The Art of Selecting Suitable Treasury Technology

| 21-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

Many Corporate Treasury functions are aware of the importance of utilizing technology to deliver improved efficiency and control in their treasury operations. This is being driven by the increasing pace of regulatory change, continuously evolving business models, volatile economic conditions, and fast-growing technological developments. Also, treasurers are recognizing the benefits of a strategically focused ‘smart treasury’ – one that utilizes the latest technology to be more integrated, automated, and optimized; adding value to the business.

However, as the treasury technology landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, many organizations find it difficult to successfully adopt this technology, either because their entry point is not clear or because they had previously made the leap and are now struggling to keep pace with the evolution. There are a multitude of options and considerations for those looking for the right solutions, which are important to understand before deciding on what is right for an organization.

We have outlined below some key insights and considerations when selecting suitable technology solutions.

Develop a treasury technology roadmap

Your roadmap should consider essential functional requirements that must be satisfied immediately – current hot topics include improved cash visibility, robust and accurate cash forecasting, a more efficient payments and receivables process, and fraud prevention. All of these areas are ‘must-haves’ for many organizations, so the first building block for the roadmap is finding a solution that can satisfy them.

However, alongside considering your immediate needs in your roadmap it is also important to plan for the future. To do this, you must look at the internal and external drivers of change for your business and how the treasury will need to support that.

An example of an internal driver could be where accelerated geographical growth is expected, and therefore treasury will be required to rapidly connect with new banks, set up new accounts, and adopt new currencies. This comes with challenges around dealing with country-specific requirements for payment formats and new types of bank connectivity, so your chosen technology solutions should be capable of adopting these easily.

Similarly, for external drivers you can look at the current markets you operate in and identify any expected developments in payments and banking initiatives. Current examples of external drivers for those operating in the Nordics and Europe include the P27 Nordic payments initiative or PSD2 electronic payments services regulations. Once again, your technology solutions should be chosen to ensure you are able to keep pace with these changes.

Self-hosted versus SaaS solution

We find that a number of treasuries have had historic on-premise solutions which have not always kept up to date with the developments in functionality and the market. As a result, treasurers have had to establish a number of in-house workarounds which are costly and complex to maintain.

To improve upon this, most technology companies now provide a solution that is delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), a deployment method that comes with several benefits.

SaaS solutions are hosted in the ‘cloud’ and hence there is no need for the organization to manage technical matters such as maintaining appropriate servers, backups, etc. Because the solution is managed in the cloud by the vendor, there is no longer a need for users to manually upgrade their solutions and perform the associated regression testing – upgrades are tested and deployed by the vendor on a regular basis, ensuring all organizations using the solution are using the latest version containing the latest functionality. Over the past years, we have seen an increasing number of solutions being offered as a SaaS solution and can see this as a trend that will continue to dominate in the future. You should also consider your organization’s overall IT strategy as it is critical to ensure you are aligned with this.

All-in-one versus best of breed

Over the years we have seen significant shifts in the treasury technology market with innovative and specialized Fintech solutions driving advancements in the market. These applications are often focused on specific areas of functionality rather than covering the broad set of requirements a treasury function may have. They are often meant to be complemented by other platforms to form a suite of treasury applications that cover all requirements.

Hence, the key consideration for an organization is whether to opt for an ‘all-in-one’ TMS or to deploy a stable of ‘best of breed’ solutions. An all-in-one TMS comes with clear benefits such as a single platform to handle all treasury transactions/processes and fewer interfaces to monitor and maintain.

However, for some organizations the all-in-one TMS comes at a significant initial and ongoing cost commitment when their requirements aren’t as broad compared to the functionality on offer. Although many of the vendors of all-in-one TMSs allow organizations to choose which modules of the platform they utilize for a reduced license fee, it is often not the case that if you are only using 50% of the functionality you will be paying 50% of the price. A much more palatable solution comes in the form of best-of-breed solutions, which deliver a more flexible technology landscape utilizing specialized systems that may address the many unique requirements of a treasury function, at a lower cost than the all-in-one TMS. Previously the use of multiple platforms was not favorable due to difficulties that could be faced such as technical integration and reporting. However, the rising use of digital APIs has improved the way systems interface with each other. Also, data-warehouses coupled with BI solutions has enabled reporting based on data sourced from a variety of platforms.

Typically, when implementing a new system you will sign a license agreement for a minimum 5-year term, so it is important to ensure you have considered the suitability of the technology partner(s) and the functionality to support you in your digitalization over many years. During the selection process, it is important to perform an analysis of partners and vendors focused on their experience, innovation roadmap, development track-record, reliability, and support model. These are attributes that will demonstrate to you that the vendor is able to support your business not only now but also in the future, as your operations and the demands placed upon the treasury function change as your business grows and evolves.

Final comments

One size does not fit all treasury functions, as each organization’s treasury remit and activities will drive the appropriate solution or solutions.

 

E-Book: ERP Migration | How to Simplify and Accelerate Bank Integration

14-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

ERP cloud migration is a costly and time-consuming undertaking, particularly where IT is concerned – and for many corporations, the bank integration exercise can be among the most daunting aspects of the project.

The good news is that companies can simplify and accelerate the bank integration component of ERP migration, and reduce payment connectivity and format costs by up to 80%.

In this latest ebook, you will learn about the IT challenges involved in the bank integration element of ERP cloud migration, including:

  • Following banks’ schedules
  • Navigating geographical variations
  • SWIFT certification
  • Resourcing challenges

You’ll also find out how you can reduce the need for IT resources while minimizing costs, reducing complexity and accelerating the bank integration project.

Fill out this form to get your copy of the comprehensive eBook.

 

 

How a Treasurer can really add Value

28-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

”The pandemic has boosted automation in treasury departments and led to big increases in productivity. But that is only the start. The big prize is the value that treasury teams can generate with the man-hours that automation frees up”, says Bob Stark, Head of Marketing Strategy at Kyriba.

The Post-Pandemic Treasurer

The post-pandemic world will not be a return to the previous status quo. In treasury we can look at this in three ways – people, process and technology.

In terms of people, a recent survey showed that 61% of CFOs expect their teams to be working out of the office at least a day a week in future (source: fortune.com 2020). In some ways the combination of working from home and in the office will pose its own problems, with different opportunities for fraud and mistakes. At least working from home all the time provided some consistency! Furthermore, many of the changes that treasury teams had to make suddenly last year will now become permanent.

Now let’s look at processes. Fully 78% of CFOs have changed inefficient workflows during the pandemic, and 82% intend to keep the changes that they have made in terms of automation and digitisation (source: MasterCard 2020). These changes involve the standardisation, automation and streamlining of multiple processes.

Thirdly, treasurers need to digitise and have an enterprise-wide cloud platform; to leverage analytics to assess and improve decision-making; and then to innovate through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to make treasury a better business partner.

There has also been a change in the role of treasury within companies over the past 15 months. During the pandemic, treasury’s involvement in other areas of the business has increased. A treasurer’s objectives often now include more strategic aims, and the remit is likely to expand still further. In many cases this will involve increased shared responsibilities, for example reverse factoring.

Treasurers are progressing from a simple focus on productivity to making liquidity visible and then participating in strategic decisions that really add value. All of which in turn elevates the value of treasurers within their organisations.

How Treasury can add Value

We can all agree that treasurers have the ability to add value. We regularly see our clients make significant productivity gains in terms of man-hours as they automate residual manual functions. In many cases, automating processes can save over 80% of the man-hours involved (source: Hackett Group).

But that is only part of the story. The real value comes from what the treasury team can do with all those freed-up hours. The extra time gained through improvements in productivity allows them to analyse risks (such as counterparty, liquidity and FX risk) and make better, informed decisions, based on real insight and business intelligence. Or perhaps the extra time that automation has made available can reduce the opportunity for fraud. The common aim is to leverage liquidity to drive business growth and turn treasury into a strategic business partner.

Digitisation plays a big role here, especially in areas like payments, which have remained partially manual, for example in sanctions screening. Smart contracts are also increasing, which makes for other savings.

Measuring the impact

In any such analysis it is essential to be able to measure what you are achieving. That starts with liquidity itself: how much do we have? How far forward can I forecast liquidity? How confident can I be in the accuracy of those forecasts? After all, you can only use the “excess” liquidity within your company when you are confident that you aren’t going to need it!

Digitisation is the way to improve the visibility of your liquidity. You can then test the accuracy of your information and decide how to use that asset. You can do this with a scorecard to measure your company against industry peers and assess your level of maturity, from Ad hoc, through Emerging and Standardising to Strategic. You can then highlight the opportunities for improvement

Many of our clients have done just that. For one client, an 88% improvement in cash management and forecasting – thanks to automation – saved over £1m in net interest by unlocking cash that had been lying idle. It also helped the same client to save over £100K in bank fees.

Another client reduced costs by 85% and used the newly spare man-hours to avoid £1.2m in fraud-related costs. They also accelerated ERP migration by 80%. Other savings might include generating free cashflow or protecting the business against financial loss. But all these achievements start with productivity gains that free up treasury staff to do something more valuable within their organisations.

I will leave you with three thoughts: automation and digitisation are here to stay; productivity is an opportunity, not just a saving; and if you are going to add value as a treasurer, you need to be able to measure that saving.

 

 

Is Digital Cash now King? Enigma tells……

23-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Get inspired by the extensive and catchy interview with 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.

Nomentia Cash Management Release Info Event

| 15-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

Welcome to the Nomentia 2021 first release information event this year to hear and see the top new features and updates of the Cash Management solution.

The webinar is on June 22nd 15:00 CET / 16:00 EET with a duration of 45 minuten. As we are updating the solution frequently, we will invite you to our biannual release information events so that you can stay up to date with the latest releases. In this session, we will introduce the best picks of the new features from all Nomentia Cash Management modules.

In the webinar, we will cover the following areas:

At the end of the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The webinar will also be recorded and we will send it to you shortly after the webinar has ended.

REGISTER NOW

 

Meet the speakers

Jaakko Kilpinen

VP of Product and Solutions, Nomentia

Jaakko has over 20 years of experience in corporate cash management and has deep expertise in cash forecasting, netting, and In-House banking. Jaakko has previously held e.g. a position as Group Treasurer in a publicly listed Finnish company.

Pamela Quiroga Badani

Solution Manager

Pamela is a finance and accounting professional. Previously, Pamela worked as a Finance Analyst and for the past four years, she has been working with implementations in consultant and project management roles.

About Nomentia

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. We believe in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are. Our SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting and visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. We serve 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually. Cash is king!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Currencies | Not Ready for Corporate Treasury

15-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

Bitcoin and several cryptocurrencies dropped more than $1 trillion in market value, forcing influencers and investors to walk back their advice on using private digital currencies as a reliable store of value. Kyriba’s Wolfgang Koester discussed what was driving this cryptocurrency volatility with Maria Bartiromo’s “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business Network on May 24th. “We’re seeing increased rhetoric from the Chinese around a Central Bank Digital Currency and the United States are developing their own digital currency,” said Koester.

Big price swings for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most recently Dogecoin are nothing new. CFOs and Treasurers have always had little appetite for cryptocurrencies, which is why examples like Tesla investing over $1 Billion USD in Bitcoin made such waves in finance circles. And while Tesla reported a quarterly net income boost of over $100 Million USD on their Bitcoin holdings, their social media savvy CEO has since suggested they will move on from their investment. This reinforces for many why cryptocurrencies are a blip on the radar screen and a bad idea for corporations to be involved with. But…are cryptos really that bad for corporates?

First, it’s more a matter of being “not ready” than bad. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin behave like commodities due to their limited supply; the price volatility is fully explained by the supply/demand imbalance. For example, there is a hard cap of 21 Million Bitcoins and these days there is a lot of demand for Bitcoin! Demand for Bitcoin and other cryptos is driven by everything from social media to a fear of missing out (FOMO) that we are similarly seeing play out in other markets, such as residential real estate or in many tech stocks. Corporates, on the other hand, shy away from volatile assets as they require liquidity for their investments and cryptocurrencies just aren’t there yet. Selling several hundred million (or more) dollars worth of bitcoin or ethereum is a market moving transaction and is difficult to manage through the digital wallets and exchanges that are generally more designed for individuals. So, between the liquidity barriers and the unstable values, corporates still can’t rely on privately issued altcoins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and others until these challenges are overcome.

State-sponsored digital currencies potentially have something to offer, however. As Kyriba’s Wolfgang Koester discussed on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria”, China has made significant advancements in the rollout of the digital yuan, which has further prompted other nation states to accelerate their own digital currency programs. In theory, government-backed digital currencies are expected to offer a striking advantage over the privately issued cryptocurrencies – and that is utility. To have utility, the digital currency must be widely accessible – and be fast and secure. And this is where the Bitcoins of the world are not ready for mainstream use. They aren’t widely accessible, the blockchain “networks” supporting them remain unproven for high transaction volumes, and the value is uncertain and could easily change between the time a seller accepts a cryptocurrency and when they choose to use or exchange them.

Of course there are solutions to each of these individual problems – e.g. the use of stable coins (that are pegged to the price of a fiat currency) instead of altcoins. But each of the requirements – value, liquidity, utility, transactability – must all be met before corporates can expect to safely use crypto/digital currencies on a daily basis. This doesn’t preclude organizations wading into the cryptocurrency landscape as a means of reaching new markets or differentiating against competitors. In fact, more and more online retailers and marketplaces are accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. You can even buy a Tesla with bitcoins. Yet when it comes to corporate treasury and finance teams, they are converting holdings to fiat currencies as quickly as possible so they can still meet cash forecast projections and free cash flow targets. State-sponsored digital currencies may well offer a lifeline to transform digital currencies for mainstream use – or maybe privately issued cryptocurrencies will still rise to the opportunity – and when that day comes it will be fascinating for daily cash management nevermind cross-border payments, global cash pooling, and multilateral netting. I think all of us in treasury look forward to that!

Press release | New Cashforce office in Warsaw, Poland fuels its cash forecasting product excellence

08-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce

Cashforce, an innovative Cash Forecasting and Working Capital Analytics solution provider, has announced it will open a new office in Warsaw, Poland to expand the company’s activities. This new office will further accelerate Cashforce’s growth and market presence on a global scale with the addition of a new technical team. For this expansion, various product-focused positions are becoming available, ranging from Chief Architect and team leaders to analysts and front-end/back-end engineers.

“We are delighted to share the news of the opening of our product-focused branch. Together with our new platform which launches soon, we continue to push the frontier of Cash Forecasting & Working Capital product excellence,” said Nicolas Christiaen, CEO of Cashforce.

Cash forecasting remains a top priority of any corporate and Cashforce offers a unique solution to assist finance and treasury departments in this challenge. Building upon years of experience, we’re reinforcing the vision to save time and cash by offering automated Cash Forecasting technology. Our new platform is equipped with real-time data processing capabilities, an intuitive user-experience that lowers the barrier to entry and enhanced (AI-powered) scenario building capabilities.

Jan Bakker, COO of Cashforce, adds: “It’s great to see our global presence ramping up. By reinforcing the product team with various technical positions, we’re ready to further integrate the latest and greatest technologies into our product.”

As a Fintech scale-up disrupting the treasury space, we are experiencing substantial international growth. To make our ambitious vision a reality, we are looking for motivated candidates to join us in creating a world-class product. Of course, it all starts with the amazing people. You can become a part of a dynamic and global team that encourages ownership, diversity and personal growth. Learn more about our company culture here.

WANT TO BE A PART OF OUR FINTECH EXPERIENCE? FIND OUT MORE ON OUR OPEN POSITIONS HERE.

___

Cashforce is a ‘next-generation’ Cash Forecasting & Working Capital Analytics solution, focused on automation and integration. Our cloud-based software enables corporates to unlock their data and create smarter decisions, saving time and money. By integrating internal & external company data (ERPs, TMS, data lakes etc) and processing them through machine learning techniques, our SaaS solution provides insight into Cash Flows & Working Capital, automates manual and cumbersome Treasury tasks and enables AI-powered-scenarios. Cashforce is used by midsize and large corporates and has users in over 120 countries.

When Cash is key, Cash Forecasting and Working Capital leads your company towards a crystal-clear future. When Cash is key … Cashforce.

 

Press contact
Benjamin Bergers
benjamin.bergers@cashforce.com
+32 (0) 479 66 27 21

 

Texpo Webinar | Dark Data- Search, Collate, Conquer – Making Sense of Unstructured Cash Forecasting Data

| 08-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce

Our Partner Cashforce is holding a webinar hosted by Texpo, in which the topic ‘Dark Data: Search, Collate, Conquer – Making Sense of Unstructured Cash Forecasting Data’  is presented together with  David Jacoboski, CTP (Drew Marine).  Dark data is defined as unused or hidden data from relevant departmants in your business, which might have intrinsic value. Watch the full webinar below 👇🏽

 

Payment Fraud | A 750 000 euro Financial Scam that could happen even to you

| 02-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

Have you read the recent news on how Bol.com deposited almost 750 000 euros into a fraudulent bank account over a year ago? Simply, they thought they were making a payment to Brabantia, a household goods manufacturer. If you are not familiar with the story, here is it in a nutshell:

At the same time, Brabantia did not receive the payment, so obviously, they took a lawsuit to the court. And that was the point when the court discovered that Bol fell for a financial scam.

It all started with a legit-looking email like usually

In November 2019, Bol received an email in poorly written Dutch. Nevertheless, the email looked legit like it has been sent from Brabantia including the company’s logo. They were asking Bol.com to transfer the outstanding payment to an account in Spain.

The Bol employees fell for the trick. No surprises there, as these emails can be very well-crafted and if you have never seen one before, you could become a victim too.

The court thought the scam email was obvious and easy to recognize 

Bol tried to get out of paying Brabantia claiming that the company’s employee fell for a business email compromise, and they were accused that they did not use two-factor authentication in the Microsoft 0365 environment. The story doesn’t tell if the email was really sent from Barbantia using a stolen username and password but hopefully, it still makes you want to protect your accounts with multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Despite this, the court ruled in the favor of Brabantia and ordered Bol to pay the outstanding payment. The reasons for it were the following:

  •  The court believed the email was clearly a phishing email due to grammar errors. Previously, all communication between the two companies happened in Dutch, while the scam email was written in mixed Dutch and English.
  • The court thought that Bol should have been suspicious about the odd request to transfer money to a Spanish bank.

How to avoid something like this happening to you? 

There are a few tips that you should always remember.

  1. Always be suspicious: Always be suspicious, especially, when you are handling large payments. If you have the slightest doubt about the legitimacy of the request, something is probably wrong.
  2. Never accept a payment alone: In this case, always ask for help! Never send out payment before at least you had a second pair of eyes looking at it. In most companies, that’s an everyday process.
  3. If you are in doubt, ask for help: Still, if there is even one person that is a tiny bit unsure, don’t process the payment. Ask for more help within your treasury or financial department, procurement, or even from your cybersecurity department. Your cybersecurity team will be able to tell with high likelihood whether the email is real or not.
  4. Use a payment hub: Payment hubs come with features that enhance the security of processing payments. Consider using the following: Workflows to manage authorization of different payment flows | Approval limits for different payment types | Templates to limit and control releasing of manual payments
  5. Strict processes to update supplier master data: Supplier master data should be correct in the ERP system. It should only be managed by procurement who has strict processes in place to validate the possible changes before updating master data. Always execute payments according to registered beneficiary bank account details.
  6. Don’t skip the CyberSecurity and phishing training: While you may think it’s easy to spot phishing emails, it’s not. Especially when we are talking about financial scams. Spear phishing is a growing business and it’s expected to grow to 1,4 billion US dollars by 2022. Scammers can work even two weeks on crafting an exceptional financial scam to lure in financial professionals to make a large payment. Good phishing training should be targeted for your expertise and prepare you through challenging exercises to spot potential scams. It’s always better to report an email to your security team and ask for their opinion than make a payment and regret it later.
  7. Care about security: Security is a bigger part of treasury operations than you would think. Make sure that you care about security. Things like using a strong password, updating the password frequently, using multi-factor authentication, or not sharing user rights matter and can do a lot.

When you care about security, you also show a good example to the rest of the team.

Trust your instinct and the learnings of this story and the security training

Always rather take longer to process the payment than pay a scammer! Creating good and strict payment processes and workflows can help with this. Also, trust your own and co-workers’ instinct if you feel like something is off.

Stay curious about financial scam news to know what the latest trends are and how hackers will try to trick you. Work closely with your security department! It’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid falling victim to a scam.

It’s not a question of whether you will receive financial scams and phishing emails, but when you will get them. Be prepared that you will be targeted and face the situation with confidence to avoid making a payment.

About Nomentia

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. We believe in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are. Our SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting and visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. We serve 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually. Cash is king!

 

 

Barbara Babati

Barbara is working in the marketing department at Nomentia. Previously, she worked in cybersecurity and data integration industries.

 

 

 

 

 

Why CFOs Should Foster Stronger Relationships with Banks

01-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

CFOs are the custodians of financial growth for enterprise business, and a key part of that role is to build and foster mutually beneficial relationships with banks and funding partners. Since banking relationships are built upon the provision of services; whether those are lines of credit, daylight overdrafts, bank account reporting, payments, foreign exchange or concentration / pooling structures, CFOs can and should maximise the value derived from partner financial institutions.

One of the first mistakes a CFO or finance professional can make is in selecting or expanding a relationship with a bank ill-equipped to handle the global nature of their business and geographic footprint.

For example, banking relationships have implications across borders as many strong financial institutions are partnered with local banks or their own local branches providing much needed local expertise. Navigating difficult tax and reporting requirements, local format and regulatory requirements or unique depository scenarios all call upon strong relationships with banks familiar with your localisation needs.

Automating your banking interactions and reporting with technology is an area of concern.

In this scenario, CFOs are not able to take advantage of the full range of banking services since lapses and gaps in technology solutions do not provide for straight-through processing of payments or the automatic posting of cash and transactional details from bank-provided daily bank statements. Banks have evolved their services to provide much more flexibility and sophistication with regards to intraday bank statements, high levels of detail within bank statements and the frequency of sharing this information up to 4 to 5 times per day. Without the right technology solution to handle cash and liquidity forecasting, CFOs are leaving value on the “proverbial table” in the form of lost opportunities to invest, grow the business, or mitigate risk. Meanwhile, the lack of finance and treasury tools and automation associated with technology solutions, keeps staff tied to daily, tactical tasks versus a focus on strategic support and projects.

How well do CFOs understand the full potential of their banking relationships?

CFOs must be involved in understanding the health of the banking relationship and managing, or at least receiving updates on banking scorecards and other metrics to ensure the bank relationship is being leveraged to its full potential. For instance, more than ever, banks often provide or are partners in enabling Supply Chain Financing or Discounting scenarios to help both sides of the financial supply chain achieve their objectives. CFOs, again, must leverage their banking relationships while coupling them to technology options such as a solution with Dynamic Discounting or Supply Chain Finance to maximise bank services.

Additionally, visibility to liquidity in near or real-time is a must-have for CFOs.

Liquidity planning is critical for CFOs in good times and in bad. Historical market drops have highlighted the importance of having real-time access to information about your total liquidity position, understanding what level of cash is flowing through all systems, and what level of liquidity can be allocated to invest in growth opportunities or simply pay employees. CFOs in many cases can partner with banks to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. At the end of the day, Treasurers provide the CFO with the assurance that assets are safeguarded and the organisation has the liquidity required to meet obligations and fund strategic decisions. This is only possible if they too have immediate visibility into their positions.

Finally, there is risk in having all of your eggs in one basket.

CFOs should have a backup plan – having your liquidity, services and debt instruments with one bank can prove to be risky. When financial crises strike from internal or external factors (like margin calls, bankruptcies, etc.), these financial risks are mitigated when the CFO has a back-stop and other banking partner options to keep the lights on and the supply chain flowing. Having major and minor banking relationships can help keep banks competitively working for you while giving your organization financial and liquidity options to keep operations moving.