Finovate Spring Highlights: How Mastercard & Strands help Banks target SMEs

Finovate Spring Highlights: How Mastercard & Strands help Banks target SMEs

The cashflow-centric banking experience for small businesses

Strands and Mastercard paired up to demo at Finovate Spring in San Francisco earlier this month, presenting the SME Cash Flow Manager, fruit of their strategic partnership.   Mastercard’s Jay Singer and Strands’ GM for the Americas, Cesar Richardson took to the stage to present a solution which will help small business better manage their cash flow — the key to their survival — and operate their businesses more effectively.  

82% of small businesses that fail, fail because of poor cash flow management. Jay Singer, Mastercard

The tool combines Strands’ Business Financial Management (BFM), the Engagermachine learning insights engine and Mastercard technology.

With almost 30 million small businesses in the US alone and despite being one of the most lucrative business segments and a potentially huge source of revenue for banks, the SME remains an enigma for banks.  With their combined experience, Strands and Mastercard have developed this innovative solution to tap into the main pain points small businesses face.

Benefits include:

  • Instant credit to solve negative cash flow situations
  • Integrated Mastercard virtual credit card platform for increased online security
  • Connection to third-party accounting software such as Sage and Quickbooks
  • Overall view of entire financial life



Strands & Mastercard’s SME Cash Flow Manager at Finovate

Strands & Mastercard’s SME Cash Flow Manager at Finovate

We’ve officially launched Strands and Mastercard’s joint cash flow solution at Finovate Spring in San Francisco this week, sharing the stage with our strategic partners to bring a new solution to the market.

SME Cash Flow Manager is a suite of SME digital finance tools that empowers banks to become their business owner’s trusted advisor, by giving small businesses what they want: cash flow solutions that are contextual, highly synchronized with accounting and invoicing tools that help them become more efficient whilst freeing up time.  82% of small businesses that fail, do so as a result of poor cash flow management, so our combined offering stands to help a lot of people.

Banks are able to offer clients Mastercard value-added services – including access to 30-days free credit when liquidity issues occur -establishing new revenue streams and consolidating their relationship with this important, yet historically underserved segment.

By working together, Strands and Mastercard can help SMEs manage their finances more efficiently, improve their business’ stability and scale up.

Finovate has been a resounding success and our presentation was well received by the audience and visitors to our Strands/Mastercard stand. This is just the start of an amazing journey to bring better experiences to SME customers!

Mastercard and Strands collaborate to empower small-to-medium enterprise  banking with AI and cutting-edge payment technology

Mastercard and Strands collaborate to empower small-to-medium enterprise banking with AI and cutting-edge payment technology

Strands and Mastercard announced they are working together globally to provide issuing banks with an integrated platform of digital cash management and commercial payment tools specifically designed to benefit their small-to-medium enterprise (SMEs) customer base.

SMEs are historically an underserved business segment despite their $46 trillion annual spending power. Now, the Strands Business Financial Management (BFM) will leverage Mastercard’s digital payment technology to deliver on-demand solutions helping these businesses to better understand their finances, project their short-term cash flow and see personalized recommendations for customized solutions. Both companies’ banking clients will benefit from this combined, value-added SME banking solution.

“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 percent of SMEs place cash flow management as one of their top three priorities to help them secure their financial future, but the banking solutions offered today by issuer banks do not address these unique requirements,” said Erik Brieva, Strands’ CEO.

Strands’ Business Financial Management solution offers a comprehensive set of tools and insights to empower SME owners to achieve better and more efficient management of their cash flow and working capital needs. These tools help manage accounts payables, receivables, budgets and provisions and are all powered by a layer of AI and machine-learning models that help users to navigate the financial needs of their businesses. Strands brings the power of AI-enabled solutions to the SME user to allow them to predict income, expenses, forecast balances, receive personalized alerts and notifications and recommend products and/or services that meet the immediate needs of their business.

Strands’ BFM, an SME banking product, is entirely designed and built with the issuing bank in mind so that they can offer their SME customers a feature-rich platform to better manage their day-to-day finances. Going forward, 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.

The combined Strands’ SME platform and Mastercard payment technology is designed to empower customers across the globe. “Once more, Strands is showing a true determination to become the preferred FinTech partner for banks by developing world-class software and alliances that create value and contribute to the success of these financial institutions,” said Brieva.

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Mastercard y Strands colaboran para potenciar la banca de pequeñas y medianas empresas

Mastercard y Strands colaboran para potenciar la banca de pequeñas y medianas empresas

Mastercard y Strands están trabajando en conjunto para ofrecer a los bancos una plataforma integrada de gestión finanzas y herramientas de pagos diseñadas específicamente para beneficiar a su base de clientes de pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes).

Las pymes han sido un segmento comercial desatendido históricamente, a pesar de su capacidad de gasto anual de 46 trillones de dólares. Ahora, el Business Financial Management (BFM) de Strands aprovechará la tecnología de pago digital de Mastercard para ofrecer soluciones que ayuden a estas empresas a comprender mejor sus finanzas, proyectar su flujo de caja a corto plazo y ver recomendaciones personalizadas. Los clientes bancarios de ambas compañías se beneficiarán de esta solución de valor añadido.

“Las pymes son la columna vertebral de la economía mundial y representan una de las mayores fuentes de ingresos potenciales para los bancos; sin embargo, las soluciones bancarias que se les ofrecen están diseñadas con el cliente minorista en mente. Nuestra propia investigación muestra que el 61 por ciento de las pymes ubican la gestión del flujo de caja entre sus tres principales prioridades para asegurar su futuro financiero, pero las soluciones bancarias ofrecidas hoy por los bancos no abordan estos requisitos”, dice Erik Brieva, CEO de Strands.

La solución BFM de Strands pone a la disposición de los propietarios de pymes un conjunto de herramientas que les permite administrar mejor y más eficientemente sus necesidades de flujo de caja y capital circulante —ayudando a gestionar cuentas por pagar, cuentas por cobrar, presupuestos y provisiones— y cuentan con una capa de IA y modelos de aprendizaje automático que ayudan a los usuarios a gobernar las necesidades financieras de sus negocios. Strands brinda al usuario pyme el poder de las soluciones habilitadas para IA para permitirles predecir los ingresos, los gastos, las proyecciones de saldos, recibir alertas y notificaciones personalizadas y recomendar productos y/o servicios que satisfagan las necesidades inmediatas de su negocio.

El BFM de Strands está completamente diseñado y construido pensando en el banco, de modo que puedan ofrecer a sus clientes pyme una plataforma rica en características para administrar mejor sus finanzas cotidianas. En el futuro, los usuarios de esta plataforma BFM también tendrán acceso a Mastercard In Control, para ayudar a las empresas a rastrear el uso de tarjetas de crédito comerciales; Mastercard Merchant Match Tool, para identificar a los comerciantes que aceptan tarjetas de crédito como forma de pago; o Mastercard Easy Savings, para proporcionar recompensas de fidelidad en comercios y minoristas seleccionados.

La combinación de la plataforma SME de Strands y la tecnología de pago Mastercard está diseñada para capacitar a clientes de todo el mundo. “Una vez más, Strands está demostrando una verdadera determinación de convertirse en el socio FinTech preferido por los bancos gracias al desarrollo de software y alianzas en todo el mundo que crean valor y contribuyen al éxito de estas instituciones financieras”, dice Brieva.

STRANDS Launches Financial Management (FM) Release 8.0

STRANDS Launches Financial Management (FM) Release 8.0

  • Financial Management (FM) 8.0 delivers heightened integrated architecture and API Hub to help banks leverage open banking.
  • Banks running the Strands PFM can provide the newest innovations for the SME segment through Strands BFM by upgrading to this latest core version.
  • It provides Real-Time Extension with high performance processing capacity (> 60k transactions per minute) for top-tier banks.
  • New generation of Strands Engager, enabling banks to provide tailored communications and solutions to each user with predefined insights across channels.

Barcelona, July 2nd, 2018. — STRANDS, the FinTech partner for financial institutions globally, today unveiled the latest release of its core white-label solution, Financial Management (FM) 8.0.
Investing in functionality to support the development and launch of financial management solutions is at the heart of STRANDS’ product strategy, as it consistently provides innovative software to its global client base.

The functional enhancements to FM 8.0 provide STRANDS’ clients with a truly comprehensive and customer-centric tool, whilst maximising efficiencies and supporting banks in improving the experience of their greatest asset —their users.
The new functional enhancements of FM Release 8.0 include:

Heightened Integrated Architecture

A new Integrated Architecture that allows banks to serve the SME segment, also known as “the missing middle”, by upgrading to FM 8.0. It also includes the API HUB as part of the FM install, helping banks to leverage open banking by allowing their customers to connect to external services such as account aggregation, accounting packages (Quickbooks, Xero, Sage…) and many more to come.

Fig. 1 New Integrated FM architecture

Fig. 2 API Hub provides banks with a single, easy-to-use interface and uses a combination of Open Banking API, screen scraping and crawler technologies to connect to thousands of institutions worldwide.

Real Time Extension (RTE)

The RTE is a system that uses real-time processing to handle large data sets, allowing top tier banks to process up to 60K transactions per minute. With RTE, banking users’ accounts will automatically be updated whenever a transaction is processed.
By offering the most up-to-date account information available, RTE will also help further protect users from potential fraud.

Web version developed in React JS

The new FM 8.0 web version is developed in React JS technology to increase customization speed, and extensibility to mobile native development (React Native).

New BFM User Interface

The new BFM User Interface enables customers to enhance their banking experience through beautiful, simple, and functional design. The money management tools for SMEs embrace an intuitive, user-centric design, as well as the integration of leading external Accounts/Receivables and Accounts/Payable software in order to facilitate and automate the reconciliation process.

In FM Release 8.0, STRANDS has placed a great deal of emphasis on helping banks offer a best-of-breed financial management solution, and has set the precedent for a new Engager generation —an advanced platform that enables banks to provide tailored communications to their users with more than 200 predefined insights for retail and SME customers.