Meet our Experts – Arnaud Béasse

28-07-2020 | Arnaud Béasse | treasuryXL

Welcome to the 10th and last (for now) interview of the ‘Meet the Expert’ series. This time we interviewed our brand new Expert Arnaud Béasse. Arnaud is founder of the advisory firm Arts+Brands and an expert in Debt Management. He started his career as Regional Financial Controller, cumulating the responsibility for IT.

Arnaud has more than 17 years experience in Banks focusing successively on Structured Asset Finance, Corporate Banking, DCM and in Multinational Corporates for their Energy and Metals trading and Project Finance. He created Arts+Brands to expand his entrepreneurial spirit by advising small ventures and start-ups (Fintech, Biotech, IT) for their Fund Raising and Finance strategy and also by getting involved in the daily operations.

Arnaud is fluent in English, German and French and is used to work in international, multi-cultural and virtual teams environments.

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

How did your treasury journey start?

During my first assignment as a regional financial controller, I have been immediately confronted to a complex consolidation of cash streams from different emerging countries with different currencies and regulations. Finding secure and systematic solutions has been challenging but also interesting and fun. This was the beginning of my treasury discovery, from which I moved then to asset finance, project finance, trade and export finance and later to the complete « corporates and markets » solutions offered by a large European bank.

What do you like about working in Treasury?

I find the central role played by treasury in supporting a business very motivating: it manages all financial resources a business needs to generate returns. Perfect understanding and anticipation of the needs (planning) and an accurate analysis of the resources available (controlling) are therefore essential. I also like the necessity of combining short term priorities like cash management and long term planning like investments.

What is your Treasury Expertise?

Capitalising on my long banking and large corporates experience, I have acquired a strong knowledge of all kind of debt solutions associated with credit, regulatory, compliance competencies. I have specialised in Debt Management, Fund Raising, Asset Finance, Leasing, Cash Flow Management, Trade and Export Finance and Project Finance. I am currently focusing on Sustainable Finance to support firms aligning their finance resources with their commitments towards the environment.

What’s the most important factor in debt management?

The starting point of debt management is a careful analysis and control of the cash flows. Borrowings need to align with the business cycle of the company and eventually its equity profile. Once the needs of each business line and the corresponding cash flow generation are consolidated, the adequate debt structure can be designed with a mix of junior to senior, short term to long term solutions and a calibrated interest rates structure.

What has been your best experience in your debt management career until today?

I remember a dramatic situation occurring during a local currency crisis in an emerging country, where we had arranged a large equipment finance. The debt repayment plan did not anymore match with the borrower’s cash flow generation and we were heading straight to a default situation. After long and numerous discussions, we managed to get transferred a large position on natural resources the company was owning but not operating and structured it in a way that the majority of risks were covered, the credit committees and respective boards were satisfied and ultimately the borrower managed to earn additional profit. I admit there is a part of luck in this experience but getting from this desperate situation to a point where all parties were so happy has been my most fulfilling experience so far!

What has been your biggest challenge in your career?

I consider the toughest challenges in a company are almost always linked to human resources management and termination of assignments. But if we remain within the treasury topic, my biggest challenge so far has been to accept a board decision not to conclude an M&A transaction, whereby all indicators (profit, risk, market position, further opportunities) were very favourable for the group and I had worked for more than one year on the case. Some months later, upon publication of the yearly results, it became clear why the project was rejected!

What is the most important lesson that you have learned as a treasurer?

Along the various experiences I had with treasury, the most important lesson might be to always seek the most simple and straight forward option. There are many ways of hedging a currency position, improving the average interest rate of a pool of debt facilities, leverage the value of an asset, optimise the return of positive cash position. But the risk and time associated to it can rapidly be disproportionate to the purpose and the size of the original transaction. Treasury shall normally create value, not necessarily profit!

How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

Obviously, the role of Corporate Treasurer has become more and more complex. Treasury needs to deal with an increasing availability of alternative financial products, intensifying risk management requirements, regulatory and compliance constraints. But at the same time, the emergence of digital treasury platforms and integrated cash management systems are making the steering of treasury much easier and more accurate.

The coronavirus is undoubtedly an unprecedented crisis. In general, can you elaborate on the impact this virus has on treasury from your perspective?

Treasury is between a rock and a hard place: as a consequence of the crisis, sales are dropping and cash flows are missing but the financial obligations (debt, salaries, rents, supply, …) remain and the access (if not the availability) of financial resources become difficult. For treasurers who had a prudent cash flow management with enough resources to bridge the gap, it has been a confirmation for their risk management strategy. For others with more lean structure, it is, in the best case, a very stressing moment trying to find last minute and costly (not only in terms of interest rates) funding solutions. Some businesses, which have bet on a very tight business model, will probably be restructured. The crisis will certainly lead corporates to adopt more careful models with sufficient reserves and flexible organisations but also postponed or reduced investments.

What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

The main trend is definitively the further digitisation of the treasury functions, offering more reliable, more secure and faster execution of the transactions: payments, cash management, trading, trade and export instruments, guarantees, etc. As the execution of transactions will be more and more automated and integrated in the supply chain systems, treasurers will shift their focus on analysing and planning for the financial resources in order to formulate strategies.

Another interesting trend for the treasurer is the further development of the non-banking debt market. This shall broaden the borrowers’ horizon, balancing again the bargaining power in favour of the corporates and generating even more tailor-made/OTC debt solutions.

What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Running a business without a treasurer can only be considered for small businesses. For standard operations, managing the daily needs with modern digital tools will always become easier, even if substantial support shall be required during the implementation of a system. Once the system is running, the daily treasury tasks can be integrated in the accounting and finance agenda.

However, as soon as operations get more complex (investment, take-over, international development, restructuring…), the support of a specialist remains essential, be it for a limited period of time like part-time or ad interim…

 

 

Arnaud Béasse

 

 

 

 

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How to Get Started with International Money Transfer

| 16-1-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Do you ever get fed up with expensive service charges for the “privilege” of using your money? Do hidden international money transfer fees give you cold sweats when you log into your online banking account? Are the service charges imposed by providers like PayPal and Western Union making your heart beat faster?

You’ve worked hard all your life – to pay your bills, to provide for your family, and possibly to leave your home country to start a new life. Why should you pay exorbitant fees to move money in this digital age? There’s no need for armored trucks, planes, or boats to transport cash from you to the intended recipient of your money. Today, secure digital transactions are what gets money from one corner of the world to another.

Transferring money with a money services business (MSB) like XE eliminates the sorts of fees banks charge. You’re also assured a fair trade-able exchange rate on your money, based on the mid-market rate. (Meaning the mid-point between the buy-rate and sell-rate from international money markets.)

If you’ve heard this pitch from foreign currency transfer providers before, don’t worry, we’re just warming up here.

A Strategic Division of a Global Financial Powerhouse

XE, unlike many of the independent money services businesses in the marketplace, is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, a leader in global electronic transactions and payments, and in facilitating payments between financial institutions, retailers, service providers and consumers.

We are entrusted by leading brands such as Google, Apple, Netflix and PayPal for their payments. Our sister companies facilitate payments for streaming media content, gaming, gift cards and pre-paid cellphones.

Our foreign currency market experts ensure our customers get the best value on money transfers to over 170 countries, in sixty currencies. Our consumer clients can transfer up to $500,000 (or your country’s equivalent denomination) from their accounts. There aren’t any monthly service charges or registration fees to erode your savings. Businesses can contract transfers of amounts exceeding $1 million.

The ABCs of International Money Transfer

If you’ve never contracted the services of a money services business before, here’s what you need to bring to the “table” before you even register for an account.

  • A bank account, and an original electronic copy of a bank statement
  • Government-issued identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or an age of majority card
  • An electronic copy of a utility bill, such as electricity bill or from a telecommunications company
  • An understanding of the approximate value of your foreign currency trading and transaction needs. These can help XE recommend services which maximize your return.

XE is mandated to collect these documents by the financial regulators around the world. They are used for the sole purpose of verifying your identity, and to defend the interests of XE and our clients against criminal activities like money laundering and to prevent the funding of terrorist activities.

There are further details about the terms of our service in the disclaimer below, and our Important information page.

It’s surprisingly easy to register for an account with XE, though if you need any assistance along the way, our knowledgeable customer success teams in our offices around the world are happy to assist you along the way.

Once you have registered for your account, and have transferred money to it from your bank, you can initiate a single transfer, series of transfers, or even mass payments to multiple suppliers or recipients. If you read on to the next section, you’ll learn about how you can take advantage of volatile market conditions to save money on overseas payments.

Services Which Distinguish XE from other MSBs

There are several overseas money transfer businesses in the market, and finding the ideal one for your personal or business needs can be challenging if you don’t know where to look. XE rises above the competition for many reasons in part because of our reputation for being easy to do business with. The proof is in our five-star rating on TrustPilot. Even our competitors regularly cite XE exchange rate data as the most accurate and reliable in the industry.

Some of the unique services which our customers rely on to mitigate costs include:

  • Forward contracts – which can lock in an exchange rate for up to twelve months, like recurring payments abroad for condominium fees.
  • Market orders – If you aren’t pressed for time on a specific payment, choose an exchange rate amount you are comfortable with, and we’ll initiate your payment for the moment the exchange rate meets that rate for your currency pair. These orders make the most of your money in turbulent times.
  • Spot orders for mass payments – Lock in on a rate for multiple payments at once for a batch of payments to multiple suppliers.
  • Risk management, cash solutions foreign exchange consulting and structured foreign exchange products for unique business requirements.

Time is of the essence in the currency market, much like in the stock market or in commodities trading. The services above provide some protections against unexpected peaks and valleys in the valuation of your local currency, though you should ensure you understand how upward or downward market movements can impact your scheduled payments.

Rate alerts via email are especially helpful to know when to trade when your base currency is at an optimal value relative to the currency you are exchanging for.

Money Transfer on the Go

There’s no denying that smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices are surpassing traditional computers for accessing digital content and getting things done online.

XE’s mobile apps for Android and iOS enable our customers stay up to date on exchange rates and make international payments without breaking stride.

XE is constantly developing innovative new channels and experiences for overseas money transfer. If you are evaluating XE relative to other money services businesses, don’t just take our word for it. Check out the review on money service provider review site Finder.com

Admittedly, XE is not:

  • The best choice for sending less than $1 (but who does that?)
  • Ideal for those individuals or companies not willing to provide identification before making a transfer. Yet, that’s contrary to international regulations in any case.
  • The money services business for those who want to pay on a cash or credit card basis.
  • The least expensive provider in the marketplace, nor are we the most expensive. You can’t beat us for value for your money though.

Whether you need to transfer rand to pay suppliers in South Africa, make a condo down payment in Dirhams to Dubai, or send krona to your sweetheart in Sweden, XE Money Transfer makes it easy and affordable.

 

Mark Burdon

Mark is a content writer, editor, and digital marketing specialist at XE, based in Newmarket, Ontario. Before joining XE, he worked with IBM, Open Text, TELUS and Canada Post.

 

 

 

 

Source

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multibillion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Currency markets impacted by a number of factors as we open a new decade

| 9-1-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

The markets have been exposed to some real turmoil. In the wake of the tensions in the Middle East, we have seen a general decline of stocks and move toward typical risk on plays – treasuries are up overall, gold is trending higher and so is oil. Very generally there are a number of themes affecting the major crosses.

Let’s get up to speed and examine these broadly:

GBP:

On one hand, there have been an increase of investment monetary inflows based on economic data. Add to this a general sentiment of rate hikes from the Bank of England still being on the table and a very likely sense of uncertainty or even fear from European exporters with the ECB under a great deal of pressure to stabilise/raise inflation (and be inventive in doing so) and Italy dragging the boat down somewhat there is every opportunity for the trade items to play out in a buoyed GBP. There are a few ‘watch out’ aspects, though. These may include things like monetary policy having been kept on hold due to Brexit (and there could be a case to see the Conservatives attempt to waylay Bank of England’s efforts to raise rates) and the possibility that investors have priced a recession into investment outlook. When reviewing 17 institutional banks’ forecasts for 2020, the consensus is for a rate to the Dollar of 1.3400.

USD:

Again, a tale with two sides to the coin. The Federal Reserve has added liquidity to the repurchase market (short version of this mini-crisis is: that the amount of available cash in this market dropped exactly as the demand for borrowing jumped which made interest rates look outlandish – the added liquidity settles this and resumes a better velocity of money, or speed of funds flowing through the economy). There are still some divisions remaining in terms of the Fed’s outlook for rates, meaning that stabilising and stopping rate cuts isn’t technically off the table. The uncertainty in the Middle East in the clash between the States and Iran means that investors have flocked to the safe-haven currency of the Dollar and add to this some very real concerns about the strength of the global economy and growth forecasts, meaning that safe haven movement could have longer to garner flight to the Dollar all could point to a near to medium term robust USD. Temper this view with some very conflicting US economic data, muted inflation price pressures and China getting rid of bonds – which would force the States to increase its balance sheet.

EUR:

The EUR has had a short-term increase in currency strength versus the GBP, but this is largely from uncertainties of how trade will be arranged in finalising Brexit. There are widespread concerns that, if a deal may not be organised in the timeframe allotted, the UK could default to trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms, which are far less favourable than a direct agreement. As earlier mentioned, though, the EU has significant issues brewing in the form of inflation control via the ECB and from a very poor economic performance by Italy in the last 8-12 months in particular. There are green shoots of good news, though, with preliminary German consumer inflation figures looking far better than expected – a significant contribution to solving their issues given Germany’s size and relative impact on the bloc. All things said and done, against the context of uncertainty from geo-political risks and fiscal/trade uncertainties as well, the EUR could well be the net loser in the coming weeks.

Elsewhere in the world, the cost of the bush fires in Australia are touted at being ~$2bn AUD and climbing, but of course, the cost of people’s lives and the lives and environment for their unique and rich wildlife ecosystem will be immeasurable. Our hearts go out to the people of Australia and the brave service people fighting the disaster.

GBPEUR: 1.1800

GBPUSD: 1.3198

EURUSD: 1.1183

The figures are based on the live mid-market rate, correct as of 08:30 GMT on 07/01/2020, and are provided for indicative purposes only. Live mid-market rates are not available to consumers and are for informational purposes only. The rates we quote for money transfer can be selected via the page on our website ‘Live Money Transfer rates’.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multibillion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

How to save time and money with International Payments

| 2-1-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Do you often need to make global transactions? Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. You constantly need to check the markets for the best rates and hope for a great opportunity. But what if you don’t have time to sit and wait? XE can help and take care of it. With a range of solutions to help you access competitive rates with greater control.

Spot Transfer

Need to make a payment right away? Lock your rate for immediate and quick transfers.

With XE you can buy currency at the live exchange rate. If you are looking to purchase currency and make a payment right away, then a spot contract could be perfect for you.

Get started

 

 

Market Orders

Flexible with your transfer time? Pick a rate, transfer automatically when the market hits your desired rate.

Get started

 

 

 

 

Forward Contracts

Secure a rate for future transfers. Transfer any time at your secured rate within 3 years.

Get started

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multibillion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

Recap of the SCF Forum and Awards event 2019

| 23-12-2019 | by treasuryXL |

On the 28th November 2019, treasuryXL attended the SCF forum Europe 2019 in Amsterdam – an annual event. Here is our review of the day.

So, what is Supply Chain Finance (SCF)?

It is a series of processes, both financial and technological, designed to improve business efficiency and reduce financing costs by providing bespoke short-term funding solutions for both buyers and sellers, with a view to improving and enhancing working capital and liquidity for both buyers and suppliers.

There are three parties involved – buyers, suppliers and financial providers. Traditionally, banks acted as the provider of funding but, with the advent of fintech other non-bank firms are also offering solutions.

The ultimate purpose of SCF is to improve the cashflows for both buyers and suppliers.

Participants included banks, fintech, academia, together with companies that use SCF solutions such as DFDS, Airbus and Jumbo supermarkets.

The forum started off outlining the major themes surrounding SCF that needed to be considered:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Education
  • Financial Flows
  • Procurement
  • Logistics – the missing link
  • Inclusiveness
  • Sustainability

Time was given to highlighting the awareness needed to form a true collaboration with all participants – intra firm, inter firm as well as the supply chain itself. No one department can successfully implement SCF on their own – it requires the input from a wide range of departments.

Rabobank gave a talk about trade and its impact on poverty. Between 1900 and 1950 Europe and the USA moved ahead, economically, from the Far East and Africa. Since the financial crisis of 2008 the middle ground of Europe and the USA has been squeezed and whilst poverty has decreased worldwide, the levels of inequality between income and wealth had risen back to the levels of the 1920’s.

Whilst trade tariffs are on their way down, trade barriers have been rising.

Politically the near future is likely to bring about new confrontations on world trade:

  • USA – China
  • Brexit
  • Capital controls to counter tariffs
  • Restrictions on foreign ownership

DFDS – case study

DFDS are a Danish shipping and logistics company, focusing also on ferries and door-to-door solutions. From an environmental view they have big concerns about the impact of logistics on world climate. Their aim for the future is to be smarter, cheaper and to have less impact on the environment. On the logistics side they must be more cost efficient as they operate in a market with small margins and large competitors.

As data has grown exponentially, they have embarked on an extensive SCF programme that has seen their return on invested capital improve from 5% in 2012 to 19% in 2017.

Major challenges are still to be faced – especially because of Brexit as 45% of their business goes through the UK. Hauliers in the UK are especially worried. This sector of the industry is best suited to younger truck drivers (there is a 73% satisfaction rating amongst drivers between 18-24 year olds), but problems are evident in the lack of female drivers and an average age for drivers of 50 years old and rising all the time.

DFDS strives to help hauliers via SCF by paying early with discounts. This had led to both an improvement in working capital fo DFDS as well as hauliers – one was able to purchase 10 extra trucks by being paid early.

Jumbo – case study

Jumbo is the second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands with a 21.6% market share. Their growth in turnover has been impressive – from EUR 120m in 1996 to EUR 8.5bn in 2019. There is a strong impetus to manage the needs of both the suppliers and the company. Whilst Jumbo has grown rapidly a lot of their small suppliers had trouble keeping pace especially with the terms and conditions that existed before the implementation of SCF solutions. As and when Jumbo grows, their suppliers need to follow and 80% of their suppliers are defined as SME (Small and Medium Enterprises).

Jumbo has implemented a variety of different solutions to meet the needs of their suppliers, such as reverse factoring, dynamic discounting etc. It was important for Jumbo that the suppliers got on board with the programme – they have more than 1000 small suppliers. There was a 63% pickup in the first few months.

Moodys – word of warning

One of the main instruments used in SCF is reverse factoring, which differs markedly from traditional factoring. Reverse factoring is initiated by the ordering party – the buyer. As they are normally the larger party to an agreement their credit standing is of a higher order than the supplier – hence their interest costs are lower than for the supplier. With reverse factoring suppliers get paid early and buyers can delay payment to the factor (financial counterparty). However, the liability rests with the buyer.

Whilst it is increasing in popularity as a source of financing it can lead to a weakening of liquidity. Rating agencies are grappling with the legal consequences and lack of disclosure of reverse factoring. Now there is no legal requirement to disclose how much reverse factoring is on the books. This can lead to an incorrect picture of the financial health of a company. Companies that embraced Reverse Factoring but eventually suffered as result include Carillion, Abengoa and Distribuidora International de Alimentacion.

Big Data and AI

With the advent of ever more computing power it has become possible to analyse increasing amounts of data. This will lead to big changes in SCF through the use of Artificial Intelligence such as:

  • Traditional SCF
  • Fintech solutions
  • AI powered SCF solutions
  • Blockchain and Internet of Things

However, whilst embracing technology solutions we must not lose sight of old axioms such as “garbage in is garbage out”. It will be necessary to truly understand the flow of data, the variables and the output. Modern history has plenty of examples of large sources of data and experts, leading to losses and mistakes as well as profits and rewards.

Conclusions

  • A truly collaborative arrangement both internally and externally
  • Greater understanding of the business drivers
  • Improved early payment for suppliers
  • Chance to delay payments for buyers
  • Mutual transfer of knowledge and requirements for both parties
  • Improved relationships
  • Need to onboard all relevant departments

The opening quote at the forum was “Bridging physical and financial supply chains”. The one area that I, personally, felt was missing was the impact on the circular economy. Whilst there was talk on sustainability and global climate, I wished to hear more about how to increase the effective use of assets – trucks going to clients full and then returning empty, etc.

Maybe that can be a “hot item” for next year’s forum.

 

 

 

Lionel Pavey

Cash Management and Treasury Specialist

 

Possible Amendments to the Withdrawal Bill see Pound Fall Sharply

| 19-12-2019 | treasuryXL | XE |

Boris Johnson will bring his Brexit bill before a new intake of MPs this week without some of concessions he made before the election. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the key legislation that will pave the way for the UK to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020 – is expected to come before the Commons on Friday.

Under Johnson’s plan Britain is to leave the EU on 31 January once the bill passes, at which point the transition phase with the EU kicks in. During this period, the UK is expected to leave the customs union and single market and enter new negotiated arrangements, but will follow most EU law like other member states. However, it will not have voting rights like other member states.

News on the morning of the 17th has suggested that the Brexit bill is thought to have been rewritten since the one that was backed at the second reading by the previous Parliament. The Conservatives now  have a majority of 80 which means that Johnson is unlikely to bring forward concessions to his Brexit bill that he suggested he would consider at the time. Those include clause 30, allowing MPs to vote on an extension to the transition period beyond 2020 if a free trade deal was not struck in time.

With the new legislation looking to legally prevent delaying a departure beyond 2020 there is a risk that leaving with no deal is back on the table. This new amendment has seen the Pound drop over 1% against the dollar and the Euro. We are now back to the levels we were trading at before the election, with GBPUSD down from 1.35 on Friday to 1.3190 and GBPEUR down to 1.1846 from 1.20+ last week.

It is a fairly data heavy day today with UK average earnings, ILO employment data and Mark Carney speaking which could continue to see volatility in the Pound.

GBPUSD– 1.3190

GBPEUR– 1.1857

EURUSD– 1.1134

The figures are based on the live mid-market rate, correct as of 09:00 GMT on 17/12//2019, and are provided for indicative purposes only. Live mid-market rates are not available to consumers and are for informational purposes only. The rates XE quotes for money transfer can be selected via the page on XE’s website ‘Live Money Transfer rates’.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multibillion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

treasuryXL announces partnership with XE.com

| 12-12-2019 | treasuryXL | XE |

treasuryXL announces partnership with XE.com, The World’s Trusted Currency Authority and provider of currency data, FX Risk Management and Technology solutions for businesses

VENLO, The Netherlands, DECEMBER 12, 2019 – treasuryXL, the community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, today announced the premium partnership with the world’s most trusted currency authority XE.com.

XE.com is the first major currency specialist to work with treasuryXL. As a marketplace, treasuryXL will offer XE.com market commentary and insight to her audience. Offering a continuous flow of relevant treasury content, making treasury knowledge available, results in treasuryXL being the obvious go-to platform for its’ audience. The partnership kicks off with the new ‘Treasury Topic’ environment where XE.com will have a prominent role in the FX, risk management, payments and FinTech environment.

XE.com is the world’s most popular foreign exchange website, and a leading global destination for foreign exchange rate tools and data. XE Business Solutions support companies across the world with robust responses to unpredictable currency markets; whether they rely on XE for information about currency markets, seek support when managing their FX risk, or trust them with business-critical international payments.

treasuryXL and XE.com strive for a fruitful partnership where its’ audience are top of mind making sure that (potential) clients are always up to date with the latest global currency news and benefit from a comprehensive range of currency services and products. XE Business Solutions and currency expertise provide companies with robust responses to unpredictable currency markets, so that bottom line is protected by currency risk and not impacted by it.

About treasuryXL

treasuryXL started in 2016 as a community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury. Their extensive and highly qualified network consists out of experienced and aspiring treasurers. treasuryXL keeps their network updated with daily news, events and the latest treasury vacancies.

treasuryXL brings the treasury function to a higher level, both for the inner circle: corporate treasurers, bankers & consultants, as well as others that might benefit: CFO’s, business owners, other people from the CFO Team and educators.

treasuryXL offers:

  • professionals the chance to publish their expertise, opinions, success stories, distribute these and stimulate dialogue.
  • a labour market platform by creating an overview of vacancies, events and treasury education.
  • a variety of consultancy services in collaboration with qualified treasurers.
  • a broad network of highly valued partners and experts.

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multibillion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

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Trending treasury topics from the Treasury Barometer 2019

| 29-11-2019 | Enigma Consulting | Bas Kolenburg

While the treasury has always managed changes in both financial markets as in the businesses, the pace at which changes now need to be managed is accelerating. In a time of increased digitalisation, payments acceleration and new business models in the whole value chain of payments processes and bank connectivity, treasurers are becoming increasingly keen to leverage on the opportunities.

Treasury Barometer – the report

In the 6th edition of the Treasury Barometer, developed by Enigma Consulting and Rabobank, the trending topics that are shaping the treasury in 2019 and beyond have been explored drawing on feedback from the survey held in mid-2019. This report presents the latest trends and developments and provides a unique and representative understanding of the Dutch corporate treasury landscape.

The Editor Panel consisting of 6 members of the Dutch treasury community,  set the direction of this year’s Treasury Barometer and to monitor the quality and relevance of the content. The 4 content-interviews were again a great added value to the results of the survey, as they gave more insight into the subjects.

Trending treasury topics

This year’s edition walked readers through many of the hot topics that the treasury face nowadays.

Fraud & Cybercrime

Fraud & Cybercrime are actual trending topics as the treasurers are still trying to find the right responses to the increased cyber and (payment) fraud activity, advanced technology techniques and social engineering that is being used nowadays. Although an astonishing 82% treasury departments have been a victim of attempted or actual payment fraud/cybercrime, only 5% of the fraud (attempts) are being reported to the police. People seem to be afraid to be open about the fact that this happened to them so that it will be difficult for the police to solve fraud cases committed by large scale operating gangs.

KYC requirements

Because of the focus on anti-money laundering (“AML”) and the financing of terrorism (“CFT”), there is a lot of pressure on financial institutions to meet their compliance expectations, being forwarded to their clients in the form of increased KYC requirements and more intensive transactions screening.
From all respondent , 91% see that the increased KYC requirements are hindering operational efficiency, the growth and the management of its business and even 24% of all respondents has considered changing banks due to bank-specific KYC processes.

LIBOR phase out

The LIBOR phase out effect will be temporary but will lead to a total rebuilding of the bank’s infrastructure which will be pushed through to their corporate clients, who are just beginning to become aware what is ahead of them. The Barometer reported that only 42% have performed an impact analysis and even 15% was not aware of the LIBOR phase out at all. Industry experts recommend that corporates perform an impact analysis and become operationally ready for the IBOR phase out as soon as possible.

Technology/Innovation

The instant payments schemes and new technology around the world are transforming treasury departments into a world of real time 24/7 liquidity, based on a shift towards more centralised control with local empowerment. With new business models in the whole value chain of payments processes and bank connectivity, banks are rapidly embracing innovations and developing fintechs. The adoption in treasury departments is a mixed bag with an increasing group of early adopters, but also a large group that has difficulties to steer away from current older technology and interfaces.

Treasury Barometer results

Sustainability seems to be established as a core value and has moved beyond the initial hype, but the results of the Barometer showed no increased activity.

Bas Kolenburg from Enigma Consulting concluded: “From this year’s Treasury Barometer, the Fraud, KYC, LIBOR and Technology/Innovation themes are clearly very much on the radar of Dutch corporate treasurers and we are confident that this year’s report is motivating and inspiring for treasury departments. We aim with the Treasury Barometer not to provide an one-way publication but that this will be part of a multi-stakeholder conversation with the Dutch treasury community. The invitation is therefore open for persons to be engaged in future editions of the Treasury Barometer”

The full report is available for download here.

 

 

Bas Kolenburg

Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

 

Big tech vs Fintech vs Banks – in international payments

| 09-07-2019 | by Patrick Kunz |

This title makes it sounds like it’s a fight. To be honest: it is! The market for international payments is huge and its lucrative. In a McKinsey report the 2018 market size for payment revenues was close to 2 Billion. Not strange everybody wants a slice of that.

Fintech & Banks

Traditionally the market for international payments was dominated by banks. Recent years and technological advancements has shown that banks are slow to adapt to new technology and market requirements. In some cases it still takes days to transfer money from Europe to Asia, while an email, FB message or picture can be send in seconds. Fintech has tried to fill the gap with innovative tech solutions that solve these problems. Often these companies are lean and mean and adapt to market changes much quicker than the big stable banks. They provide cloud solutions, link to every bank possible and make you more bank independent. Lately we have seen consolidation in the fintech market where players are merging, growing or being taken over by banks. Some banks have started their own fintech. But often fintech only solved a part of the problem and is build on the existing (bank) infrastructure. Banks are also working on innovation: instant payments, swift GPI and PSD2 api’s are helping the customer paying faster and easier. These initiatives are great but have taken years to be implemented.

Bigtech

Then there is a third group of players: big tech. These are the google, facebook and alixpress of our world. These are traditionally IT companies who have a big client base but these companies where not involved in payments (yet). Their edge is size, market access and fast adoption. What happens if they enter the market for payments? Are they likely to win? Look at Alipay, massively successful in China but growing immensely outside Asia to. Why ? because it is easy to use, innovative, low cost and probably most importantly connected with an existing service of the bigtech (alixpress – shopping). The company provides the full customer journey: shopping for product and paying the goods in the most easy way without moving away from the website. Not only via desktop but also via mobile. On the go they make it possible to pay by scanning a QR code, in a grocery store or in a cab. Who needs cash OR a debit card, you only need your mobile phone and an app! Why was this successful? Because the existing customer base was already there they just vertically integrated into the customer journey; easier for the customer and therefore extra revenue for Ali. But also more power for Ali.

Stablecoin Libra

Looking at Facebook and their Stablecoin Libra. Digital currency, unregulated, not based on the traditional banking/payment infrastructure. There are big and significant differences with Bitcoin but the idea is the same: sending and receiving money worldwide in an instant as digital currency. There should be no speculation on the Libra-Rate as the rate of exchange is based on a basket of currencies (EUR, USD, JPY etc). Similar to the old tech Special Drawing Rights from the IMF. So what makes libra different to bitcoin and the other coins? I am not going into the technical differences as that is beyond my scope and would bore you. The main difference is the easy of adoption. New to bitcoin and want to use it: you have to open a wallet, trading account and learn have to transfer the BTC to somebody and the receivers also needs a wallet; a barrier for most. Using Libra will be much easier as it is just an extension of the services of Facebook. Libra potentially has 2,4 billion users (the number of facebook accounts). This is a big competitive advantage. Compared with smart marketing (facebook knows that) and combining it with existing products there is a big potential. Sending money to your facebook friends in Australia or Japan? No problem: in-an-instant via Libra. Besides facebook it is also supported by other big players like Visa, Spotify, Paypall, Mastercard, Vodafone. Is there a future without Libra ? And how many facebook users are there without an bank account. There are 2,4 billion facebook users and 1,7 billion people without a bank account in this world. The reach is already huge so there is low barrier for adoption.

The Battle

Does this mean bigtech will be ‘winning’? In my opinion hard to say. That battle is being fought the coming years. Don’t forgot the power and influence of regulator and governments. Digital payments are unregulated and unknown and could influence the power of governments and the whole banking infrastructure of money regulation, central bank money creation and some even fear de-stabilization of the monetary system as a whole. Regulators could stop/limit the quick steps forward by bigtech.

The coming years will be exiting to see the technological advancements in the battle for payment revenue. The winner will be the consumer; easy of paying will increase further and more importantly the speed will increase. Paying how we want and within a blink of an eye, and this worldwide, will be the new standard within several years.

 

Patrick Kunz

Treasury, Finance & Risk Consultant/ Owner Pecunia Treasury & Finance BV

 

The evolution of the market for corporate treasury solutions

| 16-4-2019 | by  Pieter de Kiewit |

A few years ago I wrote a blog about the relay in TMS market leadership and kept following the market as an interested bystander. Last years I saw an increase in parties that steer away from traditional solutions for corporate treasurers like banks, consultants and TMS houses. What I saw was the rise of firms like Cashforce (forecasting), TIS (bank independent payment platforms) and NWBM or Kantox (FX dealing). The result is a very diverse landscape of many solutions that cover various aspects of the treasury value chain. Even for experts it’s not easy to oversee what is happening.

Currently I observe the market entering the next phase in maturity. I expected firms like Google, Microsoft, Amazon or SAP to step in, acquire a number of smaller suppliers and start an integration. This is not (yet?) happening. What I see is an increase of cooperation between smaller firms. TIS and Cashforce organize sales meetings together. By now Cashforce has also started a partnership with the traditional bank BNP Paribas. TMS supplier Bellin works together with transaction platform 360T and today I saw that TIS enters a partnership with FX broker Ebury. Apart from this, the traditional bank ABN AMRO launches an Ebury competitor Franx and ING launches a TIS competitor Cobase. All exciting developments and I am not able to predict what will happen next.

What I do know is that it will not be easier for corporate treasurers to make decisions about their infrastructure and services. Modern solutions can offer a lot more and often at a better price level. But what is the best solution? And if you choose for one solution, do you automatically also choose for others? Does your supplier advise you about the best solution or the one where he can get the highest kick back fee? How hard will it be to say goodbye if you are not satisfied anymore?

So for you as a corporate treasurer, the world gets better and more complex. A number of the issues already existed in the past, but were not so obvious. Personally I love to see all new possibilities. I think, at the end of the day, you will have to put in the effort, read, listen and speak, then analyse and decide for yourself. The responsibilities that come with being a treasurer cannot be outsourced.

What do you see in this market? I would love to read or hear from you,

 

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit

Owner of Treasurer Search