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In the world of filmmaking, budgeting is more than just numbers. It’s an art – and a high-risk one at that. There’s a hero in the midst though – a new breed of digital platforms designed to deliver the ultimate in spending control and financial efficiency... 

Ask anyone in the business and they’ll tell you that mastering the art of film financing is akin to winning a coveted Best Picture Oscar. A steep increase in average production costs and a persistent decline in traditional income sources from cinematic distribution only compound what was already a challenging budgeting balance act.  

Film production is a complex endeavor that involves coordinating a myriad of resources, from talent and equipment to post-production facilities. Each of these elements incurs costs, and without careful management, expenses can spiral out of control, jeopardizing the entire project. This is before considering these elements will often occur in different locations across the globe, adding the challenge of cross-border payments and foreign exchange rates to the mix.  

In this post we look at the most important considerations in managing film production costs, the biggest challenges, and the best practices that digital solutions like those offered by Qorbis enable.   

Spend management encompasses the processes and strategies employed by companies to control and optimize their spending. In the film industry, where budgets can soar into the millions, effective spend management is essential for several reasons: 

Managing spend in the film industry comes with its own unique set of challenges: 

To overcome these challenges and maximize efficiency, film production companies can adopt several best practices: 

Qorbis understands the unique challenges faced by the film and television production industry. We’ve designed our specialized spend management solutions to meet these needs and deliver time and cost savings so that you can get your project completed on time and on budget.  

Make managing your team's spending needs a breeze, with our checklist of the must-have features of your business’s corporate card platform.

Looking for the most effective method of controlling company costs? A flexible spend management solution with corporate cards should be your go-to. Instantly issuing cards and managing your company's spending in real-time is just the start though. Ultimately, you should be looking for a solution that offers convenience, control, and perks, all tailored to meet the unique needs of your organization. The end goal? To save time - and money.

SMBs Spend 120 Working Days Per Year on Admin Tasks and Bookkeeping

Accountancy Age

Imagine the time that could be saved by using an efficient card and spend management platform! With a plethora of options available in the market, here’s a guide to choosing the right solution for your business.

Flexible Spending Controls.

One of the key features to seek in a corporate card is the ability to set spending controls. Look for cards that allow you to establish individual spending limits for employees, track expenses in real time, and customize spending categories. This level of control helps prevent overspending, ensures compliance with company policies, and streamlines the expense management process.

Integration with Expense Management Systems.

Seamless integration with expense management systems is essential for efficient tracking, reporting, and reconciliation of corporate expenses. Opt for cards that offer compatibility with popular accounting software or provide dedicated expense management platforms. This integration minimizes manual data entry, enhances accuracy, and saves valuable time for finance teams.

Robust Security Features.

Protecting sensitive financial information and preventing fraudulent transactions are paramount concerns for businesses. Look for corporate cards equipped with advanced security features such as EMV chip technology, tokenization, and real-time fraud monitoring. Additionally, cards that offer liability protection and immediate card replacement in case of loss or theft provide added peace of mind for businesses. FDIC membership and the insurance that is offered on accounts are non-negotiable when choosing a card provider.

Rewards and Benefits Program.

Many corporate cards offer rewards and benefits tailored to business needs, such as travel rewards, and discounts on business services. Evaluate the rewards structure and determine whether it aligns with your company's spending patterns and priorities – beware of complex rewards programs that require your business to build points before they can be redeemed. Not only do they complicate business spending, but they add another layer of admin that most businesses can do without. Additionally, consider added perks like discounted car hire, airport lounge access, and concierge services, which can add value for frequent business travelers.

Global Acceptance and Currency Options.

For businesses with international operations or frequent travel – and in 2024, that’s most of us - it's crucial to choose a corporate card with global acceptance and support for multiple currencies. Ensure that the card is widely accepted by merchants worldwide, for example, Visa or Mastercard, and offers competitive foreign transaction fees to avoid additional costs associated with currency conversion. This may require reading the fine print, as many providers offer low FX rates that are capped at a certain transaction value - negating most of the savings.

Dedicated Customer Support.

Responsive and knowledgeable customer support is essential, especially when dealing with financial matters. Select a card issuer known for excellent customer service, with dedicated support channels for corporate cardholders – ideally, 24/7 and with multi-lingual options. This ensures timely assistance for inquiries, account management, and resolution of any issues that may arise.

Transparent Fee Structure.

Before finalizing a corporate card, carefully review the fee structure to understand all associated costs. Look for cards with transparent fee disclosures, and no hidden charges. Pay attention to fees for late payments, foreign transactions, and additional cardholders to assess the overall cost-effectiveness of the card. The ability to issue unlimited cards is a plus point for businesses as they grow and expand their workforce.

Customizable Reporting and Analytics.

Data is everything. Access to comprehensive reporting tools and analytics empowers businesses to gain insights into spending patterns, identify cost-saving opportunities, and make informed financial decisions. Seek corporate cards that offer customizable reporting dashboards, expense categorization options, and downloadable transaction data for in-depth analysis.

Selecting the right corporate card requires a thorough evaluation of features, benefits, and costs to meet the unique needs of your business. Ultimately, the best option is one that optimizes expense management, enhances financial control, and drives business success.

Qorbis cards deliver all this and more, with low FX rates on any transaction value. Talk to us about how we have your team covered, whenever or wherever they spend.

Want to unlock a new level of fan engagement and drive continuous revenue growth? Plugging powerful financial features straight into their ecosystem is a winning solution for forward-thinking sports teams.

The collective gasp of millions of people at a close call. The unification of a triumphant win - or a devastating loss. There’s nothing quite like the emotional connection between sports teams and their fans. It’s a love affair deeply entrenched into America’s national culture - and with it comes serious brand power. 

The average NBA team has 17.65 million fans on social media, with the LA Lakers boasting a whopping 60.3 million followers. Major League Baseball is just that, with an estimated 171 million fans following every pitch, home fun, and foul ball annually. 

While traditionally, sports brands relied on fan attendance to drive their profits, digital transformation has meant that sports is now delivered to and consumed by a much wider audience, both on and off the field (or pitch!). This offers brands the chance to unlock new ways to engage and monetize their fan base. 

Sports and finance might be the most obvious pairings, but in the new age of digital fan engagement, it pays off. There’s no need to go it alone though - embedded finance delivered by a fintech partner is fast becoming the go-to solution for teams looking not only to create a next-level experience for their fans but to increase engagement, create new revenue streams, and generate a wealth of actional user data. 

“Embedded finance solutions like those offered by Qorbis enhance brand loyalty through promotional power, delivering simple, smart, and secure financial services alongside bespoke reward and loyalty programs."

“This is a game-changer, redefining the relationship between sport and finance, providing major brands with the tools they need to transform cost centers into revenue streams and deepen engagement with their fan bases.”

Stephen Williams, CEO of Qorbis, a leader in the integration of embedded finance solutions.

Embedded finance: The flywheel effect 

Imagine the insights gained from knowing your fans’ shopping habits, from spend frequency to category. Embedded finance powered by a Banking as a Service (BaaS) model enables just that, with benefits to both brands and end-users. 

By engaging a partner with an API-based, cloud-native platform and licensed financial services,  brands can build the banking services they want, brand it as their own, and roll it out securely and seamlessly to users both internally and externally. The result is staff and fans using team-branded digital banking and financial products with all the compliance of a traditional bank but with far more convenience and appeal to today’s digitally-savvy users. 

The financial products not only generate revenue in and of themselves, but as a result, fans spend more on the brand’s products and services than they had before obtaining the financial product. It’s the ultimate brand flywheel effect, and in a climate where the battle for customer attention has never been more hotly contested, it’s fast becoming a cornerstone of success. Brands know that loyalty counts - and sports brands, with their hoards of committed, win-or-lose fans, are better positioned than most to make this loyalty count in their favor. 

READ MORE

How brands are using embedded finance to boost their business

“Brand identity is a major facet of sports such as the NBA or MBA because of the trust fans place in teams. Platforms like Qorbis empower the sports industry to extend the brand experience beyond the field or the court into fans' everyday lives,” says WIlliams. “Doing so has significant commercial benefits but also creates a huge wealth of user data that can be leveraged to better inform decision-making and more.”

Brand Loyalty: the ultimate goalscorer

Brands are about 70% more likely to sell to a previous customer than a new one, and existing customers usually spend more. So whether a fan is purchasing game day tickets, an access pass to watch the game online, or a hat emblazoned with their favorite team’s logo, the chances are they’ll also buy something else from their beloved team, too. Including financial products. 

More than half of 25-34-year-olds believe using financial products from their favorite brands is more convenient than banking with a traditional retail bank.

52% of 25-34 year olds feel brands offer financial products better tailored to their specific needs when compared to traditional institutions.

In further good news for brands looking to monetize their fan bases, among consumers who already get a financial product from a non-financial brand, a third said the product caused them to spend more money with the brand, three in 10 said they now choose the brand over its competitors more often, and a little more than a quarter feel more loyal to the brand. 

It’s clear that fans are open to a financial product delivered to them seamlessly by their favorite baseball team, for example, in much the same way that Uber seamlessly charges their ride to the game. This is good news for fans as well as brands - here’s why.

Convenience

By integrating financial services directly into a user's preferred platform or application - a team app, for instance, the customer experience is streamlined, with financial services there as and when they’re needed. This eliminates the need for customers to visit multiple platforms or applications to access financial services. Customers want the ease of accessing and managing their finances within their existing ecosystem - essentially: less friction, more loyalty.

Personalization 

Embedded finance solutions leverage customer data and insights from the platform to offer personalized financial products and services. By understanding user behavior, preferences, and financial needs, these solutions can provide tailored recommendations, customized offers, and relevant financial solutions This personalization creates a deeper connection between fans and their preferred teams, increases engagement, and fosters loyalty.

Enhanced Value Proposition

Brands that integrate financial services into their ecosystem provide an expanded value proposition to users, giving fans a 360-degree experience. By integrating financial services, they can offer additional benefits such as competitive FX rates or exclusive deals and discounts. These value-added benefits increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers perceive the platform as a comprehensive solution that meets multiple needs and offers bonus perks.

Boosted Engagement and Interactions

Embedded finance solutions enable brands to engage customers more actively in their financial activities. Through features like real-time notifications, financial management tools, or budgeting assistance, customers are encouraged to be more involved in their financial decisions. The increased engagement and positive interactions create a sense of ownership and loyalty towards the platform.

New Revenue Opportunities

By using a platform provider to embed financial products and services into their brand’s ecosystem - such as charge cards bearing their logo - teams can create branded digital revenue streams by sharing income from fan purchases. This in turn drives the flywheel, creating value for fans via the customer data generated, allowing for a more tailored and personalized experience, and a higher average spend, providing further commercial opportunities for brands. 

Actionable Data Insights

For brands, the prize goes beyond winning or retaining customers — BaaS-driven embedded finance brings a mountain of usable data to drive future products and services that build sustained growth and allow for more predictable decision-making.

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Using data analytics to enhance customer relationships and revenue

“Having financial functions integrated with [brand ecosystems] enables new functionality, leveraging the persistent connection to move beyond transactions to relationships. These relationships are data-rich, which leads to smarter cross-sell, pre-qualification, and risk reduction. The monetization opportunities are not only large but actually meaningfully larger than the original opportunity.”

Matt Harris of Bain Capital Ventures

Fintech: Enabling a Complete Brand Experience

Embedded finance can bring sports brands to life and unlock a range of commercial opportunities. From cross-selling to new revenue streams, targeted upselling increased brand loyalty, and merchandise sales, your fan base can be effectively monetized to the benefit of both said fans and their team.  

Partnering with a platform provider allows brands to choose the right tools in which to best meet their goals - whether that’s frictionless payment methods, innovative loyalty programs, or transactional insights that give visibility of the entire fan journey.

Create the ultimate fan experience and create new revenue channels by adding Qorbis’s powerful financial solutions and more straight into your team’s ecosystem. Talk to us today.

Regulatory and compliance measures in digital banking have become increasingly important as technology continues to transform the finance and banking industry. With the rise of online banking, mobile payments, and financial technology (fintech) innovations, regulatory bodies are faced with a crucial task: to adapt and develop frameworks to address the unique challenges and risks associated with digital financial services.

This framework serves as the foundation for maintaining a secure and transparent financial system, protecting businesses and consumers, and preventing illicit activities.  

Regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, and Bank Secrecy Act are in place to prevent fraud, money laundering, and illegal activities. Governments and regulatory bodies put these in place to ensure fair and ethical practices, protect the interests of consumers, and maintain the stability and integrity of the financial system.  

This article explores the main pillars of regulatory and compliance measures in American banking and finance, with a focus on the evolving fintech and digital banking sectors. 

Cybersecurity and Data Protection 

Digital banking brings with it a heightened need for robust cybersecurity measures and data protection. Regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), have established guidelines and requirements for financial institutions. First and foremost this is to safeguard customer data and protect against cyber threats. Compliance measures, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), provide additional frameworks for ensuring the privacy and security of customer information. 

Digital Identity Verification and Authentication 

As digital banking expands, the challenge of verifying the identity of customers and ensuring secure authentication becomes crucial. Regulatory bodies are working on establishing standards and guidelines for digital identity verification processes, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. These measures aim to prevent identity theft, fraud, and money laundering by implementing robust identity verification procedures and multi-factor authentication protocols. 

READ MORE:

Bridging the digital divide: Does digital banking need a human touch?

Regulatory Sandboxes and Innovation 

To foster innovation in the digital banking space while maintaining regulatory oversight, some jurisdictions have introduced regulatory sandboxes. These sandboxes allow fintech companies and startups to test new products and services in a controlled environment, while regulatory authorities monitor their operations. This approach encourages innovation, facilitates collaboration between regulators and industry players, and helps strike a balance between innovation and compliance. 

Consumer Protection and Dispute Resolution 

In the digital banking realm, consumer protection is of paramount importance. Regulatory bodies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), enforce regulations that ensure fair practices, transparency, and effective dispute-resolution mechanisms. These measures help protect consumers from fraudulent activities, unauthorized transactions, and unfair practices in digital financial services. 

Cross-Border Regulations 

With the global nature of digital banking services, cross-border regulatory cooperation is vital. Regulatory bodies across different jurisdictions collaborate to establish frameworks that facilitate international transactions, mitigate risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing, and promote regulatory harmonization. Initiatives such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision work towards aligning international standards and promoting consistency in regulatory approaches. 

READ MORE:

How digital banking is rising to the challenge of cross-border payments

The financial industry is extremely highly regulated in the USA and globally. As digital banking continues to reshape the finance and banking industry, regulatory and compliance measures must keep pace with technological advancements. By addressing cybersecurity risks, enhancing data protection, establishing identity verification protocols, fostering innovation through regulatory sandboxes, ensuring consumer protection, and facilitating cross-border cooperation, regulators play a crucial role in creating a secure and trustworthy digital banking environment. Striking the right balance between innovation and compliance is key to unlocking the full potential of digital banking while safeguarding the interests of consumers and maintaining the stability of the financial system. 

Qorbis and its partners adhere to the highest standards of regulatory and compliance measures so you can be confident your money is in safe hands. Talk to us about how the FDIC protects your Qorbis account, today. 
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