Partner Interview Series | This is a must read story about Enigma Consulting

27-10-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Get inspired by the extensive and catchy story of Robert-Jan Wekking about Enigma Consulting. Robert-Jan takes you into the warm corporate culture, mission, expertise, innovation and their continues investment in knowledge with great examples.

Enigma Consulting is a revolutionary knowledge hub in the field of Payments, Digitisation, Risk & Compliance and Treasury. They are a connecting factor in the financial sector thanks to our consultants’ engagement with their clients, both banks and companies and solution providers.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

Robert-Jan has more than 25 years of experience in payment transactions and he advises corporate clients in the areas of treasury, risk management and bank connectivity.He understands the solutions in the market, both from the B2B and B2C perspective.

Robert-Jan switches easily between executive and operational level within companies and the banking sector, as he easily combines his strategic vision with substantive process and product knowledge. He has a wide network with contacts at all (international) banks, which can speed up the implementation of corporates connectivity with their banks.

We asked him 11 questions. Let’s go!

 

INTERVIEW

1. Tell us more about Enigma Consulting and its mission

Enigma Consulting has in-depth knowledge of all ecosystems that are relevant in payments, transaction value chains and financial markets. Transactional connectivity and digitization increase the prosperity and well-being of consumers, companies and the public sector and thus serve a social interest. Our mission is to contribute to the development of efficient digital transaction traffic and to ensure that this is done in an innovative, sustainable, honest and effective manner with controlled business operations. Combined with a correct attitude and behaviour, this contributes to the translation of legislation and regulations into ethical business operations and a better market position. We follow developments closely, research, analyse and make connections. Our consultants reflect, structure and help organisations to achieve their goals.

2. What is the core topic Enigma Consulting aims to address and how does it differentiate it from the other players in the market?

Digitalization is all about the exchange of data, whether these are payments, information, identities, contracts, signatures or any other regular consumer or business transactions. The complexity of exchanging transactions is constantly increasing; regulations, fraud and data protection are just three of the factors impacting this complexity.  On the other hand, innovative technology is continuously providing easier interaction between data, leading to better and integrated business propositions and making client journeys faster, more friction less and safer.  This is exactly in this domain where Enigma operates.  We leverage our in-depth knowledge of payments and transactions to advise and implement.

We distinguish ourselves from other players by looking at the end-to-end value chain, not only from the viewpoint of efficiency but also with a perspective on regulations and compliance. We understand the guiding laws and regulations and can translate them into practical advice to make sure that our clients remain compliant. We recognize that laws and regulations applying to financial institutions are becoming stricter and that attention is now also shifting towards corporates.

Our legal consultants are specialised in transaction and data related legislation, and we have strong connection with for example DNB and AFM in relation to our guidance of our clients.

Our consultancy practice focuses on the  financial-,  corporate- and retail sectors, hence we understand the complexities affecting those areas. With our knowledge of the ecosystems and  vendor solutions we play the matchmaking role between individual client wishes and the solutions available in the market.

This combination of end-to-end view, legislation and compliancy, working in different sectors, and the matchmaker role gives us a unique position. The fact that we not only advise but also take responsibility for  implementations during the past 20 years, makes us a trusted and recognized partner for our clients.

3. Why choose customers for Enigma Consulting?

Our knowledge of payments and other transaction processes is often the starting point for customers to reach out to us. Our capability to advise and implement solutions from an end-to-end perspective is the basis for our interaction with our customers.  Additionally, customers also appreciate the fact that we are able to advise at a strategic level, but at the same time are pragmatic enough to look for feasible and not theoretical answers.

We have strong relationships with a number of our clients, some even stretching back over more than 20 years. This is something we foster, not only by delivering more than what is expected, but also by working closely together. For instance, our Treasury Barometer is an example where we cooperate with the Rabobank, whilst at the same time we are participating in a number of their projects.

At the end, it all comes together with trust, in the quality of delivery, in our people and in the overall relation. This is how we ensure that we will be shortlisted again the next time.

4. What has been the biggest challenge for Enigma Consulting regarding customer projects so far?

The most challenging projects are when we are asked to take end-to-end responsibility for delivering a complete project. Quite often, this means that we have a team onboard and the client is looking at us as lead consultant to get the job done. A good example is the setup of a complete bank payments infrastructure. Apart from the fact that these assignments are exciting and demanding, it is always challenging to make it happen in an environment with its own complexities.

For our individual consultants, stepping into a new assignment always has its own challenges.

Customers ask for us for different reasons, and our consultants have to quickly adapt to start advising the client. This means not only understanding the clients’ business, but primarily building trust relations with the client and their stakeholders. Hence for every consultant the adaptability towards the new environment is always an important challenge.

For myself personally, I am proud to have led a number of strategic programs, like SEPA, Instant Payments and iDIN.  Besides building completely new products, the key challenge is always to work and build bridges between internal and external parties (Banks, DNB, governmental bodies) with sometimes opposing objectives. Working with all these parties and ultimately developing a new product is what makes me happy and proud of my role as consultant.

5. Can you tell us in what sector you see the most innovative developments regarding payments and how does Enigma Consulting react to these?

One of the most exciting aspects of payments is the continuous innovation in the field. However, it is never a revolution but more an evolution. An example are the digital currencies. I believe that in the long run, these might become as important as, or even replace, the current way of paying. But it will take many years to get there. Where it started with the cryptos and Facebook’s Libra, the central banks are now seriously embracing it.

Additionally, the technical transitions to APIs and SaaS, Open Banking and Instant are ingredients for completely new business innovation. Through API and SaaS, corporates can select best in class software modules and integrate them, rather than select single platforms that will still sub-optimise their process. The introduction of Instant Payments in Europe will ultimately change the way the treasurer needs to forecast and manage their accounts.

In the B2C or C2C world, the client journey will continuously improve, seamlessly and friction less, with data integration as a key element.

Through our assignments, we are constantly in the middle of this innovation. For example, we are the leading consultancy firm in the Netherlands for supporting FinTechs, cryptos and payment software companies with their PSD2 application. Our role in digital identity and Mobility as a Service provides us with insights in yet other areas of innovation.

In order to keep all our consultants informed, we have a weekly meeting with our consultants to discuss the latest trends.

We also leverage this knowledge to assist our clients with their questions around innovation. For this purpose, we have initiated the Enigma Innovation Lab, an accelerator environment to answer client specific questions around innovation, vision building or technical solutions by injecting are our own knowledge combined with our ecosystem of solution providers and subject matter specialists, all facilitated by various methodologies like Design Thinking.

6. Do you experience differences in the world of payments before COVID19 and the time we live in now? What are the differences?

The differences are not that when you look at the regular payment products themselves. But we do see COVID as a steppingstone for digitalization. E-commerce and e-commerce payments have shown significant growth and people are spending increasing amounts of time online. The volumes of payments facilitated by Payment Service Providers are going through the roof.

Also “Cash is King” is the phrase that everybody uses, but this should now be “Digital Cash is King”. Volume of physical cash is dropping significantly, being taken over by contactless payments.

I believe these are just indicators for a bigger change, which is the acceptance of the consumer to step into a full mobile journey.

Customers are now more familiar with working with a cashless wallet and seem also to be willing to adapt faster to other contactless, digital processes. Examples are registration, ordering food and payments in restaurants (for example via QR). But also using mobile apps to order your groceries. Clearly, this has already been taking place for many years, but I believe that COVID has accelerated this transformation through necessity.  People are therefore more willing to change their attitude. What is interesting is whether this transformation will continue, or whether people will step backwards to the old normal or step forward to a new normal.

For the retail sector and corporates, before COVID they already had to understand how to become more relevant in the mobile cashless digital world.  COVID is demanding corporates to speed up this thought process.

7. How does the future of payments look like in your perspective? And how will it change the world?

Digital currencies will be an important element in our future, adopted stepwise, and will be overlooked by market systems and regulators. There will be a continuous drive for integrating payments in the client journey, seamless, frictionless and supporting the Internet of Things. Hence payments will be a key enabler of future growth towards the digital world. Digitization is also very attractive for fraudsters, money laundering etc, as your counterpart is not always visible anymore. The need for trustworthy digital identities will be an important building block for this roadmap.

At the same time, the pressure of fraud, regulations and compliance will shift from banks to other parties (corporates) in the end-to-end value chain. Where banks are currently the gatekeeper, corporates will have to integrate this responsibility in their own business processes.

Hence the roadmap to digital, whether it is digital payments, or any other data transaction, will demand continuous change from all parties in the value chain. This will be a stepwise change, but fast enough to need to keep an eye on it.

8. What has been the biggest success for Enigma Consulting?

The biggest success for Enigma is that we have made a transformation from payments “only” to understanding the full transaction, risk and data value chain. For example, we have made a transition from bank payments to treasury payments and risk processes, but also from payments to compliance, and to integrated transactions and data models.

During this period, we have also changed our internal organisation.  We have been running a number of Young Professional Programs. These next generation talents bring us a more diverse view of the world, which makes our proposition to the market stronger and our internal culture more diverse. As a result, we believe that we have the foundation for supporting our clients, now and in the future, with a passion for payments and transactions.

9. How does Enigma Consulting keep on innovating and stay one step ahead of its competitors?

Our ambition is to be recognised as a though leader in the domain of payment and transactions. Investing in knowledge is the basis for our current and future advisory services.

This means that we continuously invest in gaining and sharing knowledge with our consultants and clients. We have organised this in a number of ways.

We have introduced the so-called Theme Lifecycle within Enigma. When we expect a theme becomes relevant for our business, now or the future, we start a workgroup to progress this theme from idea through different stages. It starts with writing a one pager based on study and analysis, called the exploring stage. We validate the readiness for every next stage (exploring, campaigning, harvesting) so that we invest time in those subjects that also become relevant for the market. All our consultants participate in one or more themes, which helps keep them engaged with innovation and market developments.

Every week we organise meetings to discuss news and articles. On turn, every consultant is responsible to select a number of articles to be discussed during this half hour meeting.

For our clients, we have regular Breakfast and Brains meetings to share our insights and to have open discussions on a specific subject. The success is that clients that even might compete in a certain sector, are always willing to learn and share from our and other clients’ experiences.

Finally, we also participate in and cooperate with FinTechs. We support them by leveraging our network of solutions, whilst their innovative ideas are a good source for future improvements, leading to a broader ecosystem that benefits our clients.

10. We are heading to the end of 2020, can you give us an outlook on the scheduled developments for the upcoming year?

The best outlook would be that we leave COVID-19 behind us, however I think that COVID will strongly influence the developments and investments in 2021. There are a number of scheduled developments which will impact corporate clients. Corporates will have to put their capacity in the IBOR Migration.  Also, the transition to XML messages will impact the operating architecture and bank connectivity of corporates.  In parallel, the transition to instant payments including batches will have to be put on the calendar of the finance function.

And in parallel, it is recommended to continue to look at the potential of open banking and further integration of payments data in the corporate business processes. An example is how payment data can improve the risk profiles of insurance companies.

In summary, enough subjects to keep an eye on. Sitting still and waiting is not an option.

11. A great initiative is that Enigma Consulting supports charity projects, what kind of charity projects does Enigma Consulting support, why and how?

The why should never be a discussion, the real discussion is what you can do. One of our activities is the ZEPA challenge.  Our consultants do like sports, and a lot of them love to cycle. When the transition to SEPA was going on, some of our consultants took the initiative for this challenge: cycling from Zeist to Paris in 24 hours. We have done this now 3 times, and a number of our clients’ employees have also participated.  This year’s event was cancelled, but we are already “ready” for the next challenge. There is not a fixed charity goal, the last charity was support for the education of young refugees.

Apart from the above, we have a warm partnership with “Goede Doelen” charity organisations in Netherlands and facilitate a free payments helpdesk for them.

It is of crucial importance to us to participate in an open and honest society, in which diversity and inclusion are critical. This is important for our own culture, as as an organisation we benefit from our consultants and they, in turn, foster these values in their personal lives.

Top 4 most useful Key Performance Indicators for Accounts Payable

| 14-10-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab Recovery |

Nowadays all businesses use Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to measure the performance of internal -and external processes and thereby operational success. In the Accounts Payable unit of an organization this should not be any different.

‘If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed’. Establishing and tracking KPI’s in the Accounts Payable department enables an organization to identify weak processes and operational inefficiencies. A KPI should be specific, quantifiable, time-bound and should be agreed upon by all project members. KPI’s need to be measured on a regular basis to ensure that the Accounts Payable process matches with the goals set by the organization and to identify areas of improvement.

In general, but also in specific cases such as mergers and acquisitions, organizational restructuring and new technology implementations (e.g. Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning) it is imperative to make use of Accounts Payable KPI’s that enable organizations to measure the impact of changes on the Accounts Payable process.

In the last couple of months, SpendLab Recovery has requested their clients to share the KPI’s that are most important to them in the Accounts Payable department. From the reactions that we received, we have compiled a list of KPI’s that secure the most meaning from available data, which can be used to strengthen the Accounts Payable process.

  1. The cost per processed invoice

The cost per processed invoice is the cost of processing one invoice in the (entire) organization. This cost can vary depending on the type of business as well as the factors that are taken into account. Important to understand is the fact that the cost per processed invoice may appear to be low, just because the hidden costs that negatively impact the profit have not been taken into account.

One example related to hidden costs is an organization that has a high level of manual invoice processing. This type of organization needs to take into account labour- and operational costs, the risk of human errors, and lengthy processes. In addition, the cost per processed invoice needs to take into account the time spent by employees in the Accounts Payable process. Several other contributors to the cost per processed invoice are systems and equipment, overpayment, errors, lost supplier discounts as well as audit costs.

A second example encompasses invoices that are sent by suppliers, but do not meet the requirements set by the client. This inefficient process results in a chain reaction that increases the number of activities that have to be conducted. Consequently, the costs of processing an invoice will increase.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, the processing costs of an invoice have decreased significantly. Whereas the costs of processing an invoice in the Accounts Payable department ranged between $20,00 and $30,00, some organizations are now able to process an invoice for $10,00, and top performing organizations for $5,00, according to the results of a survey published in 2018.

Accounts Payable departments can reduce the manual handling of invoices by implementing and utilizing paperless Accounts Payable automation software.

  • The lead time per processed invoice

The cost of processing invoices increases when an organization processes invoices slowly. The lead time per processed invoice in the Accounts Payable department tracks the total time that it takes for an invoice to be received, processed, finalized, and made ready for payment in the financial ERP system. Processing speeds vary based on the size as well as the industry an organization works in.

If a specific Accounts Payable automation solution manages the total process, starting from receiving the receipt to posting in the ERP, this metric can easily be tracked throughout the system. However, if process steps happen outside of the Accounts Payable automation solution, it might get tricky, but still an exceptional way to measure the overall efficiency of processing invoices in the Accounts Payable.

The key to achieve a reduction in the lead time per processed invoice is automation. By mapping the Accounts Payable process, removing manual process steps and implementing an automation solution that takes on the workload in the back-end of the organization, organizations are able to save valuable time and ensure that the resources in the Accounts Payable can focus on value-adding activities.

  • The number of invoices processed per employee per day

One of the KPI’s that should not be neglected is the number of invoices that an Accounts Payable employee processes on a daily basis. This KPI provides key insights into the strengths and opportunities in the Accounts Payable department.

There are a significant number of negative downstream effects in relation to low performers in this KPI. For instance, until an invoice is processed, approved and filed into an ERP system, other departments are not able to assess the development and/or stage of the process the invoice is in.

This lack of insights and therefore visibility leads to organization-wide problems such as missed supplier discounts, late payment fees, mismanaged cash flows, and overall poor relationships with suppliers.

Optimizing this KPI is therefore a must.

  • Percentage of invoice exceptions

Invoice exceptions are a plague for Accounts Payable departments and therefore organizations in general. The result of invoice exceptions is twofold. First of all, invoice exceptions cause a reduction in the processing efficiency, having to discuss and agree on the invoice with peers and, in the worst case, creating disputes with purchasers and suppliers. Secondly, invoice exceptions drag down employee morale, especially when the exceptions have to do with structural problems that are related to the workflow. A few examples of invoice exceptions are the following: discrepancies in the purchase order (e.g. wrong supplier codes, receipt dates or zip codes), incorrect, duplicate and missing purchase orders and non-purchase orders.

The bottlenecks that are a result of invoice exceptions are able to bring entire Accounts Payable departments to halt. Being able to reduce the impact of discrepancies requires organizations to track and control invoice exception rates.

About SpendLab Recovery

SpendLab Recovery is the Dutch market leader in spend justification. The company is a former spin-off from the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. It currently specialises in generating liquidity for clients by analysing -and identifying anomalies in accounts payable data.

In terms of certification, SpendLab is GPR compliant and is ISO-certified for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015).

By having insights in the accounts payable and being able to recover unjustified liquidity, treasurers will be able to identify and control (liquidity) risks in their vendor data.

For more information visit SpendLab.com

 

KYRIBA Global Summit

| 07-10-2020 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

We are excited to invite you to the first ever Kyriba Global Summit, a free virtual event bringing together treasury, finance and IT teams from around the world to discuss their successes and the latest innovations in cash management, payments, bank connectivity, FX risk management and working capital management.

Hear successes and stories of transformation from some of the most recognized companies in the world with a globally diverse group of speakers.

REGISTER HERE

About Kyriba

Kyriba empowers CFOs and their teams to transform how they activate liquidity as a dynamic, real-time vehicle for growth and value creation, while also protecting against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal applications for treasury, risk, payments and working capital, with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms, and market data providers. Based on a secure, highly scalable SaaS platform that leverages artificial and business intelligence, Kyriba enables thousands of companies worldwide to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce costs through advanced automation. Kyriba is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and other major locations. For more information, visit www.kyriba.com.

Only 5 days left until the International Treasury Management Virtual Week 2020

| 16-09-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

Don’t miss the Treasury Event of the Year! If you haven’t signed up already, here is a reminder to join this great virtual event with incredible speakers and live sessions.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!

 

Partner Interview Series | A deeper dive with Paul Simpson from Kyriba

01-09-2020 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

In the upcoming weeks, you will get inspired by the treasuryXL partner interviews. Each interview will be different, the only thing we can recommend: Learn, Discover and Enjoy!

The first interview to start with is Kyriba where we will take a deeper dive into their recent hosted webinar about Mitigating Fraud With a Corporate Payment Hub.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

 

Paul Simpson is Strategic Payments Director at Kyriba who also was one of the presenters during the webinar in July.

We asked him 9 questions and 3 bonus questions. Let’s go!


INTERVIEW

1. Can you tell us about the Corporate Payment Hub and your specific role?

My role is to promote the Kyriba Payment Hub, to make customers and prospects aware that we also have a powerful payment module. Often people think of Kyriba for TMS, but we have far more to offer, for example an anti-fraud solution in addition to payments. As part of my role at Kyriba, I look at the constantly changing payment landscape to inform treasurers and finance teams of these changes, whether that’s regulatory or technological. The Kyriba Payments Hub detangles what I call the “ERP payment spaghetti”, streamlines global bank connectivity and format transformation, whilst providing companies with real-time fraud detection. This can also accelerate ERP cloud migration projects.

2. What is the core issue the Corporate Payment Hub aims to address and how does it differentiate it from the other players in the market?

Essentially a payment hub gives our clients a single, consolidated point of access across bank accounts, giving the ability to set up payments, define different payment types and provide notification of pending approvals. Kyriba provides this visibility by consolidating payment streams from different systems – ERPs, finance, treasury, legal, capital markets and decentralised teams, thus transforming dis-aggregated processes into a single source of record for all outgoing payments, all done with built-in fraud detection. We also, uniquely, support and maintain a “bank” of over 45,000 bank formats in-house via our bank formats team. This allows the payment hub to transform payment data into bank-specific file formats and connects directly with global banks via multiple protocols, including host-to-host, SWIFT and regional networks. Other providers build each bank format for each customer at a high cost and development time. The Kyriba payment hub is designed to work across different ERP solutions, whereas ERP systems will not work across other instances.

3. Can each ERP work with the Corporate Payment Hub also when you work with multiple ERP’s located in different countries?

Absolutely. The Kyriba payment hub is designed to work with multiple ERP systems across different countries.

4. What are the most common fraud scams that businesses are dealing with?

Fraudsters are trying to use the current crisis to their advantage. With people working from home, for example, they may attempt to ask finance to make payment to a new bank account – knowing the sign off process is not as robust as it was when teams were all together in the office.

5. What’s the difference in Fraud Scams before COVID19 and the time we live in now?

We have research that shows the number of fraud scam attempts is up by nearly a 1,000 times since Coronavirus. The finance sign-off process for making payments are defragmented as people are working from home. This is where the Kyriba payment hub can bring standardised workflows, sign-off and approvals together to help eliminate fraud

6. What critical elements of Fraud are often overlooked by businesses?

Businesses fail to use AI and machine learning in addition to rule-based technology and processes to reduce fraud. This is a key component of the Kyriba Payment Hub

7. What has been the best experience of one of your customers working with the Corporate Payment Hub?

We are able to cut the time and cost of a customer migrating their ERP solutions to the cloud, as we can handle all the payment connectivity and formats etc “out the box”, thus saving the company many 100,000s of Euros, and 6 months or more in time, whilst also providing and standardising work flow sign off processes etc.

8. What is, in your perception, the biggest benefit of a working with the Corporate Payment Hub?

True, real-time visibility of all payments, from all systems, in one place with enhanced fraud protection and built in work flow.

9. What is your best fraud prevention advice for businesses?

Prevention is always better than cure! I always preach this. Always use combined workflow and AI / Machine learning technology together – the best of both worlds.

BONUS QUESTIONS

Have you ever experienced a fraud scam yourself? If yes, how did it impact you?

I have never experienced a fraud scam myself, the protection I had in place alerted me to a potential scam and I took action.

How are you defending yourself against payments fraud?

Every payment has to be checked via a rule and AI/Machine Learning process.

How does the future of fraud prevention look like in your perspective?

Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated, with only 6% of Corporates using machine learning/AI, they need to use the latest technology or be left behind and suffer fraud.

About Kyriba

Kyriba is the global leader in cloud treasury and finance solutions, delivering mission-critical capabilities for cash and risk management, payments and working capital solutions.

Kyriba empowers CFOs and their teams to transform how they activate liquidity as a dynamic, real-time vehicle for growth and value creation, while also protecting against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal applications for treasury, risk, payments and working capital, with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms, and market data providers. Based on a secure, highly scalable SaaS platform that leverages artificial and business intelligence, Kyriba enables thousands of companies worldwide to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce costs through advanced automation. Kyriba is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and other major locations.

Visit Kyriba

EuroFinance International Treasury Management Virtual Week 21-25 September 2020

| 25-08-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

The pandemic sent shockwaves through global financial markets and confronted businesses with extreme scenarios.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!

 

Active Liquidity Podcast – How AI Protects Payments During COVID19

| 17-08-2020 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

Our Partner Kyriba has launched their podcast, in which the Chief Product Officer Thierry Truche shares his view on how AI (Artificial Intelligence) is essential as the third line of defense for finance chiefs, ensuring payments are protected during the COVID 19 pandemic. Even if you are a company that has strong fraud prevention processes in place, remote working conditions require AI to detect abnormal payments activity. Hear why Truche sees AI as a replacement for the collective intelligence that is more present in an office setting in this episode of the Activity Liquidity Podcast!

 

 

About Kyriba

Kyriba empowers CFOs and their teams to transform how they activate liquidity as a dynamic, real-time vehicle for growth and value creation, while also protecting against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal applications for treasury, risk, payments and working capital, with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms, and market data providers. Based on a secure, highly scalable SaaS platform that leverages artificial and business intelligence, Kyriba enables thousands of companies worldwide to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce costs through advanced automation. Kyriba is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and other major locations. For more information, visit www.kyriba.com.

 

SOURCE

Trade Finance and ICC Incoterms

| 24-06-2020 | Ger van Rosmalen | treasuryXL

Still up to date every day: “yes do not worry sir, the container will arrive within a few weeks, i hope, it is now the rain season and roads are like rivers”. Many logistics managers are not waiting for these kinds of messages and the irritation grows when they wonders what ***** of Sales has had in mind to deliver this customer on a DAP basis.

This blog is in Dutch language.

De frustratie van iedere logistieke of customer service medewerker is als Sales iets verkoopt zonder zich echt bewust te zijn van de gevolgen en implicaties van die afgesloten deal.

Sales wil geen risico nemen als het op betalen aankomt en heeft van de koper in de binnenlanden van een Afrikaans land wel een Letter of Credit (L/C) als zekerheid gevraagd. De koper wilde die zekerheid wel geven maar dan moesten de goederen wel op DAP basis afgeleverd worden. “Geen punt” volgens Sales.

DAP wil zeggen “Delivered at Place” dus de verkoper moet alle kosten en risico’s voor zijn rekening nemen voor aflevering van de goederen op die overeengekomen plaats ergens in de binnenlanden van dat Afrikaanse land! Sales gaat er maar vanuit dat Logistiek het wel regelt maar weet niet wat voor onmogelijke uitdaging dit is als je je realiseert dat in Afrika sommige geasfalteerde wegen zomaar 5 km buiten de stad overgaan in onverharde moeilijk begaanbare wegen! Zo ook in deze casus, de dure machine moet eerst nog afgeleverd worden in de binnenlanden van dat Afrikaanse land want daar vindt het overdrachtsmoment plaats, aflevering van de machine door afgifte van een “Goods receipt” dat later onder het L/C aangeboden moet worden om betaling te verkrijgen onder het L/C!

Het was toch echt slimmer geweest om de machine af te leveren op basis van een andere  Incoterm, liever geen E- of F-term, maar bij voorkeur een Incoterm uit de C-Groep, maar welke? Het is belangrijk dat iedereen binnen het bedrijf, Sales, Finance en Logistiek de impact begrijpen van iedere afgesproken Incoterm.

Het bepalen van Incoterms strategie bij inkoop en verkoop is maatwerk; praat er over met een specialist!

 

 

 

Ger van Rosmalen

Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

Webinar | July 16 | Mitigating Fraud With a Corporate Payment Hub

| 22-06-2020 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

In today’s changing IT environment, we see more corporates exposed to the risk of fraud, due to legacy controls and manual processes. With many companies applying a new ‘working from home’ strategy, the risk of fraud is bigger than ever before.

In today’s changing IT environment, we see more corporates exposed to the risk of fraud, due to legacy controls and manual processes. With many companies applying a new ‘working from home’ strategy, the risk of fraud is bigger than ever before.

During this webinar we will hear:

  • How does a payment hub support you in mitigating fraud?
  • What is rules based fraud detection?
  • Why is machine learning an important part of our fraud detection?
  • How does fraud detection fit in your overall payment processes?

Paul Simpson, Strategic Payments Director at Kyriba, together with Value Engineer, Alroy D’Cruz, will discuss these most important questions and will give you an insight on how Kyriba is supporting over 2,300 of your peers worldwide with our SaaS Payment Fraud solutions.

Presenters:

 

 

 

PAUL SIMPSON

Strategic Payments Director, Kyriba

 

 

 

 

 

ALROY D’CRUZ

Value Engineer, Kyriba

 

 



Submit on the registration page and save your place.

 

About Kyriba

Kyriba empowers CFOs and their teams to transform how they activate liquidity as a dynamic, real-time vehicle for growth and value creation, while also protecting against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal applications for treasury, risk, payments and working capital, with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms, and market data providers. Based on a secure, highly scalable SaaS platform that leverages artificial and business intelligence, Kyriba enables thousands of companies worldwide to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce costs through advanced automation. Kyriba is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and other major locations. For more information, visit www.kyriba.com.

Trade Finance and Compliance | How to properly assess risks

| 15-06-2020 | Ger van Rosmalen | treasuryXL

“As a result of the stricter regulations, the financial sector has been forced to hire large numbers of people. Then, in practice, after intensive investigation on every report, it appears that more than 99% of the cases are false alarms! This results in frustrating and mind-numbing work for highly skilled workers.”  Now the combination of Trade Finance and Compliance / AML (Anti Money Laundering) has been my focus for some time. I was always assuming that Compliance / AML supports the business (customers / products), but because of the stricter regulations, I think the business appears to be supportive of Compliance / AML.

This blog is in Dutch language.

Als je kijkt naar Trade Finance dan zie je dat de definitie vanuit de toezichthouder(s) en de vooraanstaande Wolfsberg Group een breed begrip is. Onder standaard Trade Finance Producten worden verstaan:

  • Documentair Betalingsverkeer: zoals Letters of Credit en Documentaire Incasso’s. Bij deze standaard producten wordt gewerkt met handelsdocumenten zoals facturen, vervoersdocumenten, verzekeringsdocumenten en oorsprongsdocumenten. Door banken wordt gecontroleerd of deze in overeenstemming zijn met de onderliggende handelstransactie. Daarnaast zijn deze producten onderworpen aan internationale regelgeving uitgevaardigd door de ICC Internationale Kamer van Koophandel. Deze regels samen met de gebruikelijke internationale bancaire praktijk hebben ervoor gezorgd dat de banken de “financial crime“ risico’s beter kunnen controleren.
  • Open Account: betalingen; het overgrote deel van de wereldhandel wordt afgewikkeld op “open account” waarbij er een simpele betaling plaatsvindt via het bancaire betalingssysteem voor geleverde goederen of diensten. Hier is de betrokkenheid van de banken ten opzichte van de onder punt 1 genoemde producten gelimiteerd tot de afhandeling van een zogenoemde “clean payment” en is men zich niet altijd bewust van de onderliggende transactie. Banken kunnen hier slechts de standaard AML en sanctie screening op de betaling uitvoeren.

Onder “financial crime” risico wordt verstaan o.a. witwassen, fraude, belasting ontduiking, omkoping, corruptie en terrorismefinanciering. De algemene perceptie is dat Trade Finance door de toezichthouders wordt gezien als een hoog risico. Maar in hoeverre klopt dit? Ten aanzien van “Open Account” betalingen is dit in veel gevallen juist en ben ik van mening dat we juist alert moeten zijn op het hoog risico bij “Open Account” betalingen. Echter in de gesprekken die ik had met de toezichthouder werd “Documentair Betalingsverkeer” juist gekwalificeerd als een normaal risico.

Het verschil zit hem voornamelijk in de mogelijkheden om bij documentair betalingsverkeer veel meer controles te kunnen uitvoeren”, wat bij “open account” betalingen niet het geval is. Veel van de genoemde risico’s bij Trade Finance om illegale verplaatsing van gelden te maskeren zijn bij “open account” zeer hoog. Denk hierbij aan: over-facturering, onder-facturering, meerdere facturen, te weinig verscheept, teveel verscheept, opzettelijke verduistering van het type goederen en spookverschepingen.

Al deze bovengenoemde aspecten worden bij “Documentair Betalingsverkeer” veel eerder gesignaleerd omdat de fysieke handelsdocumenten uitgebreid door de banken worden gecontroleerd. In de eerder genoemde gesprekken met de toezichthouder merk ik een grote nuancering. Waar de toezichthouder spreekt over “richtlijnen” worden deze bij Compliance afdelingen vaak vertaald in eisen en regels. Banken zeggen te voldoen aan de regels (of waren het richtlijnen?) van de toezichthouder en vaak ook The Wolfsberg Group principles.
Wat is The Wolfsberg Group? Zie hieronder de beschrijving die ik op hun website heb gevonden:

“The Wolfsberg Group is an association of thirteen global banks which aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies”.

Saillant detail: Het verbaast mij dan weer wel dat een simpele Googlecheck snel laat zien dat alle van de 13 genoemde banken boetes hebben gekregen voor het niet naleven van hun eigen “principles”.

Duizenden mensen zijn inmiddels aangenomen om 99% nutteloze checks te doen omdat we wel graag die 1% duistere praktijken boven water willen halen. Daar zijn niet alleen de banken de dupe van maar ook het grootste deel van het bedrijfsleven wat te goeder trouw zijn transacties wil afwikkelen. Belangrijk is dan ook dat bij Trade Finance transacties altijd een importeur of exporteur betrokken is, die relatie is van een bank. Het is essentieel dat de bank de ondernemer én zijn onderneming én activiteiten goed begrijpt! Toezichthouders verwachten van de banken dat zij de kennis van handelstransacties kunnen vertalen naar risico’s. Een gevolg kan zijn dat banken een intensiever contact onderhouden met klanten en er meer informatie-uitwisseling zal moeten plaatsvinden. Daarnaast is het van belang dat de beoordeling van risico’s wordt gedaan aan de hand van objectieve criteria en de persoonlijke mening van beoordelaars niet de boventoon mag voeren. Dit is onethisch en onprofessioneel.

Twee voorbeelden uit de praktijk ter verduidelijking

  1. Heel jammer dat een bank een Letter of Credit transactie van een ondernemer met een Afrikaans land niet wilde faciliteren alleen op basis van het feit dat ze amper te eten hebben in dat land!
  2. Of dat de export van gebruikte vrachtauto’s naar een politiek stabiel land ook op Letter of Credit basis niet werd goedgekeurd met als reden dat deze voertuigen zouden kunnen worden omgebouwd tot militair voertuig. Dit werd slechts gebaseerd op een persoonlijke veronderstelling en getuigt bovendien van gebrek aan kennis van zaken. Temeer ook omdat de betreffende exporteur zelf gebruik maakt van een geavanceerd Compliance/AML/Sanctie systeem vergelijkbaar met wat de banken zelf ook gebruiken en zelfs goede contacten heeft met het FIU ( Financial Intelligence Unit Nederland) inzake verdachte transacties.

Dat niet alles door systemen wordt afgevangen mag dit voorbeeld duidelijk maken waarbij een Nederlandse exporteur een “Open Account” betaling ontvangt van een Duits Ingenieursbureau en zonder “red flags” op de rekening wordt geboekt. Achteraf bleek dat de betaling weliswaar uit Duitsland kwam maar dat de goederen direct naar een (dubieuze) Scheepswerf in Rusland werden getransporteerd. Het grootste risico zie ik altijd nog bij de “open account” betalingen. En door vooral in gesprek te blijven met relaties, aandacht voor de klant, weten wat er speelt en gezond verstand laten prevaleren samen met geavanceerde (Compliance/AML/Sanctie) systemen die ongebruikelijke transacties zichtbaar maken zou Compliance in mijn ogen weer ondersteunend moeten worden aan de business (klanten en producten) en niet andersom.

Conclusie

Ook ondernemers doen er goed aan om hun eigen verantwoordelijkheid te nemen en te beseffen, dat men niet meer wegkomt met een simpele Googlecheck en wat financiële data om een relatie met een nieuwe afnemer of leverancier aan te gaan. Het is voor een bank een geruststelling als de relatie aantoont dat zij zorgvuldig te werk gaat en gebruik maakt van ook voor het MKB beschikbare Compliance/AML/Sanctie software. Toegang tot deze informatie voordat je een handtekening onder een contract zet helpt niet alleen van financiële risico’s te beperken maar beschermt ook de reputatie van de ondernemer.

De internationale handel is zeker in deze uitdagende coronatijd gebaat bij een optimaal samenspel tussen de toezichthouder met duidelijke heldere richtlijnen, banken die deze vertalen naar werkbare procedures en ondernemers die de noodzaak van extra controles begrijpen en daarnaar handelen. Zo kunnen we samen ondernemend Nederland nog beter stimuleren in dat waar we van oudsher goed in zijn, succesvol handel drijven in binnen én buitenland.

 

 

Ger van Rosmalen

Trade Finance Specialist