FinTechs Help Banks Ease The PPP Lending Pain

PYMNTS.com | April 08, 2020

Small businesses overwhelmed U.S. financial institutions as they scrambled to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. When the program went live on Friday (April 3), only two FIs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, had been able to begin accepting applications — Bank of America saw a whopping $6 billion worth of applications in only a few hours, ending Friday with $32.6 billion in applications. It was a shaky start for the initiative that was designed to ease the pain of the coronavirus pandemic, with small businesses expressing frustration at the “nightmare” process of attempting to access a portion of the $349 billion available under the legislation.

Spotlight

Sometimes surviving means knowing the difference between what’s time-honored wisdom and what’s just a tall tale. For example, some people think you can survive online with just a website or a Facebook page. Some people believe getting to the top of the search results is harder than making a fire with wet matches. The truth is, if you pack your digital survival kit with the right gear, you can do more than survive...you can thrive.


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FINANCE

Finastra collaborates with Microsoft to bring embedded financing options to thousands of businesses with Banking as a Service

Finastra | April 13, 2022

Finastra today announced a Banking as a Service (BaaS) collaboration with Microsoft to bring new lending options to thousands of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – a sector severely underserved when it comes to accessing finance. SMEs using Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be able to access and unlock vital financing offers without leaving their business management platform. This move will enable SME owners to access relevant and valuable business financing in a seamless and frictionless manner. Users will be able to unlock lending options within Dynamics 365. With consent from the SME, the solution will use information an SME already stores within Microsoft Dynamics 365, making it easier for them to apply for lending. The ability to provide banks with additional information, including accounts receivable and payable records, will improve lending decisions and time to cash for SMEs. Finastra's expansive network of over 5,000 financial institutions in the US will allow SMEs to access the most relevant and valuable financing options for their specific business needs. "We are extremely excited to bring this additional finance capability to SMEs to ease the process of accessing capital, and power competitive financing offers in less time. This lending proposition for Microsoft Dynamics 365 reinforces Finastra's leadership in open and embedded finance. It demonstrates the huge benefit that embedded and contextual finance will bring to the industry and the communities within it. We look forward to continuing our long-standing collaboration with Microsoft and working closely on this and future impactful projects." Angus Ross, Chief Revenue Officer, Banking as a Service, at Finastra "We are proud to further expand our relationship with Finastra to drive new value for small and medium enterprises, the backbone of job creation in the world's economy," said Bill Borden, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft. "By embedding secure access to key financial services in the context of Microsoft Dynamics 365, our SME customers will have a faster path to the financing options and critical capital they need to thrive." The Finastra SME embedded finance solution on Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be integrated with open APIs through Finastra's FusionFabric.cloud platform. The solution is expected to go live in Summer this year, with initial focus on North America customers. About Finastra Finastra is building an open platform that accelerates collaboration and innovation in financial services, creating better experiences for people, businesses and communities. Supported by the broadest and deepest portfolio of financial services software, Finastra delivers this vitally important technology to financial institutions of all sizes across the globe, including 90 of the world's top 100 banks. Our open architecture approach brings together a number of partners and innovators. Together we are leading the way in which applications are written, deployed and consumed in financial services to evolve with the changing needs of customers. About FusionFabric.cloud FusionFabric.cloud is a scalable, open and collaborative platform built by Finastra. It brings together an ecosystem of financial institutions, core providers, developers and fintechs, as well as embedders and distributors of financial services. Financial institutions use FusionFabric.cloud to enhance efficiency, create new experiences for customers and offer services through new distributor channels as part of Banking as a Service (BaaS). Embedders and distributors can tap in to the platform to source, and integrate with, financial institutions which can quickly produce new financial products in context.

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FINANCE

Verizon partners with Mastercard and FNBO to launch small business credit card

Verizon Business | June 21, 2022

Verizon Business announced that it is teaming up with Mastercard and First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) to launch a credit card designed to bring value to small business owners. In the coming weeks, existing Verizon Business wireless customers with less than 100 lines and an online account will be eligible to apply for the Verizon Business Mastercard®, which rewards purchases on everyday business expenses such as eligible office supplies, technology, fuel, and more. "Mastercard has been a key partner to us on our journey to help our customers of all sizes transform their businesses and ensure they are truly future-ready,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “We are pleased to expand this partnership to include FNBO and bring this small business credit card to our customers at a time when we know they are seeking new avenues to expand their business, manage costs and maximize their use of new technologies to solve challenges to drive growth.” Here is how it works: The Verizon Business Mastercard®, which is issued by FNBO, will allow small business owners who apply and are approved to earn and redeem Verizon Business Dollars toward devices or accessories for their business. Benefits and features of the card will include: Earn Rewards on Eligible Business Purchases*: Earn 5% back on Verizon purchases, like paying your Verizon bill or buying devices from Verizon, during your first billing cycle after account opening;1 3% back on Verizon purchases after your first billing cycle;1 2% back on eligible gas; electronic vehicle charging and office supplies;2 and 1% back on other purchases.3 Get More for Your Business: Earn Verizon Business Dollars on eligible business purchases and redeem them later toward new devices or a Verizon Business wireless bill. New Cardholder Bonus: Eligible Verizon Business customers who apply and are approved will receive $50 toward their credit card statement after their first purchase on the card* (maximum one bonus per business account). No Annual Fee4: The Verizon Business Mastercard® has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.4 Fill Your Digital Toolbox: The Verizon Business Mastercard® features World Elite Mastercard for Business® benefits to help small business owners reach new audiences and grow their businesses, including access to Microsoft Advertising, Zoho Social and Zoho Marketing Pal.5 Assess Your Digital Footprint: Cardholders will have access to Mastercard’s Digital Diagnostic assessment and Digital Doors program, which provides always-on resources for small business owners to set up shop online, grow and manage their business, accept payments, and keep their business protected. Safe & Secure Payments Experience: The Verizon Business Mastercard® is contactless enabled. Upon approval for the card, cardholders can begin making purchases immediately online, in app, and at the point of sale after adding it to their mobile wallet. Experience Peace of Mind: The Verizon Business Mastercard® offers Mastercard ID Theft Protection™, Zero Liability6 and Price Protection, in addition to 24/7/365 Global Emergency Services.5 This new offering is the result of a multifaceted partnership between Verizon Business and Mastercard to help provide solutions for the global payments and commerce ecosystems. The global leaders continue to work together to couple Verizon’s 5G connectivity with the power of the Mastercard network. Today’s announcement complements Verizon’s network-as-a-service foundation and supports its core areas of growth and innovation across mobility, nationwide broadband, mobile edge computing and business solutions, the value market and network monetization. “Today’s small business owner is looking for smarter, relevant, and customized digital financial products that accelerate their operations and make their lives easier,” said Chiro Aikat, Executive Vice President, Products & Engineering, North America at Mastercard. “We’re proud to extend our relationship with Verizon and FNBO to connect the small business segment through meaningful technology and benefits.” “FNBO has a rich history of helping small businesses grow and succeed, so we are excited to partner with such a respected brand as Verizon on the launch of their first program for small business,” said Jerry J. O’Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Partner Segment at FNBO. To find out if your business is eligible to apply for the Verizon Business Mastercard® when it officially launches, visit http://verizon.com/business-mastercard-comingsoon. ABOUT VERIZON Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control. ABOUT FNBO First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is a leader in the credit card partnership arena, with partners in a variety of industries including retail, travel, entertainment, automotive, oil, nonprofits and more. For over 60 years, FNBO has specialized in providing comprehensive credit card programs with personalized service to help its customers achieve their goals. Visit card.fnbo.com for more information. ABOUT MASTERCARD (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

B12 launches multi-user functionality, making it easier for professional service providers to work with their teams

B12 | May 05, 2022

To help professional service providers more easily scale their businesses, B12 continues to enhance its online platform, introducing the ability for customers to add team members to their accounts. This evolution of B12's platform enables business owners to invite staff, contractors, and other collaborators to their account, allowing for easier delegation of tasks, centralized oversight of client interactions, and greater team efficiency. "Small business owners work for themselves – but that doesn't always mean they work by themselves, Business growth is such a huge goal for entrepreneurs, and with growth often comes team expansion. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for businesses to grow with B12, and that meant making it easy for owners to work with their teams on B12." -Nitesh Banta, Co-Founder and CEO of B12 B12's new team-based subscription packages provide small business owners with an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform to help them better attract, win, and serve clients online. Designed to meet the specific needs of business owners offering professional services, key features include: A custom-built professional website: An AI-powered website builder creates industry-specific drafts that are then tailored by expert copywriters and designers. The result is a professional-looking, fully optimized website that showcases each business's unique identity in under 30 days. Tools to win and engage clients: Business owners have access to on-site conversion banners, email marketing, client intake forms, and online scheduling, all within B12. Support for business operations: Back-office tasks are streamlined with embedded invoicing, contract management, and the ability to accept eSignatures and online payments. When team members are added in B12, they have access to many of these tools. Specific access is based on the permissions granted by the business owner, which can be changed or removed at any time. This flexibility means that as a business evolves, so can the size and capabilities of its team. "How businesses work is chang While small businesses have core staff, they also do project-based work. When speaking with business owners, we realized that their definition of team included both full-time employees and contractors that pulse in and out of projects. To support the varied needs of small businesses, it was important to make our team tools flexible and adaptable, with as few constraints for owners as responsibly possible." -Adam Marcus, B12's Co-Founder and CTO The launch of B12's new team capabilities comes in conjunction with the company's celebration of National Small Business Week, which runs from May 2nd - May 7th. B12 is honoring the resiliency, persistence, and creativity of entrepreneurs across the country with free online events, resources, and customer recognition. To view past and upcoming activities, visit www.b12.io/nsbw-online-events-2022. About B12 B12 is a web-based platform for professional service providers that helps them attract, win, and serve clients online. Within 30 days, B12 sets customers up with a website backed by powerful tools to help busy owners manage all aspects of winning and working with clients – including appointment scheduling, client intake, contact management, contracts and eSignatures, and online payments. B12 has worked with more than 150,000 businesses and is powered by technology built by the team's MIT-, and Berkeley-trained researchers. The company's open-source automation system called Orchestra pairs experts and AI to make tasks 15x more efficient than other platforms. B12 was founded in 2015 and has raised $28.1M from VCs and investors, including Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, SV Angel, and Tola Capital. Visit www.b12.io to learn more.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Sherweb and RBC Team Up to Help Canadian Businesses Accelerate Digital Transformation

Sherweb | March 08, 2022

Sherweb, an award-winning cloud marketplace leader, announced today a collaboration with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to help Canadian businesses accelerate their digital transformation as part of RBC’s Go DigitalTM program. The past year has impacted businesses across Canada, with many struggling to adapt to new digital realities. Sherweb and RBC are committed to helping businesses manage their transformation journey with confidence, so they can increase their resiliency and continue to grow. "Sherweb’s objective is to simplify the cloud adoption process through a combination of expertise and a human approach to providing IT solutions. We help businesses better understand their investments, the opportunities available to them and overcome the barriers associated with going digital." Matthew Cassar, Sherweb’s co-CEO "With a network of thousands of IT professionals, Sherweb can help businesses overcome any obstacle. With competencies in every tech area from productivity to security, our extended partner network represents unmeasurable knowledge for businesses to tap into." The benefits of adopting cloud solutions are clear: increased efficiency, lower costs and improved competitiveness. Research from BDC shows that digitally mature businesses are 62% more likely to have high sales growth and 52% more likely to have greater profitability over time. Sherweb’s product portfolio and cloud expertise will allow RBC to scale out digital solutions rapidly and effectively for their Go Digital customers. This exclusive offer for RBC business clients supports all productivity, security and training needs, including industry-leading names such as Microsoft, Office Protect, Acronis, LogMeIn and QuickHelp. “The RBC Go Digital™ strategy makes it easier for our clients to gain access to digital expertise and the right technologies to meet evolving demands and grow their business, no matter where they are on their digital journey,” said Don Ludlow, VP Small Business, BFS Strategy and Partnerships at RBC. "We are pleased to introduce Sherweb as the newest Beyond Banking partner under the Go Digital banner. Sherweb will become an RBC strategic digital partner through their tailored support with business strategy, operational efficiencies and the very best cloud product and service solutions to help our clients with their evolving technology needs. I am looking forward to learning from Sherweb and sharing this partnership with our clients.” Digital transformation has never been more critical for business growth. Its importance is recognized by the Government of Canada through its Canada Digital Adoption Program, which is committed to helping SMBs adopt new technologies. Over the next four years, $4 billion will be provided to eligible businesses to access skills, training and funds to move into the digital age. About Sherweb More than 6,500 partners and 80,000 companies worldwide grow their business using Sherweb’s value-added services. We support our customers with business strategies, cloud services, operations and expertise. Whatever their business, we can help them reach their full potential by creating a tailored approach to their needs.

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Spotlight

Sometimes surviving means knowing the difference between what’s time-honored wisdom and what’s just a tall tale. For example, some people think you can survive online with just a website or a Facebook page. Some people believe getting to the top of the search results is harder than making a fire with wet matches. The truth is, if you pack your digital survival kit with the right gear, you can do more than survive...you can thrive.

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