Business News - Page 3

Lacework Appoints Andrew Casey as Chief Financial Officer

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 21 November 2022

Former WalkMe CFO brings deep financial expertise and successful track record to Lacework as CFOs take on new role in cybersecurity.

 Lacework®, the data-driven cloud security company, today announced the appointment of industry veteran Andrew Casey as Chief Financial Officer.  Casey brings over 25 years of industry experience, most recently serving as the CFO of no-code digital adoption platform WalkMe and leading it through IPO. In joining the executive team, Casey leverages his deep enterprise tech finance expertise as Lacework continues to deliver new innovative capabilities to its patented Polygraph® Data Platform so customers can innovate with confidence. 

“Lacework truly understands the security needs of modern businesses, and its approach to cloud security as a leading cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) sets it apart in a rapidly changing market,” said Casey. “CFOs are taking an increasingly large role in influencing and prioritising cybersecurity decisions, and I look forward to using my experience to not only build Lacework for long-term success, but also to create enduring partnerships with our customers who are responsible for the financial security of their organisations.” 

At WalkMe, Casey helped the company create a strong go-to-market focus on the enterprise and large enterprise market and execute a successful IPO in June 2021. Casey’s understanding of the cloud technology industry runs deep, serving as SVP of Finance and Business Operations of ServiceNow as well as previous endeavors spearheading financial management for renowned software companies Oracle and Symantec. Additionally, he led Finance for Hewlett-Packard’s Americas Enterprise Services division, managing more than $9B in annual revenue. Casey brings this experience to Lacework, where he will focus on leading the company toward continued growth and profitability. 

“Andrew brings deep financial and operational understanding as he has helped build multiple outstanding companies through high growth,” said Jay Parikh, CEO, Lacework. “This breadth of experience will be critical not only for helping to lead Lacework through our next phase of growth, but also in building strong partnerships with our customers who are increasingly viewing cybersecurity as a board-level financial imperative.”  

Lacework realised significant momentum under this experienced leadership team in 2022, including being named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, the Forbes Cloud 100, and ranked sixth in Forbes’ America’s Best Startup Employers 2022 list. The company was also recently recognised as a leader in innovation and growth by Frost & Sullivan in the analyst firm’s recent Global CNAPP Radar Report.  


Indonesia 2023 GDP Growth May Slow To 4.4%

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 21 November 2022

Indonesia’s annual economic growth may slow to 4.37 per cent next year partly due to the impact of domestic monetary tightening.

Indonesia’s annual economic growth may slow to 4.37 per cent next year partly due to the impact of domestic monetary tightening, the country’s central bank (BI) governor told a parliamentary hearing on Monday. In last week’s policy meeting, BI maintained 2022 GDP growth forecast biased toward the upper end of 4.5 per cent to 5.3 per cent.

BI Governor Perry Warjiyo gave the GDP forecast as part of a discussion with parliament on the central bank’s 2023 budget. Warjiyo said predicting economic indicators was difficult due to volatility in the global economy, adding that the numbers could be discussed further with lawmakers. The governor also gave a headline inflation forecast of 6.11 per cent for end-2022 and 3.61 per cent for end-2023 at the hearing. His presentation showed the figure for 2022’s inflation were BI’s forecast as of Nov. 3.

Warjiyo last week said BI expected a headline inflation rate of 5.6 per cent at the end of the year. He did not explain why the figures were different and BI’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, BI raised its key policy rate for a fourth consecutive monthly meeting in a move aimed at anchoring inflation expectations, which the governor said was “too high”. In total BI has lifted interest rates by 175 basis points since August.

Indonesia’s annual headline inflation rate cooled to 5.71 per cent in October, but remained near a seven-year high of 5.95 per cent in September. BI’s inflation target is at range of 2 per cent to 4 per cent. BI’s deputy governor Dody Budi Waluyo said on Friday inflation may decelerate further this month to 5.5 per cent. Warjiyo is expected to lay out BI’s policy guidance for 2023 at an annual gathering with financial stakeholders on Nov. 30.

Source: Reuters


Singapore C-Suite And F&A Professionals: Almost Two-Thirds Said Visibility Over Cash Will Be Key To Surviving Economic Storm

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 16 November 2022

61% agree that understanding cash flow in real time will be crucial – but just under 4% of those surveyed by BlackLine are completely confident in the visibility they currently have .

A global survey of C-suite executives and finance and accounting (F&A) professionals commissioned by BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL) has revealed a significant lack of confidence among the C-suite and F&A professionals when it comes to the visibility their company has over its cash flow, suggesting that many global organizations could be making decisions without an accurate, up-to-date view of company liquidity. This comes despite findings that suggest that visibility over cash flow and other financial metrics could be the key to businesses weathering the growing global economic storm. 

The survey of 1,483 business leaders and F&A professionals (conducted by independent research agency Censuswide across the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Singapore and Australia) also found that organizations globally are anticipating growing pressure and scrutiny over company financials as a result of ongoing economic uncertainty, with 22% of C-suite respondents globally indicating it will take 7-12 months before they start to feel confident about the economy again.  As a result, optimizing working capital and processes is high on the agenda, as companies look to bolster their financial resiliency to combat market instability. 

Keeping Track of Cash

With recessionary fears on the rise, more than half (57%) of Singapore respondents surveyed are concerned that prospects or customers will have less income to spend, which could impact sales/ revenue. About half of them (51%) are worried that their organization will face higher costs, while 48% are worried that they will need to look for new ways to optimize working capital without borrowing funds.

Perhaps as a result, 61% of Singapore respondents agree that understanding cash flow in real time is going to become more important for their company in the face of economic uncertainty.  But nearly all respondents (96%) said they could be more confident in the visibility they currently have over cash flow. 

This suggests that the majority of Singapore organizations could be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to making strategic decisions.  Of those that believe visibility could be improved, 56% are worried their company is making decisions based on inaccurate or out-of-date information and 50% say the lack of visibility over cash flow makes them less confident that their organization can remain competitive over the next 12 months.

“Economic instability and volatility have increased over the past few months, adding more uncertainty to an already challenging and unpredictable global business environment.  Once again, Finance & Accounting is caught in the eye of the storm, with CFOs and those who report into them feeling the pressure,” said BlackLine CEO Marc Huffman.  “There is widespread acknowledgement that better visibility over financial data, processes and working capital is needed if organizations want to weather the storm.  Company leaders across the world will need to carefully consider how their organization can respond and remain competitive, agile and resilient in the coming months.”

Financial Data Under the Spotlight as Organizations Brace for Recession

With external pressures that are hard to predict, real-time visibility over financial data, processes and working capital will be key to survival, leading to greater pressure on CFOs and those who report into them, according to the research. 

Over half (54%) of C-suite and F&A professionals in Singapore predict that their companies’ financial reporting will come under increased scrutiny over the next year.  Half of these respondents (50%) believe that financing will be harder to secure, and a similar number (55%) expect the ability to view their companies’ financial data in real time will be a “must-have” for business survival over the next 12 months. 

Against this backdrop, over two-thirds of (68%) CFOs in Singapore said that they were responsible for ensuring their company’s wellbeing during an economic downturn, compared to less than a third (30%) who said that this was the responsibility of their CEO.  This indicates that as company finances come under the microscope, pressure to deliver insights to leadership in near-real time could weigh heavily on CFOs and the finance function.

The Biggest Pain Points

When asked about the biggest pain points for the F&A currently, identifying manual/human errors during the month-end close process was a pressing issue for more than a third (37%) of Singapore respondents.  Similarly, 37% said they faced overdue and unsettled intercompany balances, while 36% said they do not have enough automated controls for the volume of data.  C-suite and F&A respondents said the three biggest challenges they will face in the coming year are: 

  • Reduced budget for their department
  • Increasing regulations and scrutiny
  • Being able to provide accurate data quickly enough to help the organization respond to market changes

Looking Internally to Optimize Processes and Working Capital

In response to increasing financial pressure, responses suggest that organizations now need to look internally for ways to optimize working capital and processes, with 51% of local respondents saying that they will invest more in digital transformation initiatives and 49% wanting to implement or scale automation solutions to help optimize and increase working capital within the next year. 

Mr. Huffman continued: “There is no doubt that those who are using robust and comprehensive data to make rapid, intelligent decisions will be in a stronger position to adapt.  In this environment, it’s likely that greater emphasis than ever will be placed on the strategic insights which F&A can offer to the business.”


Charting Holistic Development In The Fields Of Business And Accountancy

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 16 November 2022

Crowe Singapore has awarded two Ngee Ann Polytechnic students with its inaugural Crowe Scholarship, which aims to motivate outstanding students to make an impact in the society and the fields of business and accountancy.

Through the scholarship programme, Crowe hopes to nurture creative, reflective global citizens and talents who are keen to lead the future of accounting in the fast-evolving digital landscape. Apart from promoting academic excellence, the three-year scholarship programme offers career and holistic development opportunities through internships with Crowe and mentorship by Crowe professionals.

Two Year 2 Ngee Ann Polytechnic students from the School of Business and Accountancy – Mr Jonathan Chaw Junxi and Ms Kelly Ker Sze Yee were awarded the scholarships last Friday, 11 November 2022, at Crowe Singapore’s 20th anniversary celebrations dinner.

“The accounting profession has been evolving for decades, driven by disruptions, the acceleration of digitalisation and the use of artificial intelligence. To keep thriving, the future of accounting means embracing change – by moving away from simply compliance-driven work to being a well-rounded trusted business advisor to clients,” Mr Tan Kuang Hui, Chief Executive and Managing Partner of Crowe Singapore, said. “We are pleased to launch the Crowe Scholarship, in partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, to support young talents who are keen to take up this challenge in the accountancy and finance industry and serve with the highest level of integrity. We congratulate the two deserving students, Jonathan and Kelly,who have not only excelled academically but have impressed us with their meaningful contributions to the community.”

Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Mr William Lim, Director for the School of Business & Accountancy, said, “As a testament to Crowe Singapore’s business acumen and foresightedness, we are honoured that Ngee Ann Polytechnic has been selected to be a key partner in grooming talents for tomorrow. These scholars will be provided with meaningful internship and mentorship opportunities to develop their skills at Crowe Singapore, to guide their career development.”

The two newly minted Crowe scholars hope to make an impact in the industry. Mr Chaw commented, “I am very honoured to receive this scholarship and thankful to have the opportunity to learn and work with leading accounting professionals. I hope to gain greater insights about the industry, sharpen my people skills and expand my professional network. Crowe’s core values are very much aligned with my own. After my internship with Crowe, I hope to share my newly learned skills and industry knowledge with my peers so they can make positive impact on their careers as well.”

Ms Ker added, “I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Crowe Scholarship which will support my professional development in several ways. With this scholarship, I hope to further enhance my interpersonal skills and accounting knowledge, so I can make key contributions to the accounting industry in the future.”

Founded in 2002, Crowe Singapore is a fast-growing, full-fledged professional services firm. A member of Crowe Global, which is the 9th largest global accounting network by revenue, the Singapore firm leverages its core strengths in audit, tax, risk advisory, accounting and fund administration to provide a full suite of professional services, serving the needs of public-listed entities, multinational corporations and financial institutions. The firm has recently expanded its offerings to include digital advisory, sustainability and cybersecurity services.

A bursary programme, Crowe Student Aid Grant, has also been launched to support Ngee Ann Polytechnic students from low-income families through financial assistance and mentorship opportunities. The grant is a top-up to the government bursary (for Singapore citizens) that will allow for full coverage of the annual tuition fees and supplement other study-related expenses. Beyond financial aid, the student aid grant recipients are encouraged to engage in mentorship opportunities offered by Crowe. Such engagement includes conversations to broaden the students’ worldviews and assist them to make more informed career choices.


Hong Leong Bank Cards Amongst One of the First in Malaysia that Can Now be Added to Google Wallet

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 November 2022

With Google Wallet, close to 65% of HLB customers who are Android users will enjoy simple, secure and seamless contactless payment experience.

Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank cardholders can enjoy a simple, secure and seamless contactless payment experience with Google Wallet starting today.

Google Wallet is a mobile app that offers a simple way to make contactless payments with Android phones or Wear OS devices. The move to enable HLB credit and debit cards and HLISB debit cards (collectively known as HLB Cards) customers to add their payment cards to the Android platform is part of the Bank’s efforts to implement another convenient way to enable mobile payments.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “Aligning with our Bank’s “Digital at the Core” ethos, we are very excited to be one of the first banks in the market to support Google Wallet for our cards. With the rapid adoption of DuitNow QR codes, mobile banking apps and mobile wallets, mobile payments have seamlessly integrated into the digital lifestyles of Malaysians and are one of the preferred transaction methods today. Working together with Google is part of our continuous efforts to offer simple and frictionless payment services to our customers.”

With Google Wallet, HLB cardholders are able to make contactless payments leveraging on near-field-communication (“NFC”) via supported Android devices by adding their HLB Cards to the Google Wallet app. Cardholders can then tap to pay wherever contactless payments are accepted.

According to Andrew Jong, Managing Director of HLB Personal Financial Services, “As Malaysians increasingly embrace a digital, mobile-led lifestyle, we remain agile in meeting the ever-changing customer needs. Smartphone penetration in Malaysia is close to 95% and many daily activities are already facilitated digitally. With Google Wallet as a new feature, close to 65% of our customers who are on the Android platform will enjoy an easy, safe and secure usage and payment experience.”

Similar to contactless transactions performed using the physical card, payments through Google Wallet also share the same daily maximum amount for contactless transactions. Transactions amounting up to RM250 do not require PIN verification.


Southeast Asian Countries Are close to being on par with Singapore on FinTech regulation

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 November 2022

A tightly-knit group of Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are following closely behind  Singapore. Singapore continues leadership in FinTech regulation in Southeast Asia, affirmed by the analysts of Robocash Group.

A comparative picture of national FinTech regulation in the countries of Southeast Asia is based on the sum of 13 criteria based on the public information – availability in the country of  special FinTech laws & acts, sandboxes, government initiatives, etc. (full list of criteria is described below).  Singapore remains the undisputed leader in Southeast Asia’s FinTech regulation. The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are making swift progress. Vietnam falls behind but is forecasted to strengthen the FinTech regulation in the near future. 

In general, the regulatory landscape of Southeast Asia is already approaching a singularly high saturation and will become evenly distributed further next year.

Singapore (score 60). Being a regional FinTech hub, Singapore leads in the field of FinTech regulation, serving as a kind of benchmark. National regulation is distinguished by a productive history of the sandbox established back in 2016, a developed regulatory landscape in relation to individual FinTech areas. Singapore features a whole list of efficiently working frameworks and core projects, overall high activity within several national projects and strategies, and an active local FinTech association.

Philippines (score 56). The Philippines is confidently pushing for the leadership position, surpassing Singapore in certain areas (the e-money regulation and other FinTech areas). Upon the development of FinTech sandboxes and open banking, the country may yet become a new regional leader. In fact, the Philippines is already on its way to meet this prerequisite: both directions are in the process of active development.

Malaysia (score 55). Malaysia demonstrates a similarly high development level of FinTech regulation. The country’s notable features are the setting of FinTech as one of the national priorities, as well as the overall proactivity when it comes to everything FinTech.

Thailand (score 54). Thailand is just marginally short of making the Top-3. The country has a very rich history of FinTech development – it was here that the first crypto-currency regulation regime in the mainland of Southeast Asia was introduced; the transition to e-money licensing was carried out back in 2004-2008, etc. There are three main regulators (BoT Central Bank, SEC regulatory agency, insurance regulator OIC), and as many as 5 FinTech sandboxes.

Indonesia (score 52). Indonesia has come a long way in terms of FinTech regulation. This is facilitated by the presence of two base regulatory bodies – the Central Bank of the Bank of Indonesia and the OJK regulatory department, which, for one, entails the parallel operation of two FinTech sandboxes. With a comparable level of development across most criteria, online banking regulation and customer identity initiatives remain potential hotspots for growth.

Vietnam (score 35). Currently, the regulatory field in the country can not be identified as developed. However, there is rapid progress (for example, beginning of e-money regulation in 2021, efforts to organise a national FinTech sandbox, etc.), which leaves no doubt that the country will noticeably strengthen in this regard in the near future.

Cambodia (score 34). The local achievements rightfully include the developed regulation in the field of Payments & Transfers, a whole system of FinTech associations, and the bold experience of implementing the national digital currency Project Bakong. However, local regulation obviously still has a long way to go.

Laos, Myanmar (score 17, each). These countries are only beginning their journey towards full-fledged FinTech regulation. Although, some national initiatives are likely still hidden from the global community.

The ranking of countries is based on the translation of the 13 public-information-based criteria:
1. Sandbox — FinTech sandboxes. Notably, if there is just one significant project operating in the country, it equates to the value of “3”, while if there are several – to “4”;
2. Special Fintech Laws & Acts — the presence of a developed legislative FinTech landscape in the country (cumulative assessment);
The Regulatory group of 6 criteria. A score of “4″ means that the industry is clearly regulated at the official level with the issuance of special licences.
3. The level of official regulation of Online Banking;
4. E-money (electronic and mobile money and wallets);
5. Payments & Transfers (digital payments and transfers);
6. Alternative Lending (alternative lending, incl. P2P lending, crowdfunding, online micro-lending, etc.);
7. Blockchain/Cryptocurrency;
8. Others (other FinTech areas: brokerage, online insurance, digital currency exchange, etc.).
9. Frameworks — the presence of national regulatory and technologically unified spaces in the areas of open banking, data protection, cybersecurity and others;
10. Identification, NYC — the development of national systems of personal authentication and identification;
11. Associations — presence in the country of one (“3”) or more (“4”) active FinTech associations, including self-regulatory ones;
12. Strategies — availability of long-term state programs for the development of FinTech;
13. Initiatives — existence of other significant government FinTech initiatives.


Singapore Can Unlock Finances To Accelerate Net-zero Push

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 14 November 2022

 The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said climate change is “a race of our lives”.

The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said climate change is “a race of our lives”, as he addressed delegates at the UN climate summit in Egypt on Wednesday (Nov 9).

Mr Ravi Menon delivered a keynote speech at the COP27 Singapore Pavilion, highlighting how Singapore could help unlock some of the financial capital needed to address the existential threat that climate change poses.

Finance took centrestage as the main theme of the fourth day of talks in the coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh, with trillions of dollars of investment needing to be committed and mobilised to help counter the impacts of a still fast warming planet.

“Climate change is no longer a prediction, it is becoming a reality,” he said. “We need to act now to start reducing emissions. The world is currently far from a net-zero emissions trajectory.

“Global greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, not falling. If we do not act now to start decarbonising, we risk breaching tipping points that will lead to catastrophic and irreversible climate change, with unimaginable risks to lives and livelihoods,” he said.

Mr Menon highlighted the massive gulf that exists between finance needed for the world to transition to net zero carbon emissions and what was currently available for investment.

He said Singapore could help, with three clear strategies; blended finance, meaning mobilizing private capital to combine with funds provided by governments for climate investment projects, developing and facilitating carbon markets, as well as “good-quality data to support credible disclosure and track progress”.

Blended finance can help make green projects in emerging markets, such as throughout Southeast Asia, that seem like risky projects far more bankable, with the injection of capacity building, technology transfer, and institutional support.

“Blended finance is not new but scaling it requires a fresh approach, he said, while giving examples of several initiatives that Singapore is involved with to help with the net-zero transition.

Those include partnering with the The Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) and the The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero Asia-Pacific Network.

On carbon markets, he said that the country is well positioned to be a leader in an emerging and critical space for both carbon services and as a trading hub. But these markets need to become bigger and more efficient.

“We have sound infrastructure, good governance, and a premium on trust – critical ingredients for a marketplace,” he said.

“We are located at the heart of Southeast Asia which is fertile ground to harness the potential of nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration,” he added, referencing the vast potential of the region’s mangroves and degraded forest that could be restored.

Source: CNA


Hong Kong’s Economy Shrinks For Third Straight Quarter

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 14 November 2022

The city is also facing headwinds from high inflationary pressure and aggressive monetary tightening in advanced economies.

Hong Kong’s economy contracted 4.5 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, advance government data showed on Friday, weighed down by rising global interest rates and a slump in trade.

It was the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year contraction for the Asian financial hub’s gross domestic product (GDP), and marked the worst contraction since the second quarter of 2020.

The decline widened from 1.3 per cent in the second quarter. The government also revised down its full-year growth forecast to minus 3.2 per cent, from between 0.5 per cent and minus 0.5 per cent, citing a deteriorating global growth outlook.

“Looking forward, the markedly deteriorating external environment will continue to pose immense pressure on Hong Kong’s export performance,” a government spokesman said in a statement, adding that geopolitical tensions and uncertainties over COVID-19 will add downside risks.

“The relaxed testing and quarantine arrangements for incoming visitors should provide some support to exports of services,” the spokesman said.

On a quarterly basis, the economy contracted by a seasonally adjusted 2.6 per cent in the July-September period.

While Hong Kong has relaxed social distancing measures put in place to curb COVID-19 infections, the border with mainland China has been largely closed since early 2020, choking off mainland tourism spending, a key driver of consumer growth.

The city is also facing headwinds from high inflationary pressure and aggressive monetary tightening in advanced economies.

Cases of negative equity in Hong Kong’s residential mortgage loans registered a near nine-fold increase in the third quarter from the previous one, with a fall in house prices accelerating during the period.

“(Hong Kong) economic outlook remains cloudy on all fronts if the border remains partially opened in the fourth quarter,” said Samuel Tse, an economist at DBS Bank.

External trade will continue to face pressure, he added.

In September, the volume of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods decreased by 15.3 per cent from a year ago, with total export volume to the United States recording a year-on-year decline of 30.7 per cent, and down 16.2 per cent to the mainland China.

Writing in a blog post on Sunday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the economic outlook was “hardly optimistic”, but added the momentum of economic recovery would gradually strengthen if the city’s COVID situation remained under control and external activities resumed.

Source: Reuters


Report Shows Organizations Rethinking Conventional Business Processes And Practices 

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 11 November 2022

Report reveals the top focuses for companies in the next year are strengthening security, digitizing payments, and improving usage of analytics.

Endava, a global provider of digital transformation, agile development and intelligent automation services, today released their 2022 Global Payments Study. The report covers the norms of today’s business-to-business (B2B) payments on a worldwide scale, the challenges of operating a manual process, the benefits of digitization, and what payments could look like in the future.

“Over the past two years, companies began to challenge their reliance on the legacy systems they were supposedly tied to and wondered how they could improve their daily processes,” said Scott Harkey, Executive Vice President, Financial Services & Payments, Endava. “Our data reveals a payments landscape where organizations are no longer satisfied with the status quo and are using modernization initiatives to increase efficiency.”

Key insights from the report include: 

  • Checks and cash are no longer the dominant methods they once were, equaling roughly a fifth of global payment volume combined.
  • Paper-based methods comprised less than a third of payments volume for all the regions in the study.
  • North America trails APAC, MEA, LatAm, and Europe in payments modernity. North America scores lower due to relatively high check volume (16%).
  • Organizations often rely on multiple tools for making payments. Bank-provided bill pay portals are the most widely adopted, but many also use ePayments software.
  • The top focuses for companies in the next year are strengthening security, digitizing payments, and improving usage of analytics.

The Future of Payments

To help anticipate the future of B2B payments, Endava asked survey respondents about their organization’s top initiatives and how they plan to alter current payment method volume in the future. The highest priority initiative was strengthening security which is congruent with the high number of organizations citing fraud as a top challenge in domestic and international payments. 

Digitizing payments was the second highest priority initiative for respondent organizations. To accomplish this, organizations plan on aggressively increasing usage of methods like digital wallets, real-time payments (RTP), cards, virtual cards, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) and decreasing dated, paper-based ones like checks and cash. Of those currently utilizing them, a sizable percentage of organizations also plan on increasing cryptocurrency usage in the future. However, many organizations identified crypto (as a means of paying vendors) as not applicable to their business.

Insights by Industry

Looking at the study by industry, Endava data shows that retailers were more likely to have issues with payment errors, data management, late payments, and compliance. These issues often come from inconsistencies in the way payments are handled. Compared to the average, companies in the mobility vertical suffer from customer inquiry management, disparate technology, fraud, and payment errors. 

Insurers and non-bank finance organizations have more quantifiable challenges than companies in other industries. These include days payable outstanding, lack of visibility into payments, duplicate invoices, and reliance on paper-based processes. Many of these problems are more directly related to invoicing.

Geographic Trends

North America: 

  • Endava experts assert that both RTP and digital wallets are ripe for growth in North America. 
  • On the consumer side of things, Americans have mostly moved away from cash and check for their C2B and P2P payments, but this modernization has not yet carried over to businesses. 
  • Younger generations, who are far more likely to expect a digital payments experience, may cause a shift in these antiquated habits as they assume roles as small business owners and finance professionals.

Europe:

  • Endava research shows next-day bank-to-bank transfers comprise a larger volume of payments in the EU over any other region. 
  • Cash and checks are at a lower volume in the EU compared toother regions. 
  • These payment methods are a rarity in Europe because the digital alternatives for transferring money are easy to use and ubiquitous. 

Middle East and Africa:

  • Parts of the MEA region have some of the largest RTP payment volumes out of all the locales included in the study. 
  • Saudi Arabia has had rapid adoption in the use of real-time payments despite only introducing the service in 2019. 
  • The percentage of cash transactions among MEA respondent organizations is high, as is the usage of alternative methods, which can include cash-on-delivery, a popular payment option in both countries.

Data Summary

The data for this study comes from a 2022 survey of over 1,000 organizations of all sizes and industry verticals (except for banking institutions). Respondents were at the senior management level and above and possessed intimate knowledge and decision-making capacity on their organization’s finance and payments strategy and processes.

Xero Appoints New CEO

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 10 November 2022

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The Board of Xero Limited announces the appointment of Sukhinder Singh Cassidy as Xero’s new CEO, from 1 February 2023. Sukhinder will succeed Steve Vamos who, after serving almost five years as CEO, is retiring from the role and plans to return to his previous portfolio in business coaching and leadership development as an advisor, director and investor. 

Sukhinder is an experienced Silicon Valley executive, with more than 25 years’ global leadership experience, including as President, Asia Pacific & Latin America at Google; President at StubHub; founder of theBoardlist; founder of Joyus, where she was CEO; and co-founder of Yodlee. She has significant public and private board experience with multiple companies. 

Xero Chair David Thodey commented: “As Xero continues to focus on achieving our global ambitions, we’re delighted to appoint someone of Sukhinder’s calibre as CEO to lead Xero through our next phase of growth. Sukhinder’s appointment follows a rigorous global recruitment process where we considered a number of exceptional candidates.” 

Sukhinder will start at Xero on 28 November 2022. She will work closely with Steve to manage the CEO transition, with Steve remaining available to advise through to the end of May 2023. 

Mr Thodey continued: “Sukhinder is a purpose-driven and human-centred leader who is passionate about supporting our customers and is committed to growing and nurturing Xero’s unique and vibrant culture.” 

“Founded in New Zealand and ASX-listed, Xero has enormous opportunities to accelerate the adoption of cloud and digital technologies by accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses around the world. Sukhinder is based in Northern California and expects to spend considerable time in New Zealand, Australia and Xero’s other international markets.” 

“We also want to acknowledge Steve’s significant contribution to Xero’s growth and development as a global business. Steve has led Xero from 1.4 million to 3.5 million subscribers; from $484.4 million to $1.5 billion annualised monthly recurring revenue; and total subscriber lifetime value (LTV) from $3.2 billion to $13 billion.” 

“Steve has overseen significant expansion of Xero including completing several acquisitions in Canada, the US, Sweden, Singapore, Denmark, Australia and the UK; completing two capital raises; operationalising our global sales team and go-to-market channels; and introducing sustainability and climate targets for Xero.” 

“Steve is a highly respected leader. He led our people, customers and partners through COVID as many of our small business customers, bookkeepers, accountants, and ecosystem partners had to adapt the way they operated and find pathways for business survival.” 

Steve Vamos commented: “I’m excited about Sukhinder’s appointment and believe she is very well placed to lead Xero through its next phase of development. I’m looking forward to working with Sukhinder to achieve a smooth leadership transition. Sukhinder has the opportunity to take Xero to the next level and continue to deliver world-class products and services that are critical for our customers and partners.” 

“It has been a privilege to build on the legacy of our founder Rod Drury to position Xero for continued growth around the world. Our partners, customers and other key stakeholders increasingly recognise the benefits of cloud applications and services which support small business success.” 

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy commented: “I’m thrilled to be appointed as CEO, and appreciate the Xero Board’s confidence in me. What excites me about Xero is the people and culture of the company and the passion Xero’s partners and customers have for our product as well as the large Total Addressable Market opportunity.” 

“I believe Xero is a critical business tool for small businesses and their advisors. There are huge opportunities in front of us and I’m committed to building on the business’ great momentum, in line with Xero’s values. I’m looking forward to meeting Xero’s people, partners, customers and shareholders around the world, and leading the business through its next stage.” 

Steve Vamos is entitled to his remuneration for the period of employment and his statutory benefits. His short term and long term incentives will be treated in accordance with their terms, with the Board exercising its discretion to allow his deferred short term incentive and his long term incentives to remain on foot, pro rating his long term incentives for the period of employment, and any vested options to be exercised within two years of the applicable vesting date. 

About Sukhinder Singh Cassidy 

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is an experienced CEO, digital leader and board member with more than 25 years’ experience building and scaling global companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Joyus and StubHub. 

From 2018-2020, as the President of StubHub Inc (a subsidiary of eBay) – a leading global ticketing marketplace for live entertainment with US$5 billion in GMV, and over US$1 billion in global revenues – Sukhinder was responsible for the platform’s operations across its US and international sites. She also served as a member of eBay’s global executive leadership team. 

Sukhinder has deep international and fintech experience. She was founder, Chair and CEO of Joyus from 2011-2017. From 2003-2009, Sukhinder was President, Asia Pacific & Latin America at Google, where she successfully built its operations from less than US$100 million in revenue into a multi-billion dollar business, spanning 103 countries. Prior to Google, Sukhinder co-founded fintech pioneer Yodlee in 1999 and served as SVP of Sales and Business Development. 

A Canadian national, Sukhinder is strongly associated with technology companies in Silicon Valley. She started her career in investment banking with Merrill Lynch in New York and London. She currently serves on the board of publicly traded fintech, Upstart. She also has previous experience serving on the boards of Ericsson, Trip Advisor, Urban Outfitters, Stitchfix and J.Crew. 

Sukhinder is an advocate for advancing diversity and inclusion; in 2015 she founded theBoardList, an online talent marketplace connecting CEOs with qualified diverse board candidates who are peer endorsed. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller, “Choose Possibility” which offers advice on how to manage and optimise risk-taking for professional growth.


Despite Rising Manpower Shortages, Singapore’s Labour Market Improved On All Fronts In 2022

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 10 November 2022

The report highlights key trends and challenges that are impacting and transforming Singapore’s industries and workforce, as well as consolidates the latest salary and job developments across key industries. 

PERSOLKELLY, the leading HR solutions and recruitment company headquartered in Singapore, has released the 2023 Singapore Salary Guide in collaboration with SkillsFuture Singapore. The report highlights key trends and challenges that are impacting and transforming Singapore’s industries and workforce, as well as consolidates the latest salary and job developments across key industries. 

The study, which concluded in July 2022, focused on the following themes: Singapore Labour Outlook, Commentaries, as well as Industries. Salary figures included in the 2023 Singapore Salary Guide are derived from combining the expert market knowledge of senior recruitment professionals within the PERSOLKELLY Singapore network, as well as actual job placement data recorded on the PERSOLKELLY Singapore database. 

Singapore’s Improving Labour Market in 2022

Singapore’s labour market continued to improve on all fronts in the first quarter of 2022, with total employment expanding to 42,000. Resident employment exceeded pre-pandemic levels at 3.9% higher than in December 2019, while unemployment rates have continued to trend down to pre-pandemic levels. 

Singapore saw a rise in growth sectors such as financial services, information and communications, professional services, as well as health and social services among resident employment. However, consumer-facing sectors saw a decline largely due to the seasonal pattern of temporary workers hired for year-end festivities leaving in the following quarter. 

Job vacancies continued to rise, reaching a new high of 126,100 in Q2 2022. Due to a decline in unemployed persons and increase in vacancies, the ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons also increased to its highest since 1998. 

With border restrictions relaxing significantly, the non-resident workforce is expected to continue to recover, catching up with resident employment growth and alleviating the current labour market tightness. At the same time, amid a weaker external economic outlook, businesses are urged to tap on government support and press on with restructuring and transformation to maintain their competitiveness, while upskilling local workers to prepare for new and emerging jobs. 

Foo See Yang, Managing Director and Country Head, PERSOLKELLY Singapore, said, “The effects of the pandemic and macro-economic challenges had a dramatic effect on the growth of our economy, and affected many sectors and industries. It is encouraging that this year’s growth outlook remains bright and we hope that this year’s salary guide will be able to provide organisations with refreshed recruitment strategies and approaches to help them attract, retain and develop talents.’ 

The Singapore Salary Guide comes fresh off the back of the launch of PERSOLKELLY’s 2022 APAC Workforce Insights, which highlighted the adoption rates by market and industry, reasons for adoption, skills in demand, the trends, as well as strategies and effectiveness of offshoring. 

Established in 2016, PERSOLKELLY Singapore is one of the largest recruitment companies in Asia Pacific, and has placed over 59,000 positions across the region and works together with 98% of Fortune 100™ companies for their workforce solution needs, which currently comprises permanent placements, temporary staffing, contract and payroll administration, HR advisory and regional talent solutions. 


New Singapore Research Finds Stability, Job Security As Important As Salary For Talent Retention

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 10 November 2022

The impact of the pandemic, the uncertain economic environment have irrevocably changed what employees want from their leaders.

Slack study of Singapore knowledge workers finds:

  • Over half are burned out and considering switching jobs in the next year, while 16% admit to ‘quiet quitting’
  • Stability and job security are more important than salary when choosing the company they work for; good leadership is almost as important as salary
  • Leaders that demonstrate soft or ‘power’ skills, and embrace the use of collaborative technology, foster a greater sense of connection to a company

The impact of the pandemic, the uncertain economic environment, and the burnout experienced by over half of Singaporean knowledge workers in the last year, have irrevocably changed what employees want from their leaders, according to new Slack research.

The study, Leadership and the war for talent, based on a survey of over 1,000 Singaporean knowledge workers, found that Singaporeans now value stability and job security (53%) more than salary (40%) when it comes to choosing the company they work for; while having a good manager (31%) was almost as much of a consideration as salary.

Survey respondents also identified teamwork and collaboration, transparent and trustworthy leadership, flexible work, and employee wellbeing as the four biggest factors in driving organisational success – all valued more highly than financial achievement. When it comes to flexible working, over two-thirds of Singaporeans want to be trusted to do their job regardless of location or the hours worked.

With nearly one in two Singaporean knowledge workers considering moving jobs in the next year, and 16% admitting to ‘quiet quitting’ – fulfilling the requirements of their job but not going above and beyond – it’s critical for leaders to act to ensure their own leadership style isn’t having a negative impact on the engagement and motivation of their employees. This means focusing more on soft or ‘power’ skills – human-centred, interpersonal skills related to areas such as collaboration, social and emotional intelligence; analysing the time employees are spending on unproductive tasks; exploring ways to elevate productivity with collaborative technology; and figuring out how to meet the varying expectations of employees from different generations, who prefer to work in different ways.

Shweta Verma, Country Manager, Singapore, Slack said, “The reality is that many Singaporean professionals are burnt out. Leaders have an obligation to address this – not least for the wellbeing of their employees, but also to drive the productivity of their organisations. As we continue to go through one of the biggest workplace experiments of the century – moving from physical offices to digital headquarters – it’s critical that employers demonstrate sound, positive leadership. By harnessing collaborative technology at scale, and engaging employees in ways that best suit them, leaders can help drive productivity and a happier, more engaged workforce.”

1. Poor leadership leads to burnout, quiet quitting

Slack’s research draws a clear link between poor leadership and a dip in employee morale and productivity. Only half of Singaporean professionals say they feel inspired by their leaders, and the same number find their leaders “stuck in their ways of working.”

‘Quiet quitting’ is strongly linked to poor leadership as well – over half (51%) of those who ‘quiet quit’ reported having poor leaders. 

According to the study, employees with poor or average leaders feel they have much less of a voice, and less control and autonomy over their work. Additionally, they reported more of a disconnect between leaders and employees, and reported culture feeling more forced.

2.  Collaborative technology as potential ‘power tools’ for boosting leadership

The Slack study showed a strong correlation between those respondents that hold their leaders in high regard and those whose leaders embrace the use of collaborative technology. Interestingly, these respondents were also identified as feeling highly connected to their organisations. Contrastingly, those who deemed their leaders as technology laggards in this area say they are more likely to quit their job.

Nearly two-thirds of Singaporean knowledge workers saw collaboration tools as enabling them to be productive, among other benefits. These include being able to free up time by automating work, getting information to the right people quickly, speeding up the implementation of projects, improving communication with leadership, prioritising tasks, and achieving faster feedback loops.

3. The real reason Singaporean knowledge workers don’t have enough hours in the day

Looking at the amount of non-productive time that Singaporean knowledge workers say they are spending on routine and often mundane tasks, the potential value of collaboration tools on organisational success becomes more pronounced.

For example, nearly a third of respondents feel that it takes them too long to find information internally, and that internal processes take up too much of their day. A similar number find that communicating across the company, within big teams and across time zones is slow due to delayed responses. Where this is the case, around a quarter of this group say they are spending over an hour a day on these activities. 

4. Mind the generation gap

The survey shows significant generational differences in employees in Singapore in terms of what they expect from their leaders, making it clear that people management is not a one-size-fits-all. 

  • Gen Z are the most concerned with wellbeing, having a highly social culture and desiring empathetic leaders. While they are more likely to be inspired by leadership, they are the most likely to switch jobs.
  • Millennials also want a focus on wellbeing, transparent and trustworthy leadership, and a great employee experience. They are the most likely to feel a disconnect between leaders and employees, and have the highest levels of job dissatisfaction. This group leans in most to the use of collaboration tools.
  • Gen X places the greatest importance on flexibility, transparent and trustworthy leadership,   and are the least concerned with wellbeing. They want their employers to have a consistent purpose, supported by robust processes. They are the least interested in technology and innovation.
  • Baby Boomers are middle of the road on most things, but are particularly favourable towards having robust processes, clear KPIs and accountability frameworks, and to have a clear level of autonomy in work.

5. Cooling down the burnout

The research also showed some clear differentiation between what Singaporean knowledge workers across different industries are feeling and looking for:

  • IT & Tech: Respondents from the Tech sector gave the highest scores to their managers for being competent and communicating well. Although not inspirational, IT leaders are seen to lead by example. Perhaps, as a result, IT workers are less likely to feel burned out.
  • Financial Services: Notably much less focused on teamwork, collaboration and wellbeing as being the keys to success, respondents from the banking sector were the most likely to want more meaning in their job. They also reported some of the highest rates of burnout, dissatisfaction and quiet quitting. 
  • Retail: Singapore’s retail knowledge workers seem to be more positive than their peers in other industries right now. Half (51%) say they feel strongly about doing the right thing by their employer and are happy to go “above and beyond”. At 42%, retail also has the lowest proportion of workers who say they’ve felt burned out during the past 12 months.
  • Government: There seems to be a significant opportunity in Singapore’s government sector to tap into the benefits of collaborative technology. More than half (56%) of government employees say that email is still their primary method of communication with customers and partners – a proportion significantly higher than other industries in the survey. Government workers are also more likely to be working from a mix of home and office environments, with around two-thirds (67%) saying they are working this way.

6. A new perspective on the office

While employees are increasingly working from home, the office environment is still valued, the Slack study found. When asked what they felt the office was best suited for, Singaporean knowledge workers cited team building, social connection, collaboration and brainstorming, and one-on-one/development meetings. Activities like progress updates, company town halls, learning programmes and knowledge sharing sessions were perceived as less critical to be held in an office. This suggests that a lot of time can be potentially saved by conducting these activities virtually using collaborative technology.

Research methodology

Slack’s new research, conducted by Honeycomb Strategy, was based on responses from 1,000+ Singaporean knowledge workers within organisations of 100+ employees. You can view the full report here: Leadership and the war for talent.

This is the second iteration of this Slack research in Singapore, with The Reinvention of Work study carried out in October 2021. A similar piece of Slack research, the Slack State of Work report, a global survey including 1,000 Singaporean knowledge workers, was carried out by GlobalWebIndex in March 2020, prior to the pandemic.


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