Why the Digital Era Isn’t the End for Print Marketing

Advertising

Digital marketing continues to grow in this new age of online transactions and endless social media streams. Whether it’s seeing a targeted advert among your Google searches or an engaging competition for you to take part in on Instagram, we’ve all become familiar with these new methods of persuasion.

However, if you’re looking for ways to market your brand, don’t pitch all your tents within the digital landscape. There’s still success to be found among other promotional techniques. One method, print marketing, still has a large amount of influence among consumers. In fact, their use can have significant benefits over their digital alternatives.

Here, we explore why print products still have a role to play in your marketing strategy.

 

Banner blindness

A key advantage of digital marketing, particularly on the front of paid advertisements on social media, is the ability to target consumer identities. This means that your business can focus its time, attention, and money on promoting its products to only people that have the potential to buy them. For example, a seller of wedding suits would be able to target male customers that are engaged, understanding that they are more likely to buy from them.

However, while the focusing abilities of digital marketing can be useful, your advert may go unnoticed thanks to competition and the number of adverts that appear alongside your promotion. This is referred to as ‘banner blindness’.

Banner blindness is where customers may consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like content on social media. Essentially, we’ve become so aware of adverts online that we have trained ourselves to look past them.

According to one study, 86 per cent of consumers suffer from banner blindness. This should be taken into account when launching your digital campaign. Find out your advert reach, and then consider that only 14 per cent of people will actually take notice of it.

In this respect, print marketing has significant advantages. The use of direct mail, for example, drives higher engagement rates. In one survey, 75 per cent of direct mail receivers were able to recall the brands that had sent them print products. This shows that consumers have a more profound mental connection with direct mail as opposed to viewing content online.

Businesses should consider how the engagement of digital media compares to print media, understand the investment of both, and why print advertising like direct mail can contribute more to their business.

 

Trust is key

Digital advertising relies on concepts of data sharing and how your private information is managed. Recently, this has become a subject for scrutiny by the public and technology companies. Apple’s new privacy update aims to clarify what data is shared by private apps and companies. Meanwhile, Netflix’s The Social Dilemma highlighted the expansive profiles that tech companies can build around our public information and searches.

The effect of this reflects a low level of trust in social media and adverts on these platforms. Only 42 per cent of people trust adverts online. This compares to the trust instilled with printed adverts. 61 per cent of consumers say they trust adverts printed in newspapers.

The reasons for this vary. But print products and newspapers are usually recognised as established and familiar. People understand that print is an investment, and therefore businesses that use this method are well-founded and trustworthy. Paper speaks louder than pixels.

 

Make a statement, not a whisper

Good marketing has a strong message. While digital marketing can be a useful tool for creating loud campaigns, there are still limits to what we can do in the virtual world. In this respect, there are no limits to physical and print campaigns.

The use of billboards, for example, is just another example of increasing innovation in marketing. No longer are print campaigns based around posters. Billboards are now interactive, intelligent, and can generate more conversation than any digital ad.

Advertising its limited drama series, Dracula, the BBC used a billboard as a canvas for shadow art. Wooden stakes were planted into the board, in almost a sporadic fashion. During the day, the billboard appeared intriguing at best. By night-time, spotlights were able to cast a shadow from the stakes’ placement to reveal the image of Dracula himself. This was an intelligent campaign because it relied on the eeriness of nighttime to reveal the monster.

Likewise, chocolate biscuit company Kit-Kat left its billboard half complete, with only part of the poster pasted on a wall, leaving a ladder in its wake. The brand was able to rely on its longstanding motto: ‘Take a Break’. The billboard implies that those creating the poster have taken a break during their work.

In essence, these print campaigns have started a conversation, rather than just a blatant advertisement of a product. Print campaigns continue to prove themselves as the best method for creative advertising, something which is difficult in the saturated sphere of the online world.

 

Print products have a longstanding tradition within the marketing industry. But while the digital world has dominated conversations around promotional methods in the past decade, it’s unsurprising that businesses are returning to this persuasive and effective advertising technique. Your business should never have to choose between both digital and print. Combined, effective print marketing along with intelligent digital publications can lead your business to success.

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UserZoom Unveils Industry-First QXscore to Help Businesses Measure & Improve Digital Experience

Digital services

UserZoom, the leader in Experience Insights Management (XIM), today announced the launch of QXscore, a standardized score for measuring the user experience (UX) of a company’s digital properties, products, and services over time, and relative to competitors. QXscore, which is now available for customers using the UserZoom insights platform, quantifies user and customer attitudes and behaviors into a single score on a 100-point scale, aligning experience performance to strategic business KPIs, and surfacing opportunities for improvement.

Based on a validated and publicly-available methodology, QXscore is the first and only holistic experience measurement score that helps businesses understand and improve the performance of their digital properties, products, and services, while allowing digital teams and stakeholders to demonstrate the business impact of these improvements. It is also the only experience metric that combines both attitudinal data (such as usability, trust and NPS) and behavioral data (such as task success) in a single score to give an easily-understandable and comprehensive measure of the overall digital experience, and the drivers behind it.

“As delivering great digital experiences becomes increasingly strategic, we hear from business and product leaders that they know their approach to digital experience is working, but struggle to properly measure its strategic value and communicate that with key stakeholders,” said Alfonso de la Nuez, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, UserZoom. “We’ve developed the QXscore to not only fill that gap and help companies measure the business impact of their experience strategy, but to show where they can gain a competitive advantage to drive results further.”

In addition to measuring impact on a strategic level, QXscore helps companies track experience performance across multiple lines of business, digital properties and products. This helps design and product teams pinpoint which initiatives to prioritize, and track the impact over time.

“Measuring the impact that experience has on a business has always proved to be difficult and more of an artform than a science, as there was no way to directly correlate sales with UX or CX,” said Kuldeep Kelkar, SVP, Global UX Research, UserZoom. “The launch of UserZoom’s QXscore finally gives UX leaders and professionals a way to clearly demonstrate to leadership that digital experiences have a positive effect on sales and revenue, in addition to how they can further improve on experience, and therefore boost revenue gains even more.”

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Global Green-bond Issuance Could Rise by Over 50% to About $500-550 Billion in 2021 says Bloomberg Intelligence

Green bond

Global green-bond issuance could rise by over 50% to about $500-$550 billion in 2021 following a robust first quarter with strong demand, sustained low yields and supportive Government policies, including the Biden administration’s clean-energy focus and China’s updated green-bond principles driving growth. Net-zero emissions targets may accelerate issuance from the two countries, a new report published by Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) says.

Green-bond supply totalled about $152 billion in Q1, states BI, with Governments contributing about $49 billion and financials close to $46 billion. If the growth trend extends, the tally may reach $500-$550 billion this year, rising over 50% vs. 2020.

The Q1 total was the highest for 10 years, with every corporate sector except communications and consumer staples seeing quarter-over-quarter growth. Total corporate, Governmental, asset-backed securities, and municipal green bond sales rose 186% compared to the previous yearas record low interest rates and pent-up demand for ESG debt increased green capital spending.

March alone saw over $74 billion in green-bond deals, notes BI, with Governmental entities dominating issuance including Italy, France, China Development Bank, German state bank KfW and the European Investment Bank.

Simone Andrews, BI ESG Analyst, said: “US dollar green-bond issuance could accelerate under the Biden administration in 2021, as we anticipate his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan may speed up US green capital spending.

“Biden is set to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement targeting net-zero emissions by 2050, which would mean heavy investments in infrastructure, transit, the power sector and green buildings, requiring green bond financing. Euro-denominated green debt represented about half of green-bond sales in 1Q, followed by U.S.-dollar sales of 21%. The U.S. green-bond supply totalled about $21 billion at Q1’s end, about a 100% increase from a year earlier.“

BI warns, however, that the lack of a standardised criteria by those who verify green-labelled bonds may lead to heightened concerns of “greenwashing,” weakening investor confidence.

While 89% of green corporate and sovereign debt issued in Q1 was verified by an external provider, there are growing concerns that, despite the “green” marketing, proceeds won’t go toward environmental projects or that the issuer itself isn’t actually reducing its environmental footprint over time. In March 2020, the European Commission Technical Expert Group published a usability guide to establish a unified green-bond standard and require accreditation of external providers. A legislative proposal may come in 2021.

China’s Green Sales Could Accelerate After Five-Year Low

About $32 billion, or 45%, of China’s green debt matures this year, leaving it with ample room for net new issuance of Yuan-denominated bonds, says BI in line with the nation’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060.

“Unless new issuance picks up, it could create an undersupply of emerging market green debt. The supply of Chinese green bonds plunged to $13.8 billion in 2020, or a 49% decline compared to the prior year, as borrowers focused on working capital needs given the pandemic,” adds Simone Andrews, BI ESG Analyst.

“Chinese green corporate bonds’ weighted average maturity of 1.66 years with a weighted fixed coupon of 3.83% suggests the deals tend to be shorter  than the broader corporate green market, which has a weighted average year of 7.08.”

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Tech Investing is the Key to Biden’s ‘Race to Zero’ to Avoid Climate Crisis

‘Race to Zero’ to avoid climate crisis

Save the Planet

President Biden’s ‘Race to Zero’ to reduce carbon emissions is underway, and go-ahead companies are jockeying to deliver emerging tech solutions to win it.

Leading nations including the USA (2nd biggest carbon emitter globally*), UK (17th), France (19th), Denmark, New Zealand, Japan(5th), and South Korea (8th) have committed to reaching net-zero by 2050. The world’s No1 emitter, China, has committed to net-zero by 2060. However, the International Energy Agency forecasts 2021 carbon emissions will be the second-highest ever recorded annually.

“It’s easy to see the financial and environmental benefits of using advanced technology to accelerate the launch of ‘Race to Zero’, pushing back against urban pollution, health risk and Climate Change and a future multi-trillion-dollar cost in economic and environmental damage,” said Vector Innovation Fund Co-Founder & The World Nano Foundation’s Paul Stannard.

Cities cover just 3% of the Earth but contribute 70% of global carbon emissions. Advanced technologies can provide the essential interconnectivity to drive this down.

Yet many tech companies say the tools for reaching net-zero already exist. One sector, in particular, is forging ahead in the battle to reduce carbon emissions in our cities using AI Digital Twin technology.

One Digital Twin market pioneer involved is Cityzenith’s whose SmartWorldOS™ software platform can create virtual replicas of buildings and urban areas to track, manage and optimize carbon emissions to minimize environmental damage.

The US company’s tech is currently deployed in multiple international megaprojects, including a substantial ground-breaking de-carbonization energy scheme for US cities.

Cityzenith’s CEO Michael Jansen said, “Cities are the key battleground, and that’s why we made our ‘Clean Cities – Clean Future’ pledge to donate our SmartWorldOS™ software platform to key cities one by one to drive down their carbon emission”.

Swiss-based company Climeworks has focused on carbon capture rather than emission management. Its Orca facility is designed to suck some 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year.

Climeworks Christoph Beuttler believes carbon capture facilities like Orca must go mainstream if we are to reach net-zero:

“In order to stay within the 1.5-degree goal (to avoid Climate Change), we have 8-10 years left of current emissions, and we will not make that so, globally, we will have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere permanently.”

Fortunately, technology now attracts significant investment. Cityzenith has added over 5000 investors as part of its $15m Regulation A+ crowdfunding raise since the end of 2020.  Climate-focused investment funds such as US-based Congruent Ventures and the European fund, 2150, have recently supported start-ups and companies developing essential climate solutions. This form of investment is forecasted to run into trillions of dollars in the next 5 to 10 years.

But Cityzenith’s Jansen added: ” We must invest immediately, to act now and more effectively to protect our planet. “

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Sygnature Discovery Expands US Presence with Office in Bay Area Biotech Hub

Biotech

Sygnature Discovery, a world-leading integrated discovery and pre-clinical solutions provider, has established a new office presence in South San Francisco’s biotech hub at Oyster Point, where it can better serve current and future clients on the US west coast.

The new office presence comes in the wake of another year of impressive growth for the company, which has recently expanded operations at its headquarters in Nottingham, UK, as well as opening a second co-located integrated drug discovery site at the world-class research campus at Alderley Park, UK.

Sygnature established its first US office in 2019 in the heart of the Cambridge–Boston biotech hub in Massachusetts, and this expansion of its US presence with a second office will help meet growing demand from its US customers, which range from major pharma through to small seed-funded biotechs.

“Our very first client was actually from the US,” said Simon Hirst, Sygnature’s CEO and founder “and it remains a very significant market for us, both now and in our future strategy. It’s fantastic to have a base on the west coast, and in such a vibrant hub for the life sciences community.

“Our approach to drug discovery is based on true collaboration and partnership with our clients and having a physical presence near to many of them helps us to work the way we believe in, strengthening those ties and relationships that lead to success.”

The new office is located on Gateway Boulevard, Oyster Point, in South San Francisco – often nicknamed the Birthplace of Biotechnology and home to one of the largest biotech clusters in the world, with over 200 biotech companies, and 11.5 million square feet of biotech space across 500 acres.

Sygnature offers high-quality, fully-integrated drug discovery and pre-clinical services to customers around the world, as well as flexible, stand-alone solutions in medicinal chemistry, in vitro biology, computational chemistry, DMPK and pre-clinical experimental services.

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Trump Pushed UPU Reform. Ten Months On, His Controversial Policy Looks Set to Stay

Postal Stamps

In 2019, former President Donald Trump staged a showdown with the Universal Postal Union over China’s unfair postal rates. His resulting victory saw US packet rates increase by an average of 50% in July 2020. Ten months on, ParcelHero asks, ‘Could UPU reform be a positive legacy of Trump’s time in office?’

In 2019, the USA went head-to-head with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) – the governing body of all international mail services – in a bid to raise China’s rock-bottom postal rates to America. Then President Donald Trump threatened to quit the nearly 150-year-old organisation unless it voted to raise China’s payments for access to the US and other countries’ postal systems.  

The international delivery expert ParcelHero says a dramatic meeting in September 2019 resulted in a ‘High Noon’-style showdown between the USA and the UPU that threatened to destroy postal rates agreements across the world. In the event, Trump’s team won the day. Consequently, a significant rise in the cost of small packages arriving from China was introduced on 1 July 2020.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says that even though the move was the kind of ‘America first’ policy typical of Trump, the result is likely to have a positive impact on international e-commerce lasting many years.

Says David: ‘Significantly, other Western countries, including the UK, will now also be able to renegotiate the rates other countries – including China – pay to access their postal system. This will have a lasting international impact and help level the playing field for UK and European online traders.

‘In his first 100 days, President Joe Biden signed 24 executive actions that directly reverse Trump’s policies. These include halting funding for Trump’s border wall, reversing travel bans on largely Muslim countries and cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline. However, it’s highly likely that UPU reform will stand as a permanent legacy of Trump’s time in office.

‘There’s no doubting that, under the previous UPU agreement, Chinese sellers had an unfair advantage over e-commerce sellers in the West. It had been receiving what amounted to Third World rate subsidies for 50 years, despite having become the second wealthiest nation in the world.

‘US e-commerce traders were being significantly disadvantaged by the rates. Amazingly, it was cheaper for a Chinese seller in Shanghai to mail a packet of earrings to New York, than for a US seller in neighbouring Pennsylvania to send the same packet to the same address.

‘Trump’s high-risk strategy was to force the other member countries of the UPU to allow the US to set its own postal access rates for small packages arriving in the US, or it would quit the organisation altogether. This would have led to the complete collapse of international mailing systems, as every country scrabbled to set its own rates.

‘Trump’s gambit won the day and the first phase of the resulting reforms was introduced ten months ago. Between 2020 and 2025, logistical costs for exporting small parcels from China to the US are expected to increase 164%.

‘For the US, the win is already paying dividends. Katherine Muth, of the US-based International Mailers Advisory Group, told the Financial Times in December that the USPS had already raised its inbound rates by an average of about 50%. This had caused a “huge drop-off in volume on inbound parcels” – especially from China, which had sent about half of all packages.

‘Chinese sellers agree it has had a significant impact. The Shanghai-based businessman Bai Haitao sells to the US and Europe, under the trading name Vastsee. In March, he told Marketplace.org that, prior to the increase, during peak times he used to send more than 10,000 small parcels a day to the US. After the new rates were introduced, he revealed the cost of sending a necklace from his Shanghai warehouse to the US went from mere pennies to more than $1. For items such as headphones, the logistics cost has doubled or even tripled. Since the extra cost had to be passed on to his US consumers, his company saw sales drop by half from its 2018 volumes.

‘However, closer to home, there is a price to be paid for Trump’s reform. America’s new mailing rates are being increased in phases over the next few years and all countries, not just China, will be impacted. UK sellers using traditional UK Post Office services to send economy mailings of up to 2kg may see rates rise if their service uses the United States Postal Service (USPS) once in the USA. However, express courier shipments such as those available through ParcelHero should not be impacted by the new charges.

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Client Focused Real Estate with Mid-Western Charm

Real estate

Dubbed the Real Estate Brokerage Company of the Year for the state of Missouri, Radius Realty is a business that offers much more than simply buying and selling. From renovations to portfolio management, Radius Realty seeks to provide its customers a service for every aspect of its industry.

Based in the metropolitan state of Missouri, USA, the mid-west makes an attractive home for many born and bred citizens and those coming to the region from afar. Being the 30th richest state in the United States, it is the home to many lucrative businesses and enterprises, but one of the most thriving industries it has is real estate. One company standing out in this market is Radius Realty, a real estate brokerage business that abides by the motto of ‘caring for all the Real Estate and Construction needs in your Radius!’ By holding to this, it shows its customers its dedication to premium and top of the line property brokering in its area. Furthermore, its service being strictly region based has meant that it has developed a reputation for excellence there, generating a large base of knowledge within its ranks. When working with clients, be they a young family, an older person, a first-time buyer, or another amongst its diverse target market, it can give them the best recommendations of places and properties. Through this and a dedication to warm and friendly customer service, it has secured a multitude of glowing reviews from its customers.

Many of its clients comment on its excellent portfolio management, and the personable and amiable nature of its staff in every stage of the process from initial contact to contract negotiation. Having been licensed since 2009, it has also seen the growth, death, and birth of many of the most influential trends and developments in its industry. Thus, it uses the most cutting edge in cloud-based technology for its website and internally within the business, ensuring that all facets of its operation are streamlined and effective. In this way, it can keep track of information, organise assets, and make processes as easy as possible for the client. It has sold and managed single-family homes, multi-family residentials, commercial properties, and many more, and knows the market like the back of its hand. It also has expertise with helping its clients break into real estate investment without the wall of jargon or overcomplicated methodologies getting in the way. It can assist in managing client’s portfolios through its team of exemplary staff, who are consistently on the ball and keeping an eye on the fluctuations in the market. Its representatives are all confident, competent, and highly trained, with a core focus on taking the stress out of the real estate agency.

In addition, its services are run by dedicated teams of admins, construction service, property management, and real estate brokerage experts. This allows for each department to handle the services Radius Realty offers through delegated and specialist individuals, enhancing the depth to which each staff member has a mastery over their area of expertise. It is this commitment to consistently delivering quality service that has earned it a multitude of accolades and credits. This includes being amongst the Forbes Real Estate Council’s Official Members for the years of 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. Furthermore, it achieved the Expertise award for Best Property Managers in St Louis in 2020, and was lauded as the Most Trusted Real Estate Brokerage company in the BUILD Real Estate & Property Awards.

It acknowledges that when it comes to renting, buying, and selling properties, each customer is looking for something different. This has led to the development of personalised and empathic services that cut to the heart of the client’s requirements and tend to their every need until the right solution is found. Its experienced Realtors help its clients to navigate a process that can be tricky, and it offers a free home evaluation report that strengthens its working relationship with the client from the word go. Its well-designed and intuitive online platform allows for quick and easy searching through elegantly designed filters and informative listings.

Alongside this and its investment services, it also offers renovations – whether regarding a home the client owns or a house they are flipping for profit, Radius Realty seeks to provide the means for excellent and uncomplicated renovations. It believes that no matter the job, it has the right team to help. When it starts work with a client, it makes a promise to them to ensure wealth and comfort now and in the future, helping them to make their vision of ‘home’ a reality. In this way, even throughout lockdown, it has not let itself be stopped. Currently working remotely through phone calls and maintenance request applications, it is staunchly still providing excellent service in unprecedented times. It wishes to take a moment to thank its clients for their patience in this, looking forward to seeing them again in the future when in person services can again resume.

For more information, please contact Christopher Long at www.radiusrealty.com

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Europe’s Order-to-Cash Leader Sidetrade Acquires Major Order-to-Cash Player in North America, Amalto

Company

● An accretive acquisition for $16m.

● The acquisition will provide a perfect synergy with Sidetrade’s Order-to-Cash offer and gives Sidetrade a decisive growth gas pedal in North America.

 

Sidetrade – publisher of an AI powered platform, dedicated to the management of the Order-to-Cash (O2C) cycle – has announced today conclusion of a firm acquisition agreement covering 100% of the capital and the voting rights of Amalto, one of the main players in the dematerialisation of inter-company financial transactions in North America, for an amount of $16m. With this deal, Sidetrade enriches its O2C offering, and accelerates its penetration of the North American market.

Sidetrade’s offer is at $16m in cash for 100% of Amalto’s equity. In addition, the directors could receive an earn-out at the end of 2024 depending on the growth of Amalto’s revenues at that date. Two months after the launch of its Fusion 100 plan aiming for revenue of $100m by 2025, acquiring Amalto allows Sidetrade to reach an important milestone in the execution of its plan with a cumulative revenue that could approach $43m in 2021, including $7m in North America.

Sidetrade plans to finance the operation through bank debt in order to preserve cash for other possible acquisitions. The current cash position is €24m ($28.6m), including treasury stock.

Amalto has offices in Houston (USA), Calgary (Canada) and Paris (France), and is the North American integration specialist for the exchange and automation of O2C documents in the Oil and Gas industry. The business helps companies in a variety of industries where companies face a very high Day Sales Outstanding (DSO); and Environmental, where vertical markets present different business processes. Amalto does 90 percent of its business sales in North America and employs 21 people, including 15 in North America. 

Each year, millions of transactions, representing billions of dollars, are made via Amalto cloud technology. Amalto’s customers include multinational giants such as Chevron, General Electric, and Schlumberger. The company has been able to build sustainable partnerships with its customers who renew their trust over the long term with an attrition rate below 2.5%. It has been rated by global IT advisory firm Gartner as one of three ‘Cool Vendors of Platform and Integration Middleware’.

In 2020 Amalto had revenues of $4.3m and recorded high growth and profitability with EBITDA above 20%. As of 31st December 2020, Amalto had a net cash position of over $1.2m.

Olivier Novasque, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Sidetrade, comments:

“The Amalto deal is a powerful gas pedal for Sidetrade’s international business growth. Amalto’s innovative solutions will enrich our B2B AI platform, and the intention is this will be rapidly available to all Sidetrade customers. Sidetrade’s Cloud has recorded more than $2.4 trillion in business-to-business transactions over the past three years. Combining the technologies and talents of Sidetrade and Amalto will support our mission to be positioned as a true world-class leader in the O2C market.”

“We have been incredibly impressed by Amalto’s expertise in the dematerialisation of financial flows. Their solution has a considerable technological lead, with a unique capacity to automatically integrate invoices in the main accounting systems and purchasing portals. Amalto is a champion of electronic B2B document exchange, with a unique position, focused on management of the entire O2C cycle. Amalto’s experienced teams in Houston and Calgary, and their loyal US and Canadian customer base, made up of large industrial and business service groups, will give Sidetrade great leverage in the North American market.”

Amalto’s shareholder-directors are fully supportive of this operation and expect to pursue the adventure with Sidetrade until at least 2024. To facilitate synergy and carry out the strategic plan, Sidetrade intends to set up a new organisation from day one, resulting in:

  • Emmanuel Thiriez, Co-Founder and CEO of the Amalto group, joining the Sidetrade Executive committee as Chief Customer Officer, and being fully involved in the implementation of the Fusion 100 strategic plan
  • Bryan Pederson, CEO of Amalto Corp, becoming AVP Customer Success, responsible for customer loyalty in North America and reporting to Emmanuel Thiriez
  • The Amalto sales team immediately joining Sidetrade’s US salesforce
  • Sidetrade establishing their US headquarters at Amalto’s Houston office
  • Sidetrade expanding their Canadian business, and setting up their third Tech Hub in Calgary (after those in Birmingham, UK and Boulogne-Billancourt, France)
  • Sidetrade counting on Amalto’s current senior management team to ensure the continuity of product development and customer service.

Amalto shareholder-directors can expect an earn-out by the end of 2024, based on revenue growth of Amalto solutions.

Emmanuel Thiriez, Co-Founder and CEO of Amalto, adds:

“We are very pleased with the prospect of pursuing our adventure with Sidetrade. Being part of the Sidetrade family will allow us to realise our ambition of integrating the best of AI in our solutions and reaching the greatest numbers of businesses. By joining forces, we will strongly accelerate sales development in a buoyant market.”

“Sidetrade presents an impressive value proposition, built on innovation, customer value and growth. Our two firms are perfectly complementary in terms of solutions and geographic coverage. Our clients and products will benefit from synergy very easily due to seamless integration. Together, we will develop innovative solutions to meet the needs of businesses across the globe.”

Digital transformation is gaining momentum in global businesses. The number of organisations looking to invest in O2C platforms and paperless transactions has been growing exponentially, and yet, only 5% of businesses have already found the solution they need. The market is ripe, and the potential for international sales is enormous. The acquisition of Amalto permits Sidetrade to expand its footprint in a booming global market and fits perfectly with its Fusion 100 strategic plan in three ways:

 

1. Innovation

Sidetrade will enrich its augmented cash platform for the entire O2C cycle, with two new, high valued added modules:

  • Augmented Order dematerialises all incoming customer orders and automatically integrates them into information systems, regardless of format (e.g. PDF, XML, EDIFACT). This significantly saves time, and increases reliability in revenue management
  • Augmented Invoicing dematerialises, manages and strengthens the reliability of all customer invoices, automatically integrating them into accounting and purchasing systems. The solution enhances customer relations and ensures that billing fully conforms with the customer’s requirements to avoid payment disputes and reduce DSO.

The market launch of these two new modules in Sidetrade’s Augmented Cash platform will give Sidetrade a real competitive edge, with a multitude of new sales opportunities throughout their customer base.

 

2. Regulatory environment

A growing number of countries are expected to make e-invoicing mandatory, as is now the case in the EU, where member countries must adapt their legislation to Directives 2010/45/EU and 2014/55/EU, which seek to facilitate cross-border business transactions through common invoicing standards. Several EU countries have already been e-invoicing obligatory in public sector transactions to simplify tax compliance and cut costs. 

 

3. Geographic expansion

Sidetrade already has a toehold in North America, working with big-name firms such as Expedia, Tech Data, Hearst Magazines and Talend. Now it is time for their North American business to really take off! For Sidetrade, conquering the North American market is fundamental to their ambitious development plan, called Fusion 100. The kick-off operations on North American soil, with sales management recruitment starting in February 2021, is the first step in this plan. Onboarding the members of Amalto’s Houston and Calgary teams is a tremendous opportunity. The Houston operation is a chance for both to raise Sidetrade’s position in the US, and to promote other Sidetrade solutions to Amalto customers. The American market for O2C platforms is estimated at $5bn, which represents 50 percent of the global market, according to Midcap Partners.

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Bank of America and Wells Fargo Most Impersonated in Phishing Cyberattacks

Bank of America
  • Bank of America received 70 complaints of phishing impersonations last year, Wells Fargo received 68
  • Financial services in top 5 most target sectors by phishing attacks

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses email, SMS, phone, or social media to entice a victim to share personal information – such as passwords or account numbers – or to download a malicious file that will install viruses onto their device. 

In short, attackers “fish” for a victim by setting a hook and waiting for someone to take the bait. The financial sector is a lucrative target for phishing scammers as users can be more easily persuaded to give up sensitive personal information. 

But which financial organization is the most impersonated in the U.S and what does the public need to be most cautious of?  

To find out, the CrowdStrike data science team submitted an FOIA request to the Federal Trade Commission and asked for the number of phishing scams reported for the largest 50 brands and all U.S. federal agencies.   

According to the CrowdStrike study, Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions, received 70 complaints for phishing impersonations last year.  

This was closely followed by Wells Fargo, who received 68 complaints last year.

This is particularly concerning, given that Bank of America and Wells Fargo have over 66 million and 70 million customers respectively – these customers rely on their bank for discrete and secure service.  

Elsewhere, retail is the most targeted sector overall (1,335 incidents). Amazon was a big contributor to this and was the most impersonated organization across all sectors (1,262 incidents).  

This comes off the back of Amazon sales soaring as consumers switched to online shopping to protect their personal safety or for convenience while their local stores were forced shut.  

Phishing, as an attack method, is nothing new – it goes back to the mid-1990s when criminals first began stealing passwords from an early online-services website America Online, now known as AOL.  

But the scale of the phishing phenomenon is new. Recently released FBI data shows phishing is now the most popular attack method used by cyber criminals in the U.S., totaling 241,342 victims in 2020 alone. That’s 814 percent more victims than in 2018. 

The 2021 CrowdStrike Global Threat Report put this down to, in part, COVID-19 which has given cyber criminals a unique opportunity to use social engineering techniques to exploit our basic human emotions like greed, curiosity, fear and the desire to help. All of which have been heightened during the pandemic. 

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World Leaders To Meet On Strengthening financial Measures To Boost Efforts To Cope with COVID-19 Fallout

Covid global impact

With many countries continuing to struggle to overcome the human and economic devastation from COVID-19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has convened a meeting of world leaders on Monday, 29 March from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT to urge the international community to take additional and urgent action to ensure a robust recovery.

The high-level virtual meeting organized by the Secretary-General together with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness aims to underscore the urgency of the need for bolder and concrete action to provide liquidity and address debt vulnerability in developing countries.

The meeting followed up on a series of meetings and roundtables held last year to mobilize action to assist the economic recovery from the pandemic that resulted in a series of measures by the international community, but still not sufficient to meet the continuing and deepening crisis that many countries face.

“We are on the verge of a debt crisis. Six countries have already defaulted. One-third of emerging market economies are at high risk of fiscal crisis. And the situation is even worse for least-developed and low-income countries,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“We need now, to allocate new special drawing rights and encourage countries with strong reserve positions to reallocate unused SDRs to countries that need it; extend the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative into 2022; and expand it to include all highly indebted, vulnerable middle-income countries affected by the crisis. We also need to expand the Common Framework for Debt Treatment to other vulnerable countries and provide additional, targeted debt relief and to tackle long-standing weaknesses in the international debt architecture. Otherwise, we risk spiralling deeper into the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, said, “It has now been over a year since the COVID-19 global health crisis began and it has wreaked tremendous havoc on lives, livelihoods, and the global economy.”

“The COVID-19-induced contraction in economic activity,” he said, “is severely impacting debt sustainability, particularly in low and middle-income countries. In addition to providing critical debt relief and liquidity support, we must create a new international debt architecture that ensures sustainability and encourages the private sector to integrate sustainability into its investment decisions to ensure a faster, stronger and more resilient recovery.”

Prime Minister Holness added, “With the availability of vaccines, we are now able to see a path towards global recovery even as we note that all countries must have sufficient amounts and capacity to vaccinate their populations if we are to achieve inclusive recovery. Let us continue through robust cooperation and coordination to take deliberate actions to reverse the devastating economic effects of the pandemic as we prepare for a future of sustainable growth and development.”

“The world must come together to protect people, save lives, and defeat COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Our progress has been remarkable, but we know we can’t defeat this virus and build back better at home unless all countries have the resources to respond to and recover from this global challenge. Only through a coordinated global response, can we address the impacts of the pandemic and create jobs, economic growth, and new opportunity for our people and businesses.”

 

New United Nations policy brief on debt crisis

In a new policy brief issued today, “Preventing Debt Crises in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: The Time to Act is Now,” the Secretary-General says that while many steps taken to date have been significant, they have not been sufficient to help restore economic health. Risks remain high for more countries to tip into a debt crisis, especially if the COVID-19 shock is more protracted and deeper than forecast.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in more than 2.7 million deaths and more than 125 million confirmed cases worldwide, has gone beyond a health and humanitarian crisis to also become an unprecedented global development emergency.

More than a year into the pandemic, the Secretary-General says the fiscal impacts of the crisis are triggering debt distress in a growing number of countries and is severely limiting the ability of many countries to invest in recovery and the Sustainable Development Goals, including urgently needed climate action.

He said, “Unless we take decisive action on debt and liquidity, we risk another ‘lost decade’ for many developing countries, putting the SDGs definitively out of reach.”

 

COVID-19 highlights increasingly unequal world

The current economic situation has highlighted growing inequalities between and within countries that pose significant threats to global efforts to build back better.

COVID-19-related economic shocks have already led credit rating agencies to downgrade the credit worthiness of 42 countries since the start of the pandemic, including six developed countries, 27 emerging market economies, and nine least developed and low-income countries.

Unprecedented health, social and economic measures over the last year have helped control the spread of the deadly virus, save lives, and mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic. These emergency policies succeeded in flattening the curve of contagion and saved lives, but they also resulted the first increase in extreme poverty since 1998, a 4.3% drop in global GDP and the loss of an equivalent of 144 million jobs in 2020 alone.

Many countries responded with extraordinary fiscal support measures, taking advantage of low borrowing costs, with developed countries accounting for the overwhelming share, around US $18 trillion. The international community has mobilized a strong response including emergency financing from international financial institutions, support for humanitarian partners, and access to medical countermeasures such as vaccines. Many developing countries, and least developed countries, in particular, which suffered from high debt levels before the pandemic, seeing their fiscal and external financing position further deteriorate in the course of 2020, have not been able to provide much needed stimulus support in adequate measure.

While some middle-income countries have returned to international bond markets since April 2020, only two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have been able to access markets; and some countries, including least developed countries with very high refinancing needs in 2021, will not have access to financial markets at affordable rates. In addition, many of these countries have already seen access to foreign currency curtailed through non-resident capital flight, and contractions in trade, tourism, remittances and foreign direct investment.

The rapid growth of financing needs and the collapse in revenues and GDP growth associated with the pandemic have exacerbated debt burden risks across the globe. More than half of the least developed and low-income countries that use the IMF World Bank Debt Sustainability Framework are now assessed at a high risk of debt distress or in debt distress and, according to some estimates, more than a third of emerging market economies are at high risk of fiscal crises.

 

Need for debt relief

Debt relief will be needed to create space for investments in recovery and for achieving the SDGs, including climate action. Even in cases of elevated debt, new borrowing can lead to improved creditworthiness if it finances productive investments. Debt relief can also free up resources, create conditions under which countries can return to voluntary market access, and may lower a country’s overall borrowing costs, with positive impacts across the whole economy.

 

Call for action on ODA, new financing and liquidity

The Secretary-General, in the new UN policy brief, calls on governments to provide fresh concessional financing for developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS, recapitalize multilateral development banks and accelerate the timetable for replenishing the funds, meet ODA commitments and provide long-term financing to developing countries for investment in long-term growth and development.

In support of recent endorsements from the G7, the brief also calls for a new general allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs) reiterating the need to combine a voluntary reallocation of SDRs from developed to developing countries.

And the brief calls on the G20 to extend the World Bank’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) until the end of June 2022 and include middle-income countries, notably small island developing states that have been gravely affected by the crisis.

The policy brief also calls on the G20 to extend the eligibility to debt relief under the Common Framework for Debt Treatment Beyond the DSSI to other vulnerable countries on a case-by-case basis; and consider other mechanisms that would allow countries to access the Common Framework without creating a stigma or compromising the credit rating of the beneficiaries, including funds and other instruments within existing institutions.  Finally, the brief calls on countries and the international financial institutions to seize the moment to address long-standing weaknesses in the international debt architecture.

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