From Open Banking to Open Finance: Is GDPR certification the key to succes?

| 03-04-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

PSD2 has now been implemented in Dutch legislation for more than a year. Open Banking is therefore also gaining traction in the Netherlands. In this blog our Partner Enigma Consulting discusses the developments from Open Banking to Open Finance.

Blog is in Dutch

Open banking houdt kortgezegd in dat derde partijen in staat zijn te koppelen met banksystemen. Deze derde partijen krijgen zo toegang tot rekeninginformatie die worden gebruikt om hun eigen diensten te verbeteren. Toegang van derde partijen tot de betaalrekening is alleen toegestaan als aan strikte voorwaarden wordt voldaan. Zo moet de derde partij een vergunning hebben van de toezichthouder (in Nederland: De Nederlandsche Bank) en moeten klanten toestemming hebben gegeven voor het delen van gegevens. Ook moet de derde partij de IT-beveiliging aantoonbaar goed op orde hebben.

Zowel banken als fintechbedrijven hebben inmiddels een aantal vernieuwende oplossingen in de markt gezet waarmee zowel ondernemingen als consumenten meer inzicht en controle wordt geboden over hun betaalrekeningen. Deze oplossingen variëren van de standaard multibank-rekeningoverzichten bij een bank als ABN AMRO tot meer innovatieve toepassingen, zoals bijvoorbeeld de schuldhulpverleningsapp van fintech Buddy. Desalniettemin is de door sommigen verwachte stortvloed aan innovatieve toepassingen tot nu toe uitgebleven.

Van open banking naar open finance

Evengoed, of wellicht juist om die reden, kijken veel betrokkenen al naar de toekomstige ontwikkelingen die open banking mogelijk zullen opvolgen. Het ontstaan van een wereld waarin open finance gemeengoed wordt, is volgens hen aanstaande. Met open finance bedoelt men dan de ontwikkeling waarbij niet alleen toegang tot de betaalrekening mogelijk is, maar waarbij het mandaat zich uitbreidt tot bijvoorbeeld spaarrekeningen, beleggingsportefeuilles, hypotheken en pensioenen.

Zorgen over privacy

In hoeverre open finance daadwerkelijk gemeengoed zal worden in onze maatschappij, is echter nog onzeker. Om een brede adoptiegraad onder het grote publiek te bereiken bestaan namelijk nog enkele significante uitdagingen op gebied van bijvoorbeeld privacy, standaardisatie en tarifering. Vooral de onzekerheid bij consumenten over de effectiviteit van de aanwezige databeveiliging bij derde partijen, vormt een hoge drempel. Zolang consumenten niet zijn overtuigd dat een derde partij de privacy van hun data kan garanderen, zullen zij simpelweg geen informatie willen delen.

Op Europees niveau is bovenstaand vraagstuk ook onderkend. De Europese Commissie (EC) ziet open banking en open finance als een katalysator voor innovatie en wil deze ontwikkelingen daarom stimuleren. Daartoe zijn een aantal maatregelen genomen die moeten garanderen dat een partij die een open finance-dienst aanbiedt een adequaat niveau van gegevensbeveiliging hanteert. Zo is in 2018 de Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming (AVG) ingevoerd, waardoor gegevensverwerkende bedrijven aan diverse voorwaarden moeten voldoen ten aanzien van databeveiliging. Maar hoe weet een consument nou dat een ‘open finance-dienstverlenende partij’ voldoet aan alle AVG-vereisten?

Om de consument hier meer inzicht en vertrouwen in te geven zijn op Europees niveau richtsnoeren opgesteld door het Europees Comité voor Gegevensbescherming (EDPB, European Data Protection Board), het orgaan waar alle Europese privacytoezichthouders onder vallen. Deze richtsnoeren zijn recentelijk ook in Nederland doorgevoerd. De richtsnoeren maken het mogelijk voor bedrijven om een AVG-certificering te verkrijgen. Door het verkrijgen van een AVG-certificaat kan een organisatie aan haar klanten laten zien dat zij persoonsgegevens zorgvuldig verwerkt en beschermt. Het certificaat toont aan dat een product, app of dienst geheel voldoet aan alle voorwaarden op gebied van gegevensbescherming die de privacywetgeving stelt.

AVG-accreditatie en AVG-certificering in Nederland

In Nederland trekken de Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP) en de Raad voor Accreditatie (RvA) samen op bij de verstrekking van AVG-certificaten. Dit doen zij door AVG-certificatie-instellingen gezamenlijk te accrediteren.

De RvA is in Nederland aangewezen als de nationale accreditatie-instantie. Deze organisatie verleent toestemming aan gespecialiseerde organisaties (zogenaamde ‘conformiteitverklarende organisaties’ of ‘certificatie-instellingen’) om andere organisaties te certificeren. Dit gebeurt in allerlei werkdomeinen, zoals de gezondheidszorg, de bouw, transport en ook in de financiële sector. Voordat de RvA een conformiteitverklarende organisatie accrediteert controleert zij of de organisatie voldoet aan alle van toepassing zijnde maatstaven en voorwaarden, zoals ISO-normen en/of wettelijke vereisten. Zo waarborgt de RvA dat de certificaten die deze organisaties afgeven betrouwbaar zijn en werkelijk waarde en vertrouwen toevoegen. Doorlopend toezicht op de naleving van de AVG blijft onveranderd een taak van de AP.

Momenteel leggen de RvA en de AP de laatste hand aan de voorwaarden en eisen ten aanzien van de accreditatievoorwaarden voor conformiteitverklarende organisaties op het gebied van de AVG. Wanneer deze actie is afgerond kunnen certificatie-instellingen die AVG-certificaten willen uitgeven daarvoor een aanvraag tot accreditatie indienen bij de RvA. De verwachting is dat accreditering later dit jaar mogelijk wordt.

Sleutel tot succes?

Een AVG-certificaat zal absoluut een boost geven aan de bereidheid onder het grote publiek om persoonsgegevens te delen met gecertificeerde partijen. Essentieel blijft wel dat de consument een aanzienlijke toegevoegde waarde ziet van de aangeboden ‘open finance’-dienst. Daarnaast kent open finance nog andere uitdagingen die een kwaliteitsstempel alleen niet weg kan nemen. Eerder in dit artikel werd bijvoorbeeld al gerefereerd aan standaardisatiebehoeften en tariferingskwesties.

Gelukkig staan de ontwikkelingen ook op deze vlakken niet stil. Zo beoogt het ‘NextGenPSD2’ initiatief van de BERLIN-groep (een internationaal samenwerkingsverband van Europese banken en andere betaaldienstaanbieders) om een eenduidige API-standaard voor gegevensuitwisseling vast te stellen. Ook zijn zowel gevestigde marktpartijen als nieuwe fintechbedrijven druk doende om verdienmodellen rondom ‘open finance’ uit te dokteren.

Of een gezaghebbend AVG-kwaliteitskeurmerk dé toonaangevende driver voor het succes van open finance zal zijn, dat blijft nog even afwachten. In een wereld waar maatschappelijke bezorgdheid over data privacy onverminderd hoog blijft, zal het certificaat voor menig consument het benodigde vertrouwen bieden om gegevens te delen. Ondernemingen worden zo in staat gesteld om het betaallandschap en de manier waarop wij onze financiën beheren de komende jaren ingrijpend te veranderen.

 

Geert Blom

Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

How to Recognize and Avoid Online Fraud Attempts

02-04-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

It’s safe to say that we all have a lot on our minds right now. Unfortunately, whenever there’s a situation that causes people to feel uneasy and panicked, there will be fraudsters and criminals who take advantage.

We have recently seen a surge in demand for our services, and in that surge there have also been vulnerable customers that have been manipulated by opportunists. In addition, the recent uptick in fully remote and online work has also opened doors for online scam and fraud attempts.

At XE, keeping our customers and their personal information safe is our greatest priority. We want to help you to protect yourself from fraud attempts. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with some of the most common online scams, and read through our tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fraudulent activity.

Phishing emails

Last year, Microsoft reported that phishing attacks were the greatest online security threat by far, having increased by 250 percent since their previous report.

Usually coming by email, these attacks encourage you to click on a link or attachment and download malicious software, which attacks your device and hacks access to your files. You may also receive an email from someone posing as a trusted figure (such as your employer or a reputable company) and asking you to provide sensitive information.

How to handle these: Verify everything. Reach out to the sender or the company and confirm that this email did come from them. It takes just a few moments, but it can have a huge impact.

Banking and online account scams

Take extra caution when reading an email from a bank. Many scammers send emails or texts that appear to be sent from your bank, highlighting a problem with your account. Often, they will request a verification of your details to resolve the problem. Once they have your details…you can imagine the rest.

How to handle these: Call your bank directly to clarify the issue. Never submit your personal details to this email, or to any email. Most reputable providers will not ask you for sensitive information over email, so that should be an immediate red flag.

Online shopping scams

Online shopping was already on the rise, and now that people are taking the majority of their shopping online, scams in this area have become more prevalent. Scams include selling faulty products, attempting to sell a product to gain bank details, and promising goods at a low price (only for those goods to never arrive and the site to close down after taking your money).

How to handle these: Use your head. If it’s a site or store that you’ve never heard of, research the company and see if you can find verified reviews from other customers. Ask yourself: “Does this seem too good to be true?” If it does, then proceed with caution.

Lottery, competition and inheritance schemes

Say you receive emails stating that you have won monetary prizes in competitions you did not enter, or messages from people overseas claiming that you have inherited money. These are just attempts to obtain your personal details.

How to handle these: Ask yourself, “Did I enter a competition? Do I know these people?” As much as we’d like to believe the fairy tales, winning or inheriting money completely out of the blue is not likely to happen. Once again: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Charity scams

Scams that take advantage of good-natured individuals often make a special appearance around the holiday season, but these could be active at any time of the year. Scammers will pretend to work for a charitable cause and may even exploit news of a current crisis. Scams surrounding COVID-19 are already in circulation, and seek to prey on people’s fears.

How to handle these: Do your research. If you plan to make a donation, make sure you know who you’re donating to and what your donation will be used for. If possible, make donations only through reputable organizations’ secure sites.

How can you avoid future scams?

When it comes to avoiding online scams, there are some key precautions that everyone should take. Pass these along to your friends, family, and clients, and take a critical eye in your own online habits.

  1. Read every email carefully. Emails are the most common scam vehicle. One way to check whether the message is from a reputable source is by checking the URL before you click. Extra characters and misspellings could both point to a suspicious link. If you’re still not sure, treat it as you would any other scam email. If it’s a sender who claims to know you, check with them before sending money or information.
  2. Never agree to send money to anyone you have only met online. Sending money online is not something you should take chances on. Don’t send anyone money unless you know them personally and are certain that they are legitimate.
  3. Never make a financial decision based on a phone call you receive from a person posing as a relative of someone in prison. This is a common scam that relies on you panicking and rushing to send money as quickly as possible. Take a second to consider the situation. Odds are, it won’t make sense once you think about it. If you’re still unsure, verify the situation with another relative or friend.
  4. Never share login credentials with anyone online. No matter what they promise to do for you in return. No reputable organization will ask you for this information.
  5. Be wary of unsolicited contact. If you don’t know the person or organization who has just contacted you, be cautious while you verify who they are. Don’t respond or provide them with anything until you know they’re legitimate.
  6. Update your devices. If you haven’t been doing this regularly, now is definitely the time to ensure that all of your devices are updated with the latest security measures.

We hope this information helps you and your loved ones to stay safe online. If you need anything, our team is here to help.

Neville Lacey

Global Risk and Compliance Director at XE

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

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

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

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Career calibration meetings with Treasurer Search

01-04-2020 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL

Due to the current economic circumstances it might not feel like the right time to take a next step in your career.

 

It might however make you think about where you are going in your career and how your next step should look like.
If you are one of those people, don’t hesitate to contact Treasurer Search for an online career calibration meeting.

You can contact Kim Vercoulen directly with below contact details.

Contact person

 

T: (0850) 866 798
M: (06) 2467 9339

Blockchain and Corona virus: could it prevent future pandemics?

| 31-03-2020 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL

The sudden emergence and rapid but uncontrolled worldwide spread of the Corona virus shows us the failure of existing healthcare surveillance systems to timely handle public health emergencies.

Though improvements in healthcare surveillance have been realised, these still fall short in preventing pandemonium. Lack of necessary steps taken to ensure containment and tracking of the virus have aggravated the situation.

Blockchain technology is increasingly been mentioned as a tool to assist with various aspects of containing the outbreak. Could the use of blockchain in the health care industry help to prevent future pandemics?

Outdated health surveillance systems

Preventing, and controlling diseases that have epidemic potential is a major public health activity. Many surveillance systems are used to track potential new diseases and control existing diseases. Though governments are doing everything in their power to contain the spread of the Corona virus, their fight is hampered by difficulties in the timely sharing of information with local and international health enforcement agencies on the ground.

Unfortunately, many of these systems are outdated, hard to access, or inaccurate. China’s current disease surveillance system for instance is an updated version of a system that is five decades old. And there is the privacy and security issue when using centralised healthcare surveillance systems. Time however is of the essence when dealing with outbreaks of this sort of deadly diseases.

Main issues

Epidemiologists who study how diseases spread, are being faced with the task of gathering, verifying and cleaning data in an efficient manner.

Privacy and security issues, language barriers, the sheer distance between the geographical location of an outbreak, cultural differences, and many other factors are issues that slow the transmission and exchange of necessary information.

Non-optimal data management
There is the data management issue. Containing the Corona virus could come down to a question of data management. Gathering data, verifying that data, and then cleaning up that data however is far from optimal. Epidemiologists need high-quality data to model viruses; with models, they can provide governments with recommendations about how to contain the disease. But that data is hard to get or its integrity cannot be verified, thus of no use to epidemiologists.

Underreporting
As a result of that the current infection and death statistics are speculated to be much higher than reported. The coronavirus outbreak has raised concerns over the Chinese government underreporting the number of infected and deceased. This underreporting can be caused by many disruptions in the system, such as the lack of data transparency.

But also a shortage of testing kits reduces the number of confirmed cases, and deaths can be attributed to other causes. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know just how serious this outbreak really is without access to a secure, decentralized surveillance system.

Political Complications
And there is the issue of national centralised surveillance systems not talking cross-border. Diseases can spread quickly across political borders. Traditional systems run by governments can miss outbreaks because they happen across physical borders. A decentralized system is the fastest way to report outbreaks.

Lack of innovation in healthcare systems
In many countries healthcare surveillance systems lack innovations, caused by low investments in new technologies leading to less effective healthcare systems. This notwithstanding the upcoming of new technologies including artificial intelligence, big data management and blockchain.

Blockchain could be of help

The time to build borderless solutions based on decentralized technologies has come. Highlighting the need for numerous improvements in the health care sector, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology issued a Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap requesting ubiquitous, secure network infrastructure; verifiable identity and authentication of all participants; and consistent representation of authorization to access electronic health information.

Hereblockchain could offer ways to improve many public health activities associated with preventing and controlling diseases. Blockchain powered solutions could address and tackle various aspects of the issue. Blockchain technology has the ability to improve health, access to information, supply chains and many more.

These expectations are based on the key aspects of blockchain technology, such as decentralized management, immutable audit trails, data provenance, and robustness. Additionally, multiple nodes in a permissioned blockchain have the ability to share and report vital data instantly, while complying with data privacy and security regulation

Blockchain use cases

Blockchain could be used to improve a variety of health care-related processes, including record management, healthcare surveillance, tracking disease outbreaks, management crisis situations and many more.

Record management: single source of information
Containing virus should be looked at as a data management issue. The biggest opportunity for blockchain in the healthcare industry is as a single source of truth for the data provenance, as the whole world is fighting against this outbreak. It could be used for record management purposes, to manage real-time data and importantly, to ensure its integrity, while identifying and eliminate misinformation about the Corona virus.

In emergencies like these, there are high numbers of incoming data, “with not many hands on deck to manage the same”. With the use of blockchain, data collection will become automated and immutability of the ledger makes it impossible to alter any of the records.

By using blockchain technology one could be able to securely manage health records, ensuring interoperability without compromising patient privacy and security. Those records could include patients’ data, treatments given, and any progress detected. Blockchain will also make sure that data are archived and protected by any unauthorised access, but still keeping it available for the whole healthcare system.

It will enable users to see all the data and trends on the virus in real-time including all information about confirmed cases of infected, death toll, recoveries, etc. The exponential growth of connectivity and the access to the wealth of data it offers  would allow health officials to quickly track the spread of disease, giving vulnerable populations vital information. All this information can be used by research labs working on a vaccine.

Blockchain healthcare surveillance system
Blockchain can also be used for surveillance purposes. A blockchain healthcare surveillance system can provide the means to prevent and control future outbreaks. A permissioned blockchain surveillance system would allow local and national health agencies to access the surveillance data.

A global blockchain surveillance system could easily reach areas where connectivity is poor, and costs must be kept low. Local practitioners can receive real-time information on surrounding areas, regardless of governmental or political barriers. In addition, global organizations like the World Health Organization could access the data. Because the system is decentralized and secured through blockchain, data remains secure and multiple organizations can report the data.

Tracking infectious disease outbreaks
Blockchain could be used for tracking public health data surveillance, particularly for infectious disease outbreaks. Increasing transparency will result in more accurate reporting and more efficient responses. They would allow for rapid processing of data, enabling early detection of infections before they spread to the level of epidemics.

Blockchain can help develop treatments swiftly, and help with management when pandemics do occur. This could enable government agencies keep track the virus activity, of patients, suspected new cases, and more.

They could also use the blockchain to track down where the virus originated, probably It could enable doctors to review patients’ symptoms and monitor diagnostic data in real time, integrating patient history information. Information can be collected in a distributed way and have that information available to different parties, including authorities such as the WHO.

Management crisis situations
Blockchain technology can not only help in keeping track of the virus and outbreak activity. Blockchain could also be used to better manage pandemic situations and the dissemination of treatment. It could instantly alert the public about the Corona virus by global institutes like the World Health Organization.

It could instantly recommend a course of activity should an outbreak be detected. Using blockchain could enable to provide governments with recommendations about how to contain the virus. It would offer a platform where governments, medical professionals, health organizations, media, and all the concerned parties can update each other of the situation and prevent worsening of the same.

Securing medical supply chains
The blockchain could also be used for “track and tracing” of medical supply chains. Blockchain has already proven its success as a supply chain management tool in other industries. Blockchain-based platforms could be used to enable the review, recording and tracking of demand, supplies and logistics of epidemic prevention materials. As supply chains involve multiple parties (from donors and recipients, to warehousing and delivery logistics), the entire process of record and verification by each party is tamper-proof, while also allowing anyone to track the process.

It could help streamline medical supply-chains, ensuring that doctors and patients have access to the tools when they need them and preventing contaminated items from reaching stores. A blockchain-based system could ensure vaccines, testing equipment, and other relief efforts are sent to the right places at the right times and in the quantities needed, and have that recorded. Securing the supply chains of these valuable resources could have life-saving effects. Combined with a surveillance system, a blockchain supply management system could change the way the world responds to epidemics.

Prevent zoonotic diseases
Zoonotic diseases like Corona could be caught in animals before they make the jump to humans if veterinary field records were kept on a blockchain surveillance system. Because many animals are migratory – so not staying in the same area – a decentralized blockchain system would allow for greater collaboration and transparency across the world. Diseases could be “flagged” and eliminated in animal populations before they make the jump to humans.

China and blockchain

Chinese organizations are trying to implement blockchain-based solutions to combat the Corona virus and reduce its economic impact on the country. They have rolled out a number of applications for immediate and emergency use, to fight the spread of the corona virus in public institutions, hospitals, universities and the financial sector. These are touted as performing a variety of different functions.

These blockchain solutions are already being used by local authorities to manage identity information and donation platforms. Additionally, multiple countries world-wide are employing blockchain-based tools to track patients diagnosed with coronavirus and identify the people who might have been infected. The apps are designed to ensure people’s privacy, identity, and medical records using the blockchain against Corona virus and other medical conditions.

HashLog
One of the interesting applications is HashLog, a solution launched by Acoer, a developer of blockchain-enabled applications for public health and global health organizations, to fight against the deadly coronavirus.

The HashLog visualisation engine interacts in real-time with Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology to ensure real-time logging and data visualization of the spread of the disease. With the help of public data from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Acoer’s Hashlog Dashboard is capable of providing real-time information for tracking this epidemic. For example, this application is tracing people traveling to and from the country, to pinpoint patients and prevent further infections.

HashLog allows for the real-time visualization of coronavirus data and trends. This includes the overall number of cases globally, rates of deaths and recovery per infections (where we have reliable data), cases filtered by country, as well as Google trends by interest and region on Corona virus.” Acoer’s CEO, Jim Nasr

This should help epidemiologists verify the integrity of records that have been uploaded to their analytics systems. Each transaction is recorded through a verified hash reference on Hedera’s ledger, meaning epidemiologists can trust data to be legitimate. This allows researchers, scientists and journalists to understand the spread of the coronavirus and its trends over time through visuals presented on Acoer’s HashLog dashboard.

IBM Food Trust
This is not the first time blockchain is being applied to track diseases. There have already been a number of initiatives using blockchain and distributed ledger technology to track the origins of food, for example. The IBM Food Trust has been using blockchain to help improve food safety by managing and conducting food tracings in order to identify sources of contamination for occurrences of Salmonella. By being able to identify the cause quickly and effectively, it is much easier to contain the problem and treat it at the source.

Blockchain preventing pandemics: not yet?

Presently, the authorities all over the world are trying their best to contain the Corona virus as it has shown the potential of turning into a pandemic. And that is where blockchain can help. We have seen that disease outbreaks can happen at any time, anywhere on the planet, with little or no warning. These are natural events that have occurred in the past and will re-occur in the future.

Blockchain will not prevent the emergence of new viruses itself. But what blockchain can do is create the first line of rapid defense through a network of connected devices whose only purpose is to remain alert about disease outbreaks. The use of blockchain can help prevent pandemics by enabling early detection of epidemics, fast-tracking drug trials, and impact management of outbreaks and treatment.

With easy access to such data, the containment of an outbreak becomes manageable and is of great help to the health authorities as well. This instant response capability can represent the difference between quick containment and global contagion.

While blockchain holds promise for the health industry, analyst warn a number of issues, including data standardisation, costs of operation and regulatory considerations, still need to be addressed before this technology is suitable for wide adoption. But with this serious Corona virus pandemic a number of these considerations could be solved rather quickly.

 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

Webinar Treasury Management gedurende de COVID 19-crisis: risico’s en kansen

| 30-03-2020 | François De Witte

Webinar: Treasury Management gedurende de COVID 19-crisis: risico’s en kansen

Friday 3 april, 2020 from 1.30 till- 2.30 pm CET

With the COVID19 crisis, treasury management is of paramount importance. In this webinar, François summarizes some best practices and give some tips & tricks to weather these turbulent times.

Please note the webinar is hosted in Dutch Language and the Presentation Slide Deck is in English.

Webinar topics:

  • Hoe moet ik reageren? Wat is mijn cash positie vandaag?
  • Wat is de cash forecast voor de komende dagen, of zelfs weken?
  • Noodzaak dagelijkse stuurgroep Cash Positie
  • Hoe beheert de continuïteit van je onderneming?
  • Hoe kunnen we omgaan met betalingsproblemen bij klanten, die ook beïnvloed zijn?
  • Kunnen we de voorraad verminderen: kunnen wij de working capital requirements verminderen?
  • Welke kosten kunnen uitgesteld worden (RSZ, belastingen, enz.)?
  • Hoe onderhandel je een betalingstermijn met leveranciers?
  • Hoe onderhandel ik met mijn banken over een herschikking van een bestaand krediet? Hoe kan ik mijn financiële ademruimte verhogen? Belang van de track-record
  • Risico’s en opportuniteiten: herziening van het businessmodel

Presenters:

François De Witte
Seasoned Treasury & Project Manager at FDW Consult Services
Senior project Manager Treasury at Ardent-Finance
Onafhankelijk Bestuurder bij CKV
Community Ambassador bij Treasury XL
(Former Head International Cash Management Sales at ING Belgium, Luxembourg and Asia)

Date, time and registration

Date: April 3, 2020

Start time: 13.30 – 14.30

Register here

 

 

 

6 tips to manage your liquidity

30-03-2020 | by Rowan Hermes | Jean Pierre Renard | Ilfa Group

Liquidity management is simply the systematic management of money that enters and exits your company. You systematically look ahead to your cash balance. For many companies it is an integral part of their business operations, but how do you ensure that you manage your liquidity as well as possible? In this blog, in collaboration with Jean Pierre Renard, associate partner at Ilfa, they provide 6 tips for managing your liquidity.

Blog is in Dutch language:

De coronacrisis heeft grote invloed op ons dagelijks leven. Zowel zakelijk als privé zal er de komende periode een hoop veranderen. Opdrachten en afspraken worden afgezegd, klanten kunnen niet (op tijd) betalen en in- en verkoop verloopt moeizaam. Het is als mkb’er nu meer dan ooit belangrijk om te weten hoe je bedrijf er de komende maanden voorstaat. Liquiditeitsproblemen komen echter ook voor bij bedrijven die juist snel groeien. Ondanks groei en winsten kan je liquiditeit een probleem zijn, omdat veel geld vastzit in debiteuren en voorraden. Het is belangrijk dat je een duidelijk financieel overzicht hebt. In goede tijden helpt dit je verstandig om te gaan met je geld en in onzekere en slechte tijden weet je waar je aan toe bent en waar je bij moet sturen.

  1. Zorg voor een goede liquiditeitsbegroting 

Stel een liquiditeitsbegroting op waarin je de standaardpatronen van je cashflowverloop verwerkt. Laat je niet leiden door je banksaldo, deze mist toekomstige kasstromen, of je jaarcijfers, deze zijn sowieso verouderd. Focus op je huidige en toekomstige liquiditeitsbegroting om de positie van je bedrijf in de komende maanden in de gaten te houden en snel in te kunnen spelen op de actualiteiten.

  1. Gebruik software om inzicht te krijgen in je liquiditeit 

Je kunt je liquiditeit dagelijks inzichtelijk maken met behulp van software. SmartFunding en Ilfa bieden SmartCash aan, een cloudoplossing die kasstromen inzichtelijk maakt. Op basis van bankmutaties krijg je in een oogopslag inzicht in je huidige financiële situatie, waardoor je direct kunt bijsturen op verwachtte liquiditeitsproblemen en tijdig werkkapitaal kunt aanvragen om dit op te vangen.

  1. Factureer snel en volgens een duidelijk plan 

Zorg dat je betalingscondities duidelijk gecommuniceerd worden naar je klant en volg deze ook op wanneer de klant niet betaald. Zeker in deze onzekere tijden is het belangrijk om te waken voor oplopende debiteurentermijnen. Een goed (geautomatiseerd) systeem van herinneringen zorgt dat de klant de betaling niet uit het oog verliest. Houd de klant geen hand boven het hoofd. Je loopt het risico daardoor zelf in de problemen te komen. Je kunt klanten ook aansporen op tijd te betalen door een korting te geven bij een snelle betaling. Factureer daarnaast regelmatig. Bij dagelijkse facturering krijg je gemiddeld twee weken eerder je geld dan bij maandelijkse facturering.

  1. Manage crediteuren  

Als je problemen hebt met het betalen van je crediteuren moet je eerst kritisch kijken waar je kunt besparen. Annuleer overbodige abonnementen of kies een goedkoper alternatief. Plan daarnaast betalingen indien nodig in op de laatste dag van de betalingstermijn. Neem, als dat niet voldoende is, op tijd contact op met de leverancier. Neem zelf het initiatief, houd contact en maak een nieuwe betalingsafspraak.

  1. Houd contact met financiers 

Neem tijdig contact op met je financier(s) als uit de liquiditeitsbegroting blijkt dat je cashflow niet voldoende is om aan je betalingsverplichtingen te voldoen. Maak afspraken over het eventueel uitstellen van aflossingen. Denk daarnaast na over het afsluiten van een (korte termijn) financiering en mogelijk ook aan alternatieve financieringen. Voorbeelden zijn het leasen van machines in plaats van kopen of het verkopen van onroerend goed en dit terug huren.

  1. Verreken banksaldi 

Verzamel dagelijks, of toch tenminste wekelijks, informatie over je bankstanden en verreken positieve en negatieve saldi. In tijden van negatieve rente bespaar je zo dubbele kosten. Verdeel in het verlengde hiervan eventueel positieve saldi over diverse banken zodat je maximaal gebruik kunt maken van het depositogarantiestelsel.

Source

Leaving the second Treasury Ivory Tower towards a new adventure

| 27-03-2020 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit

Corporate treasury deserves a broader audience. And also calibre experts bringing the field to the next level. There are treasury related business opportunities, there is risk to mitigate and costs to be saved. The next level is achieved by, amongst others, the graduates of the post graduate program “Register Treasurer” at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Over the last decades I have seen many enthusiastic professionals raising treasury awareness among their colleagues in the large organizations they work in. So very big steps have been made in creating a broader audience. Treasurers are leaving their first ivory tower. In this blog I want to address leaving the second one. This might be a bit harder.

Organisations without own experts experiencing treasury exposure find two major hurdles on their way. The first is that they often do not have the awareness about what they miss out on. There are many priorities on their list and why do bank relations, FX management or alternative funding deserve a spot in their top5? There is no time and these topics are abstract and complex. Nobody they know will inform them.

The second hurdle is, that even if they have awareness, they do not know how to handle the problem or act upon the opportunity. Bankers often went from trusted advisors to sales agents, if they even pick up the phone. Big4 consultants often do not have the proper expertise, charge high fees and send a new youngster every year. High calibre treasury consultants have the proper expertise, but also their hourly rate can be quite stiff.

We will also tear the second  tower down, investing in two paths.

There is a lot of very relevant expertise available. Former bankers, contractors, fintechs are there to step in if a treasury opportunity arises. Permanent employment is not the basis for transferring their knowledge to organisations that need their expertise. So you do not have to hire. Furthermore knowledge can be gained with low threshold education programs, events and through other sources. Parties like Hogeschool Utrecht, Alex van Groningen, treasuryXL and Euroforum open the market for those who are willing to search and learn.

Then there is the awareness issue. First, treasury topics should be addressed in the environment where CFOs, controllers and entrepreneurs are. So not the specialized and dedicated LinkedIn Groups like “Corporate Treasurers” but in “MKB Nederland” (SME The Netherlands). Second, these topics should be described in language that appeals to the target group. So no showing off with specialistic lingo but clear messages telling about cost saving, risk mitigation and opportunity creation. Third, continuous repetition is the basis for awareness. So we should not stop writing, posting and presenting. It can be done!

I am convinced the treasury community will benefit from an increased awareness and knowledge of their field of expertise in the “mid-market”. We can be trailblazers and I invite to you to broadcast your excellent treasury stories about the job you love. Let’s also tear the second ivory tower down!

Cheers,

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit

Owner at Treasurer Search

OpusCapita makes Liquidity Management free for all customers

| 26-3-2020 | treasuryXL | OpusCapita |

OpusCapita makes Liquidity Management in a basic version free for their SaaS customers

OpusCapita, treasuryXL partner and leading cash management solution provider announces today that they have chosen to make their Liquidity Management product free for all customers until the end of the year in order to help treasury and cash management professionals to meet the increased demand on accurate cash forecasts due to the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are living in unprecedented times and we want to help our customers. The demands on treasurers are immense right now and I feel if we can help by making our product for free it’s the right thing to do”, states Jukka Sallinen, Head of Cash Management, OpusCapita.

Liquidity Management will be available in a basic version to allow customers to start using it right away without any implementation or set-up needs.

“We are also looking for ways to enable companies who are not our customers to use this functionality at a heavily discounted price”, states Jukka Sallinen, Head of Cash Management, OpusCapita. 

“I am happy that we can help our customers in these tough times and that we as a company can do our part”, states Patrik Sallner, CEO OpusCapita.

What does Liquidity Management Basic enable you to do?

With the basic package, you will be able to enable your subsidiaries across the globe to manually input (or upload from Excel) their current cash balances and future cash flows (for example AR, AP, taxes etc) in OpusCapita. Once you have this data centralized, the basic package enables you to setup Reports and Dashboards which will automatically consolidate and display all entered balances and cash flows.

In short, this includes:

  • Manually entering cashflows (Liquidity Unit Entry)
  • Manually entering cash positions (Liquidity Balance Entry)
  • Liquidity grid and graph, best-practice Reports such as:
    • Cash Visibility
      • Cash balances per bank account, per bank or per company
      • Actual inflows and outflows on bank accounts (if statements are imported in OpusCapita)
    • Cash Forecasting
      • Total forecast
      • Forecast per bank account, per company or per currency
      • Actual vs Forecast
    • Dashboards for visualizations cash positions and forecast

Three steps to get started

1. Get in touch with us so we can enable Liquidity Basic for you.

2. Add cash flows with pre-built templates or import them from Excel.

3. Build reports with our straight-forward drag’n’ drop functionality.

 

Read more information here.

 

About OpusCapita

OpusCapita enables organizations to buy and pay quickly and securely, with a real-time view of their business. OpusCapita customers use their source-to-pay and cash management solutions to connect, transact and grow. OpusCapita processes over 100 million electronic transactions annually on its Business Network.

Visit OpusCapita

Visit Partner Page

Read Customer Success Stories

How to build your emergency fund

26-03-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Emergency situations often strike with very little warning, leaving you very without much time to adapt or plan. Over this past week, people across the world have made major adjustments to their lives in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. From organizations shifting to remote work to government-mandated lockdowns, the world this week is a far cry from what many of us thought to be the norm just a month ago.

Money is one of the greatest concerns for individuals during this uncertain time (along with health). A recent poll found that in the United States alone, 18 percent of people have lost jobs or hours. As more and more governments continue to issue orders to shelter at home, lockdown, or quarantine, this figure will only rise in the coming weeks.

Today, it’s the coronavirus. In the future, there’s always the possibility of a natural disaster or other large-scale emergency forcing you to readjust your habits, spending, and way of life. But for this current situation, here’s some of our advice for budgeting and preparing.

Cash or card?

This has been a common question among people concerned about the spread of coronavirus. Some think that it’s good to have a stash of emergency cash. It prevents you from having to worry about a power outage or business shutdown affecting your bank access, and paying in cash means you won’t be handling your card after it’s been in strangers’ hands or touching the same card reader that everyone’s been touching.

On the other hand, some have raised questions about the possibility of spreading COVID-19 through the exchange of cash, particularly if they’re exchanging bills at busy establishments. However, Emily Martin, associate professor of epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, stated to the Wall Street Journal that she “wouldn’t expect coronavirus to travel far and wide on money.”

So, what’s the answer? It doesn’t hurt to have a few days’ worth of emergency cash on your person or stashed somewhere safe. However, if going to the ATM or bank would put you or others at risk, don’t make it a priority.

Anything to avoid?

You mean, besides other people?

In times like these, the first instinct is to grab everything, just in case. But this isn’t the best approach. We recommend avoiding the following:

  • Panicking. We know, it sounds ridiculous to tell you to stay calm in a pandemic. But panicking can lead to impulsive, irrational, and irresponsible financial decisions. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I need to make it through the day? The week? The month?”
  • Buying more than you (and your household) need. As we’ve seen, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential establishments will remain open. Take what you need, take a little extra if supplies allow, but don’t hoard. Does one household really need 500 rolls of toilet paper?
  • Bottled water. If (and only if) your tap water isn’t safe to drink, then you should purchase bottled water. Otherwise, you’ll be fine with the faucet.
  • Frivolous purchases. Think of this as an opportunity to look at your spending and subtract from your budget. For example, many of us won’t be going to concerts, festivals, or bars anytime soon. And you probably won’t need to buy as many clothes if you’re spending all of your time at home. If you can, take this money and put it in your savings, or put it toward other, more pressing expenses.

What if I don’t have an emergency fund?

You’re not alone. Though common advice is to have 3 to 6 months’ worth of emergency money in savings, less than one-quarter of people actually have that. If you’re not happy with the state of your emergency savings, get started now. If you are still working and receiving an income, try to adjust your budget to allocate some or more to your savings each month.

Under normal circumstances, here’s what we’d recommend:

  1. Look at your current budget. Figure out how much you’re making, and calculate all of your normal expenses such as rent, bills, and how much you tend to spend on fun non-essentials.
  2. Calculate what you can save. If you have quite a bit of money left over after expenses at the end of each month, you can set your own goal for how much you’d like to shift to savings. If your budget is limited, calculate how much you could feasibly contribute to a savings account each month.
  3. Put your money into a separate account. If your employer pays through direct deposit, set up an automatic deposit to your emergency savings account. Otherwise, deposit it yourself, and hold yourself accountable. You can withdraw if you need to, but don’t skimp on your savings.
  4. Regularly assess your savings plan. Your saving plan shouldn’t stay the same forever. Every so often, take some time to review. You should reassess your budget and plans any time your financial situation changes, as well as a regular review at least once per year.

However, we recognize that now is not a normal circumstance! In our current situation, here’s what you can do to get your emergency fund started ASAP:

  • See what expenses you can cut. Normally, experts recommend canceling Netflix or other streaming services, but we understand if that’s not doable right now! Instead, take a look at reducing gym memberships or shopping expenses, and take a look at your fixed costs if you need to.
  • Sell a few things. If you have some nice pieces in the back of your closet that you rarely wear, or a few video games that you don’t play anymore, selling those online could help you get a little extra money.
  • Can you find additional income? We understand that this is a difficult time to find employment, even more so than usual. However, if you are really hurting from a lack of income right now, look into essential businesses that need more workers or look for remote work. That said, don’t forget to keep your health and safety a priority.

Ultimately? Anything is better than nothing. Don’t think that you need to have an elaborate plan or a large nest egg for your emergency fund. Every fund starts somewhere, and the sooner you start, the sooner yours can start growing.

If you already have an emergency fund…

…and you don’t need to dip into it just yet, take advantage of this time to continue to build yours. If you’ve been able to cut your expenses during those long days at home, take what you would have spent on non-essentials and add it to your rainy day fund. This situation has offered a lot of us a very close look at what can happen to our lives and finances. If you’re managing to get by now, let’s make sure that you’ll still be fine next time.

If you do need to use your emergency fund? Don’t make yourself feel guilty. This is why you created the fund, after all. Take a deep breath, figure out what you’ll need, and let your emergency fund help you through this.

It’s a tough time right now, and many people feel like there’s no end in sight. But this current situation isn’t going to last forever. We can’t control the world’s future, but we can plan ahead for ourselves (along with a bonus backup plan) to help ourselves face future obstacles.

This is an unprecedented and uncertain time for all of us. We understand the impulse to panic, to overspend, and to worry that we may not have enough to stay safe or keep our loved ones safe. But for most of us, all we can do is prepare ourselves and (safely) support others in any way possible.

Good luck!

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Wanted! Cash Manager with City Financials Expertise

25-03-2020 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL

Our partner Treasurer Search is looking for a Cash Manager with City Financials Expertise.

Tasks Cash Manager

The cash manager is responsible for operational tasks like forecasting, payments, liquidy management and bank relationship management. Specifically the use and improvement of the TMS, City Financials, will take substantial time.

 

Ideal Cash Manager

The ideal candidate for this position has corporate cash management expertise. Only candidates with City Financial experience will be considered.

 

Our Client

Our client is a multi-billion, international company with a large presence in The Netherlands.

 

Remuneration and Process

We are in dialogue with our client about the set of tasks and the ideal candidate for this position. Our first feasibilty study shows a limited number of candidates in the Dutch labour market with City Financials experience. As this is a dealbreaker, we already started communicating with the market mentioning this constraint. We invite candidates with this expertise to contact us and find out if this position might be for them.

 

Location

Utrecht

 

Contact person

 

T: (0850) 866 798
M: (06) 2467 9339