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US Bank Brings FinTech Collaboration To The Next Level With Bento Buy

Financial institutions continue to embrace collaborations and integrations with FinTechs, but this week, U.S. Bank elevated that strategy with its FinTech acquisition. Plus, Brazil takes its next steps in open banking, and more bank-FinTech tie-ups emerge.

U.S. Bank Acquires Bento Technologies

As more financial institutions embrace the opportunity to collaborate with FinTechs, U.S. Bank is taking that effort to the next level with its latest acquisition. The bank recently announced it reached an agreement to acquire Bento Technologies, a B2B FinTech known as Bento for Business that offers card payment and expense management solutions for business users. The company also provides a Bento account, powered by a Visa debit card, allowing businesses to receive, store and manage funds. Financial details of the takeover were not disclosed, and the bank said it plans to close the deal next month.

Read More: US Bank to Buy Debit Card-Based Biz Expense Management Platform Bento Technologies

Funding Circle Expands Congressional Bank Tie-Up

Funding Circle has expanded its existing relationship with Maryland-based Congressional Bank to fuel more small business lending. The initial collaboration saw the bank purchase small business loans via Funding Circle. Now, the bank will wield Funding Circle’s risk analytics technology to enhance small business loan underwriting.

“We have been dedicated to helping small business owners obtain essential funding throughout the [COVID-19] pandemic through our partnership with Funding Circle and our participation in the Paycheck Protection Program where we funded over 2,600 loans to small businesses. This partnership is an important part of our efforts to support more small businesses and aligns well with our focus on positively impacting the communities we serve,” said Adam Hoehn, executive vice president of Technology-Enabled Lending for Congressional Bank.

DBS Bank India Collaborates On Freight Credit

India’s DBS Bank is teaming up with a FinTech to enhance the latter’s offerings to freight forwarders. The bank announced that it has partnered with ODeX, a trade management FinTech that facilitates document exchange and B2B payments. The company will now be able to offer credit to its freight forwarder clients by integrating DBS financing capabilities within its ODeX Pay Later Solutions. Via an application programming interface (API), the FinTech can facilitate a fully digital and integrated application process. It aims to support cash flow for freight forwarders, which, the FinTech noted, can often face working capital bottlenecks as a result of having to pay shipping lines, freight stations and others before receiving payment from their importer and exporter customers.

Brazil Kicks Off Open Banking

Data sharing and integration are now live in Brazil as open banking enters into its next phase of launch. Data sharing went live last week, two years since the country’s Central Bank introduced an open banking initiative. “This is a new stage of development of the national financial system,” said the regulation director at the Central Bank, Otávio Damaso.

Brazil’s central bank issued a decision in July to extend the data sharing phase of the effort from July 15 to August 13, after recognizing the need among financial institutions for more time to secure approval for their open APIs.

Up ahead, the country is gearing up for the third phase of its open banking rollout, which reports said will involve payment and money transfer capabilities outside of customers’ bank ecosystems. The fourth and final phase, set for launch toward the end of the year, involves additional data-sharing arrangements between financial institutions.

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