Today in B2B payments, lenders land SMB relief support in U.S. pandemic aid package. Plus, Contour completes blockchain trade finance transaction, Liberis raises funding for SME financing, Pakistan eyes digitizing supply chains, and Ripple faces SEC charges.
The almost $900 billion U.S. pandemic aid package ratified by lawmakers Monday (Dec. 21) following months of debate will assist financial institutions by relaxing an important small-business lending initiative’s regulations, providing deferred loan payment accounting relief and bolstering the financial position of borrowers, Reuters reported. American Bankers Association Chief Executive Rob Nichols said, as per Reuters, that the deal provides multiple provisions supported by the ABA “that will allow banks to provide additional help to individual and business customers under financial stress from the pandemic.”
Decentralized digital finance trade platform Contour has completed a pilot blockchain transaction between textile companies Tainan Spinning and Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation in Vietnam, according to a press release. The release also stated the transaction showcases the business growth in Vietnam and Taiwan. “As the world adapts to social distancing and post-COVID life, traditional methods of doing business will quickly be incompatible,” said Contour CEO Carl Wegner, according to the release.
U.K.-based Liberis has notched £70 million (approximately $93.5 million) in financing from BCI Europe, Paragon Bank and British Business Investments in addition to financing and venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), according to a Tuesday (Dec. 22) press release. The financing increases the corporate finance platform’s overall funds raised to £200 million (approximately $267 million), with the inclusion of more than £50 million (approximately $67 million) in equity funding, according to a press release.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is looking at making corporate supply chains digital, a report from Pakistan Today stated, with an eye toward more financial inclusion. “It is the overarching aim of the State Bank to ensure a safe and secure financial system,” said SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil at a web conference, per the report. “The other role that we have is financial inclusion. What we want is to reduce cash and promote financial inclusion through digitization.” According to the deputy governor, most supply chains in the country, in both rural and urban areas, are cash- or paper-based, which she said put them at a disadvantage, the report stated.
The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed action against Ripple over allegedly conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering, Reuters reported on Tuesday (Dec. 22). San Francisco-based Ripple is a blockchain payments company connected to the XRP cryptocurrency, which Reuters reported is the third-biggest cryptocurrency by its $23 billion market value, next to only bitcoin and Ethereum. The SEC lawsuit also named two Ripple executives in the action, although no other details were available as of Tuesday afternoon.