Access to Data Grows, Finance Ranks at Top

This article references data obtained from Dell Technologies and is based on an article originally published by the Wall Street Journal.


This graphic illustrates the amount of client data accessible by technology firms across industries. While the graphic, posted by the Wall Street Journal, is intended to highlight the growth in access to healthcare patients’ data by third party technology firms, it is notable that in just two years the Financial Industry has seen a tremendous increase as well. In 2018, the Financial Industry ranked as having the highest amount of accessible data out of 9 categories—with an increase to 16.19 petabytes (approx. 16.97 million gigabytes) from 2016’s 1.53 petabytes (approx. 1.60 million gigabytes). This highlights how transparency and data access are becoming more prevalent among financial institutions. As transparency continues to increase, and FX buyers use data analytics, we believe FX Markups will continue to decline.

Congress Reauthorizes The U.S. Export-Import Bank, Signifying Bipartisan Support for U.S. Exporters

This post references articles originally published by The Wall Street Journal and Global Trade Review on January 10, 2020 and January 7, 2020. 

Congress has reauthorized The U.S. Export-Import Bank for another 7 years. This bipartisan decision has come after numerous attempts to reauthorize the bank and countless obstacles in doing so. The decision is significant as, traditionally, Republicans and Democrats have disagreed on the effectiveness and future of the bank. President Trump at first was against EXIM Bank—up until 2017, when he learned more from exporters and then voiced his support for the reauthorization of the bank.  

Those in support of the bank argue it is “essential to keep U.S. companies competitive against foreign firms that receive help from their governments”, reports The Wall Street Journal. The bipartisan reauthorization of the bank focuses on two goals: (1) providing certainty to U.S. businesses that they can achieve sales overseas competitively; (2) address the economic and national security challenges of China aggressively providing Export Financing (as reported by the Global Trade Review). EXIM Bank’s reauthorization highlights much-needed bipartisan support and promotion of U.S. Exporters.  

Read the full story on The Wall Street Journal.

Read the full story on Global Trade Review. 


For more information on Blades International, Inc.’s services, visit our website. 

Paola Gasca, Assistant Vice President



Robotics and automation are under-utilized, despite being a necessity in driving down costs and improving efficiency

This post references an article originally written and published by AFP, underwritten by Kyriba, in 2019. 

Companies are under-utilizing robotics and big data, especially in the field of treasury and banking; as Kyriba has highlighted in AFP’s “The World of Tomorrow”, “Robotics are the Future of Treasury and Finance”. Kyriba’s Vice President of Strategy Bob Stark describes Robotic Process Automation like “an Excel macro; it is automation that mimics what the user tells it to mimic”. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA), “treasury and all of financial services have begun to see process efficiencies that are feeing up teammates’ time to shift their focus towards data-driven decisions”.

While AFP and Kyriba focus on discussing robotics within Treasury Management Systems, the same concept of robotics saving time and money can be applied to banking and Foreign Exchange transactions. With the use of big data and advances in technology, FX Markups will continue to compress. While the fintech’s have developed new FX platforms, data analytics and bank automation will ultimately result in cost competitive FX arrangements to drive down FX costs .As AFP ‘s Editorial Manager, Andrew Deichler, writes, “technology is still new and will still take some time before it becomes mainstream in treasury and finance” and, in our case, foreign exchange banking. Efficient companies will seek to understand how automation plays a role in their bank-produced FX costs and furthermore, seek out a solution to excessive costs that involves data analytics. FX Rate Integrity® provides companies better understanding of their FX Costs and allows them to negotiate better FX Arrangements. Additionally, robotics and automation are being built into the FX Rate Integrity® -Auto Audit Service which will further enhance the FX Rate Integrity® process with automation


Read the Full AFP Article. 

In the World of Big Data, McCombs School of Business Focuses on Data Analytics and Comprehension

This post references an article originally published by University of Texas McCombs School of Business on November 22, 2019.

University of Texas McCombs School of Business’ enhancement of the MPA program highlights the pivotal role of technology and data analytics in the industry, affecting businesses as a whole. McCombs’ emphasis on technology adoption and data analytics comprehension in upcoming young professionals indicates that we now live in a world of Big Data. The program will not only teach students how to use data analytics but what the data means and what to do with analyses.

The use of real data in case studies assigned to students is a testament to how present data analytics and technology are in the industry, suggesting the “Accountant of the Future” is one who can efficiently analyze data and effectively use the results. Additionally, the program addresses the issue of automation, suggesting automation will allow students the opportunity to develop skills essential to work-place etiquette. “I think that because of artificial intelligence, the mundane and more basic types of work will become more automated in our professions. This means we can focus on other important things […] the ability to seek to understand and be curious will be very, very important skills”, explains member of the McCombs Accounting Advisory Council, Nichole Jordan.

This curiosity can result in a more sophisticated workforce. While data analytics itself is not changing, the type of data being analyzed is—as is how its used. For example, in terms of Foreign Exchange, data analytics allows businesses to more readily understand their costs and long-term consequences of those costs, in addition to learning how to use their data to lower costs and alter their foreign exchange transaction strategies moving forward. Foreign Exchange Rate Integrity® utilizes data analytics to determine foreign exchange costs and propose solutions to excessive costs—ultimately helping drive down excessive FX costs for clients.


Read the Full Story. 

This Year’s AFP Guide Highlights Robotics in Finance

This post is written in reference to “AFP’s Guide to Emerging Technologies: Robotic Process Automation”, published in 2019.

The AFP “Executive Guide to Emerging Technologies: Robotic Process Automation” for 2019 included an in-depth analysis of Robotic Process Automation, its prevalence in the financial industry, and the implications robotics have on the industry, its efficiency, and jobs moving forward. In summary, the AFP guide, underwritten by Kyriba, highlights the impact automation is currently having on financial institutions; mainly, helping expedite business processes and adding value to jobs. The topic of robotics and automation has previously been broached in an abstract manner, as a tool of the future—that is no longer the case. The use of robotics will soon be the marker of successful and efficient processes.

Blades International, Inc. is aware of the importance of automation and robotics technology. Through the use of API and Bloomberg software, Blades International has developed an innovative technique called FX Rate Integrity®. FXRI® helps corporate clients understand and monitor their FX costs to ensure they are receiving Fair FX Markups.

Read the AFP Guide.

-Paola Gasca, Analyst


The Vanguard Group Testing the Use of Blockchain Technology in FX

The Vanguard Group, one of the world’s largest investment companies, has begun testing the use of blockchain technology in FX trading. It has been reported by Bloomberg that Vanguard has partnered with Symbiont, a blockchain technology provider, to create an FX trading platform that allows for peer-to-peer FX trading. Blockchains have had a growing presence in the foreign exchange market as it is a faster, more efficient, and more reliable way of transferring funds. If successful, the Vanguard-Symbiont partnership could challenge client-bank relationships as it will help alleviate corporate clients of the high markups and costs associated with FX transactions. Additionally, the platform would make it easier for corporate clients to exchange foreign currencies.

While there are still uncertainties with the platform, which has few users so far, the partnership seems promising. Regardless, the Vanguard-Symbiont partnership signifies the digital change occurring within the banking industry. As banks begin to modernize and technology advances, there will be a pressure to monitor and lower excessive FX markups. Until FX costs and markups decrease, FX Rate Integrity® is there to address the issue of Excessive FX Markups.

Read more on Bloomberg.

The Digitalization and Use of Computer-Generated Algorithms in Banking Highlights Importance of FX Rate Integrity®

Although it has been disputed that banks should collaborate with fintechs in order to keep up with digitalization, recent news suggests otherwise. The Banker writes that as banks are beginning to keep up with the modernization and digitalization of the banking industry, many are ending their partnerships with existing fintechs. As banks had a hard time keeping up, they ​needed ​ fintech partnerships to compete, but as more banks embrace technology and the use of APIs, fintechs are less necessary.

Many banks now have “cloud deals” with Google, Amazon, or Microsoft and can perform wider and more advanced functions on their own, writes The Banker. Typically, banks use algorithms to determine a client’s fx markup; it is important for clients to understand how their markups are determined in order to effectively monitor their FX costs. FX Rate Integrity® uses cloud technology to help clients identify how they are being charged to complete FX transactions by their banks.

Read the full story on ​The Banker.

-Paola Gasca, Analyst