Strands and Mastercard are working together to provide issuing banks with an integrated platform of digital cash management and commercial payment tools designed for SMEs, reports Antony Peyton of FinTech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).
According to the duo, Strands’ business financial management (BFM) will use Mastercard’s digital payment technology to deliver solutions to these businesses to understand their finances, project short-term cash flow and see personalised recommendations for customised solutions.
“SMEs are the backbone of the global economy and represent one of the biggest potential sources of revenue for banks; yet they are typically offered banking solutions designed with the retail customer in mind. Our in-house research shows that 61% of SMEs place cash flow management as one of their top three priorities to help them secure their financial future,” said Erik Brieva, Strands’ CEO.
Strands’ BFM solution helps manage accounts payables, receivables, budgets and provisions and is powered by a layer of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models.
For example, SME users can predict income, expenses, forecast balances, receive alerts and notifications, and recommend products and/or services.
Going forward, Strands adds that users of this BFM platform will also have access to Mastercard In Control, which can help businesses track the use of commercial credit cards, Mastercard Merchant Match Tool to identify merchants that accept credit cards as a form of payment or Mastercard Easy Savings to provide loyalty rewards at select merchants and retailers.
Strands has done more than 600 bank implementations with over 100 million customers in 36 countries. Clients include Barclays, BBVA, Santander, Commercial Bank of Africa, Deutsche Bank, and Huntington.
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Strands demonstrated its white-label BFM solution at FinovateAsia 2017. The technology leverages Strands’ API Hub, as well as machine learning, to enable banks to better analyze and understand the preferences and behaviors of their SME clients. Banks can then use these insights to make recommendations to help them improve their businesses.
Strands has raised $55 million in funding, and includes Dalbergia, Debaeque, Sequel Venture Partners, and Indigo Investment Corporation among its investors.