collapse in faith in the cloud as an amazing business panacea, which might last for two or three years. But eventually, digital moderates will be able to persuade their CEOs, CFOs and CISOs that, actually, better business analysis and hybrid cloud environments can and will give them the outcomes that they originally expected.”

Day stressed that any collapse in faith will not mean that organisations will return to pre-cloud environments, only that they will rein in sharply and take stock before adjusting their infrastructures and applications to meet better-analysed needs. “It’ll be an awkward and uncomfortable trough for those who advocated ‘full cloud’,” he said. “But, because every organisation will then adjust on its own timescale, it will constitute an opportunity for the likes of 6point6, which can help them to recover. Meantime, we’re focused on giving our customers the right, sometimes tough advice now, ensuring they take a steady approach to the cloud with proper analysis and execution.”

Walker Morris extends support in Scotland for financial services clients to meet demand

Law firm Walker Morris is providing support to its financial services clients in Scotland by taking office space in Lochrin Square, in Edinburgh’s financial district, as part of its strategy to provide a multi-jurisdictional service offering to lender clients.

Banking Litigation partner, Rob Aberdein, will split his time between Edinburgh and Leeds, whilst still being supported by an 80-strong collections, recoveries and banking litigation team in Leeds. The step will enable the firm to provide Scots law support to financial services clients, in response to client demand.

Rob joined Walker Morris in November 2017 and is ‘triple ranked’ in The Legal 500 for Debt Recovery and Commercial Litigation, with a Top Tier Ranking for Debt Recovery in Scotland.

Rob commented: “As a firm we have a long history of supporting financial services clients, including a number of the national high street banks. We’ve been working closely with these clients to improve our service offering and help them streamline their legal support. This latest step to provide Scots law advice is part of our wider strategy of supporting our lender clients in all UK jurisdictions.”

Malcolm Simpson, Managing Partner at Walker Morris, added: “Rob has an impressive client base and renowned reputation within the UK financial services market, especially when it comes to Scotland and Scots law. Having someone of his calibre and enthusiasm based in both Edinburgh and Leeds will allow us to continue to develop our successful offering and enable us offer UK-wide legal services to our financial services clients.”

Dealers Need to Be More Imaginative in Embracing Online Retailing

The lessons from High Street retailing in 2018 so far, should be informing car retailers that they need to be embracing a more imaginative approach to their online retailing, recognising that without a clear and well-executed digital strategy they are at risk. This was the stark warning from Codeweavers Shaun Harris at the company’s 2018 Automotive Vision Conference.

Today, online car retailing experience is typically functional rather than engaging; car retailers need to make the online car buying experience social and enjoyable and they need to work at sustaining this personality continuously. “Dealers need to break free from selling cars to selling their personality and to do this they need to get creative,” reflected Harris, adding; “this does not necessarily mean being ‘funky’ it is about being distinctive.”

Restaurants typically recognise the importance of the ‘total meal experience’ in their offer as a differentiator. This refers to the need to stimulate all the senses in the restaurant, overlaying this with the personality of the business and its people. These experiential and social elements will largely outweigh the importance of the food itself, moving a functional need for food/entertainment to a far higher level. Harris notes; “If an activity is transactional it can be done online and large elements of car buying can fall into this category. Fail to add any experiential, personality or social attributes to the online experience and the risk and danger of commoditisation is all too real.”

The importance of social interaction, observed by Harris, is essential in creating a quality relationship and is reflected in the changes in High Streets across the UK. Social retailers such as barbers, nail salons and tattoo parlours are increasing, while functional services such as banks, travel agents and estate agents are in decline. Without any social element, the latter have all moved to online transactional services. However typically these former High St brands are devoid of the personality and engagement that could have made them stand out from the online crowd.

The shift dealers need to make is to build their online personality, to develop broader, fresher content that is interesting and useful and that moves beyond the functional car and F & I attributes. This online brand personality needs to shine through and right now, the territory is being left to disruptive new online brands, as Harris concludes:

“Arguably car dealers are often the equivalent of 1980s/90s shopping mall retailers, where most were broadly similar and that by adopting a ‘birds of a feather flock together’ principle, if sufficient shoppers came to the mall, enough footfall would inevitably come into each participating store. This is no longer true, shoppers aren’t coming in the same volumes and are seeking the distinctive and social experience. Cars may be comparable, but the experience online and in-store is not. Dealers can succeed by tapping into this change.”

Digital Wallet Promises to create a decentralised banking system – that is fairer and more stable

iBAN, a UK-based company, plans to launch iBAN Wallet – a digital alternative to traditional banking. iBAN Wallet aims to bring all the key banking services into one digital platform that can be securely accessed via a smartphone. Users will be able to access a wide range of financial services via the app, which will be available on Google Play and the iTune Store.

“We learnt a lot from other digital banking alternatives that came before us,” explains Marc Hurr, Co-founder and CTO at iBAN. “For example, we knew we weren’t going to replace existing current accounts straight away, so we made it possible for iBAN users to manage their existing accounts through the platform.”

Eventually, however, iBAN hopes to replace traditional banks altogether. “There’s no reason we can’t replace everything banks do with technology, creating a decentralised banking system that will be fairer and more stable,” explains Hurr.

To that end, the company will also offer customers an iBAN account, which they say can earn much greater rates of interest than high street banks.

“We take great care with our investments, only putting money into projects that can provide both social benefits and make a return. That way, our customers know their money is going to good use and is earning a competitive rate of interest” says Hurr.

As well as moving money between accounts, iBAN also integrates a P2P crowdlending platform. Users can fund loan requests from other users, negotiating their own rates of interest. In future, iBAN plans to offer these loan agreements in the form of smart contracts, which utilise blockchain technology.

“When it comes to savings and loans, banks earn huge profits as middlemen. That’s the business model we are aiming to disrupt. Crowdlending can offer better rates and terms for both savers and borrowers,” says Hurr.

Smart contracts are digitally created and agreed by both parties before being added to the blockchain – a digital public ledger. This approach allows users to set their own terms and interest rates, offers both borrowers and savers a choice in how to use their money.

iBAN expects the majority of its customers to be Millennials and Generation Z – younger people who are more comfortable with technology yet feel let down by the banking system. I believe this demographic tends to be less loyal to businesses, seeking out the best functionality at the most competitive price.

“I believe Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, feel that the financial system is rigged against them. They don’t have the same financial security their parents enjoyed and many of them may never own their own property,” says Hurr. “Understandably, they may be angry and are looking for alternatives to a system they may feel hasn’t served their needs.”

The company has already received over £100m in loan requests from six countries around the world, priming their platform to hit the ground running.

iBAN is now able to operate under the P2P Lending licence within the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited. This means iBAN can launch their range of financial services in the UK.

iBAN has taken a leaf out of the TransferWise book, offering low-cost or (to premium users) free international money transfers. Users at both ends of the transfer will need to sign up with iBAN Wallet, helping to rapidly grow their user-base.

To help launch the app and reach a large number of customers, iBAN is currently seeking investment on equity crowdfunding website Seedrs (your capital is at risk if you invest).

“We’re all about the power of the crowd and decentralising the economy. So crowdfunding is a no-brainer for us. We want to involve the crowd in every step of our journey,” says Hurr.

iBAN Online Limited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (no. 574048)

Arvato Financial Solutions acquires 3C

The purchase of 3C Deutschland GmbH by the international financial services provider means insurers can now have the entire claims process managed from a single source, in an automated and digital process. This not only saves a great deal of time, but also effort and costs.

When a customer makes a claim, this entails significant processing for insurers. The industry is therefore relying on the highest possible level of process automation. In RiskShield 360° by Arvato Financial Solutions, such a highly automated solution for verifying claims is long-established. It is mainly used in motor vehicle claims to identify fraud patterns and to quickly manage claims in accordance with a clear risk profile.

Following successful verification, the insurer then commissions different service providers for the rectification and settlement of the loss. Trusted partner for this is 3C Deutschland GmbH, which specializes in the automation of claims processes. Through a modern and user-friendly portal, the 3C solutions quickly and easily manage processes. As an innovative technology partner and outsourcing service provider, the company with its sites in Heilbronn and Erfurt specializes in the flexible and individual management, quality management and monitoring and controlling of claims processes.

With the purchase of 3C by the Bertelsmann subsidiary, not only will the outstanding expertise of the two companies be combined, but the digital and automated technologies will also be merged. “Combining RiskShield 360° and the 3C solutions allows us to offer a fully automated and digitalized claims management process on the insurance market first of all, from a single source, at the highest level of quality and with outstanding benefits for insurers and policyholders. Without our solutions, the processing of claims settlement takes up to six days, and we will now need five to ten minutes in the best case,” says Kai Kalchthaler, Executive Vice President Risk Management DACH at Arvato Financial Solutions.

For the founder of 3C Deutschland GmbH Dietmar Hartinger, it was the substantive criteria that were pivotal in his choice of buyer: “The positive development of both sites, the future-proof development of the products and the consistent expansion of customer relations were for us the most important points in our choice of successor. Arvato Financial Solutions meets all those criteria and also brings its own expertise and products to 3C. We made the best possible decision. I will be available to the newly formed management team on an advisory basis for the next two years in order to ensure a good transition.”

Dietmar Hartinger decided to sell as part of a succession plan. The continuity and the empirical knowledge of the business model is also maintained with 3C co-founder Uwe Mengs, who along with the long-standing risk management insurance specialists from Arvato Financial Solutions Björn Hinrichs and Thorsten Haag will form the new management team. Together they will bring together the previously separate strands and provide customers with the first fully automated digital claims management process and outstanding expertise in the insurance industry.

TDX Group makes double director hire

TDX Group, the leading provider of data and technology-driven debt solutions for businesses, has appointed James Connolly as UK Business Development Director and Paul Eddie as UK Sales Director.

James Connolly will lead TDX Group’s asset sale services. With over 20 years of industry experience, James will focus on the collections and recoveries lifecycle across lending, retail, water and debt purchase markets, helping creditor clients use the right data, processes and oversight to manage sales of debt portfolios. James joins from Callcredit, where he headed up the collections and recoveries division across multiple sectors.

As UK Sales Director, Paul Eddie will lead the TDX Group sales teams in the UK, with a specific focus on expanding the company’s footprint in the financial services, energy and water sectors. Paul brings a wealth of sales leadership expertise to the role having led the banking and financial services business for Oracle in Australia and New Zealand, and in previous sales leadership roles at Experian and Dun & Bradstreet.

Kirk Fletcher, UK Country Manager at TDX Group, said: “It’s great to have Paul and James joining the TDX Group team at such a transformational time within the market. We’ve secured a number of strong new business wins in the last 12 months and are progressing a variety of new initiatives across the financial services and utility sectors. The extensive experience and expertise of these new hires will be instrumental in bringing our unique proposition to new customers at a time when performance, control and transparency of debt management are paramount to their requirements.”

James and Paul will work closely with Adam Bibby, new Head of Utilities at Equifax, TDX Group’s parent company, to increase the business’ presence in the energy and water markets. Adam will be responsible for growing partnerships and will lead the team developing specialist solutions for utilities clients. Prior to joining Equifax, Adam spent over 10 years with Experian, working within the financial services, banking and collections sectors.

Redwood Technologies Group Shortlisted in Enterprise Awards 2018

Redwood Technologies Group has been nominated for the Enterprise Awards 2018, known as the “Oscars of the Technology Industry”. Now in their eighth year, the Awards celebrate the most successful technology entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Entrants are judged based on growth, external recognition, innovation, financial management and resolve.

Selection for the shortlist recognises Redwood Technologies Group as an industry-leading provider of omni-channel cloud communications technology. The Group comprises sister companies Redwood Technologies and Content Guru, which earlier this year won the ‘Vertical Market Solution of the Year’ award at the European IT and Software Excellence Awards for work with Serco. A first-mover in the cloud contact centre industry, today the Group supplies services to nearly 1,000 enterprises and government institutions in around 50 countries. Known for its cloud communications platform, storm®, Redwood Technologies Group enables organisations, including the NHS, UK Power Networks and Rail Delivery Group, to optimise customer engagement.