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Velexa launches new Fractional Bonds feature: Making elite investments accessible to all

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Velexa, recognised as a top WealthTech100 company, has recently unveiled its latest innovation: fractional bonds. This new feature is a significant addition to their comprehensive suite of investment tools, designed for both embedded and standalone applications.

Following the successful implementation of fractional shares, Velexa’s move to introduce fractional bonds marks a strategic step towards making high-quality bond investments accessible to the mass retail market.

The introduction of fractional bonds by Velexa is set to revolutionize the investment landscape. This feature enables institutions to offer retail investors the chance to explore a diverse portfolio of over 300 high-quality corporate and government bonds. These bonds span major markets, including the US and the EU, and are available for investment with minimal initial sums.

This approach to asset fractionalisation—splitting a high-value asset into smaller, tradable units—is gaining momentum among capital market players. Despite the popularity of fractional shares, the bond market has remained relatively untapped, mainly due to its complexity and the high entry barriers for retail investors.

Historically, the bond market has been the playground of institutional investors, largely due to the high entry costs and the intricate trading mechanisms involved. Many bonds come with minimum investment requirements set by the issuers or dealers, typically in increments of $10,000, and often trade in lot sizes exceeding $100,000.

This structure has effectively sidelined retail investors, making it difficult for them to access bond investments. Velexa’s fractional bonds initiative aims to dismantle these barriers, opening up the bond market to a broader audience and democratizing access to what has traditionally been an elite investment domain.

Tamara Kostova, CEO of Velexa, emphasized the transformative potential of fractional bonds, stating, “With the roll-out of fractional bonds functionality, Velexa is taking a significant step to make the bond market more accessible, offering a lower-cost entry point into this vast market.

“More investors will be able to diversify their portfolios, potentially reducing risk and enhancing possible returns. As a company on a mission to democratise wealth generation through investing, building the right tools to empower retail investors to achieve their financial goals is a focal point in the way we design our technology.”

Velexa’s commitment to enhancing the personal investing experience extends beyond the launch of fractional bonds. The company’s API-based platform and solutions are designed to enable customers to offer a personalized and robust investment experience to their end-users. The modular technology allows for easy integration of new functionalities into existing channels and apps through Velexa’s Investing API solution.

The debut of fractional bonds is more than just an expansion of Velexa’s investing toolkit; it represents a crucial shift in the personal investing landscape. By bridging the divide between large-cap investments and the individual investor, Velexa is setting the stage for retail-focused institutions such as banks, neobanks, brokers, and exchanges to expand their customer base and cater to the diverse needs of the next generation of investors.

Velexa is a pioneering WealthTech company dedicated to democratizing the wealth management industry. Its B2B2X investing technology platform enables client institutions to tap into the growing demand for modern and ubiquitous investing solutions among new generation investors.

Source: Fintech Global

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Fintech

Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space

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The BIS, along with seven leading central banks and a cohort of private financial firms, has embarked on an ambitious venture known as Project Agorá.

Named after the Greek word for “marketplace,” this initiative stands at the forefront of exploring the potential of tokenisation to significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the monetary system worldwide.

Central to this pioneering project are the Bank of France (on behalf of the Eurosystem), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the Bank of Mexico, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions have joined forces under the banner of Project Agorá, in partnership with an extensive assembly of private financial entities convened by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

At the heart of Project Agorá is the pursuit of integrating tokenised commercial bank deposits with tokenised wholesale central bank money within a unified, public-private programmable financial platform. By harnessing the advanced capabilities of smart contracts and programmability, the project aspires to unlock new transactional possibilities that were previously infeasible or impractical, thereby fostering novel opportunities that could benefit businesses and consumers alike.

The collaborative effort seeks to address and surmount a variety of structural inefficiencies that currently plague cross-border payments. These challenges include disparate legal, regulatory, and technical standards; varying operating hours and time zones; and the heightened complexity associated with conducting financial integrity checks (such as anti-money laundering and customer verification procedures), which are often redundantly executed across multiple stages of a single transaction due to the involvement of several intermediaries.

As a beacon of experimental and exploratory projects, the BIS Innovation Hub is committed to delivering public goods to the global central banking community through initiatives like Project Agorá. In line with this mission, the BIS will soon issue a call for expressions of interest from private financial institutions eager to contribute to this ground-breaking project. The IIF will facilitate the involvement of private sector participants, extending an invitation to regulated financial institutions representing each of the seven aforementioned currencies to partake in this transformative endeavour.

Source: fintech.globa

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TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud

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TD Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as it looks to streamline the development and deployment of new products and services.

The deal will see the Canadian banking group integrate the vendor’s cloud services into a wider portion of its technology solutions portfolio, a move which TD expects will enable it “to respond quickly to changing customer expectations by rolling out new features, updates, or entirely new financial products at an accelerated pace”.

This marks an expansion of the already established relationship between TD Bank and Google Cloud after the group previously adopted the vendor’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for TD Securities Automated Trading (TDSAT), the Chicago-based subsidiary of its investment banking unit, TD Securities.

TDSAT uses GKE for process automation and quantitative modelling across fixed income markets, resulting in the development of a “data-driven research platform” capable of processing large research workloads in trading.

Dan Bosman, SVP and CIO of TD Securities, claims the infrastructure has so far supported TDSAT with “compute-intensive quantitative analysis” while expanding the subsidiary’s “trading volumes and portfolio size”.

TD’s new partnership with Google Cloud will see the group attempt to replicate the same level of success across its entire portfolio.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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MAS launches transformative platform to combat money laundering

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The MAS has unveiled Cosmic, an acronym for Collaborative Sharing of Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing Information and Cases, a new money laundering platform.

According to Business Times, launched on April 1, Cosmic stands out as the first centralised digital platform dedicated to combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing on a worldwide scale. This move follows the enactment of the Financial Services and Markets (Amendment) Act 2023, which, along with its subsidiary legislation, commenced on the same day to provide a solid legal foundation and safeguards for information sharing among financial institutions (FIs).

Cosmic enables participating FIs to exchange customer information when certain “red flags” indicate potential suspicious activities. The platform’s introduction is a testament to MAS’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of the financial sector, mandating participants to establish stringent policies and operational safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of the shared information. This strategic approach allows for the efficient exchange of intelligence on potential criminal activities while protecting legitimate customers.

Significantly, Cosmic was co-developed by MAS and six leading commercial banks in Singapore—OCBC, UOB, DBS, Citibank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered—which will serve as participant FIs during its initial phase. The initiative emphasizes voluntary information sharing focused on addressing key financial crime risks within the commercial banking sector, such as the misuse of legal persons, trade finance, and proliferation financing.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director for policy, payments, and financial crime at MAS, highlighted that Cosmic enhances the existing collaboration between the industry and law enforcement authorities, fortifying Singapore’s reputation as a well-regulated and trusted financial hub. Similarly, Pua Xiao Wei of Citi Singapore and Loretta Yuen of OCBC have expressed their institutions’ support for Cosmic, noting its potential to ramp up anti-money laundering efforts and its significance as a development in the banking sector’s ability to combat financial crimes efficiently. DBS’ Lam Chee Kin also praised Cosmic as a “game changer,” emphasizing the careful balance between combating financial crime and ensuring legitimate customers’ access to financial services.

Source: fintech.global

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