Best-of-Breed Providers Cashforce and TIS Form Alliance to Help Companies with an End-to-End Cash and Payments Solution

| 16-07-2020 | TIS |

Walldorf, July 16, 2020 – Cashforce, a ‘next-generation’ cash forecasting & working capital analytics company and TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), a leading bank connectivity & payments provider, announced today that they have formed a strategic alliance. This collaboration provides a unique solution for corporates requiring a rich cash forecasting and payment experience with seamless integration to their banks and their enterprise systems such as ERP and TMS.

With universal ERP connectivity a common strength, the pairing of Cashforce’s strength in cash forecast modelling and working capital analytics together with TIS’ global bank connectivity and payment capability provides corporations a highly flexible solution to adapt to treasury’s changing needs.

“We are very pleased to form this partnership with TIS,” said Nicolas Christiaen, CEO of Cashforce. “Cashforce is unique given its ability to combine working capital analytics with sophisticated (AI-powered) cash forecasting. Partnering with TIS compliments our best of breed approach. The end-to-end solution of our combined products provides a seamless experience from the discovery phase, through implementation to support; exactly the level of integration our clients and prospects are looking for.”

Joerg Wiemer, CEO and co-founder of TIS, is excited about the partnership: “TIS is leading the market in providing frictionless, cloud-based payment solutions to corporate and medium-sized enterprises. I am excited about our new partnership with Cashforce as we continue to follow our best-of-breed ecosystem strategy in cash management. Our API connectivity with Cashforce will bring integration and customer experience to the next level. “

About Cashforce     

Cashforce is a ‘next-generation’ Cash Forecasting & Working Capital Analytics platform, focused on analytics, automation and integration. Cashforce connects the Treasury department with other finance / business departments by offering full transparency into its cash flow drivers, accurate & automated cash flow forecasting and treasury reporting. The platform is unique in its category because of the seamless integration with numerous ERPs & banking systems, the ability to drill down to transaction level details, and the intelligent AI-based simulation engine that enables multiple cash flow scenarios, forecasts & impact analysis.

Cashforce is a global company with offices in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London & New York and provides cash visibility to multinational corporates across various industries in over 120 countries worldwide.

About TIS

TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), founded in Walldorf, Germany in 2010, is a global leader in managing corporate payments. The Financial Times named TIS as one of “Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for 2019 and 2020.  Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management. The TIS solution has been successfully used for many years in both large and medium-sized companies, including Adecco Group, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, OSRAM and QIAGEN. More than 25% of DAX companies are already TIS customers.

Your world of Payments. ONE Login.

https://www.tis.biz


Press contacts

Cashforce

Benjamin Bergers – benjamin.bergers@cashforce.com

+32 479 66 27 21

 

Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH

Liang Fang – liang.fang@tis.biz

Altrottstrasse 31

69190 Walldorf

If you want to know more about TIS, just visit www.tis.biz

5 Signs Your Budget Needs a Rethink

16-07-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

We’ve all got some sort of a budget. Whether you’re the type to keep an immaculate record of every bit spent down to the last cappuccino or you prefer to keep a more general list of priorities for each paycheck, everyone has some kind of methodology for how they choose to spend their money. How did you create your budget? And when did you create your budget? Odds are, your current circumstances aren’t exactly the same as the circumstances in which you first created your budget, and that could warrant a revisit. In general, you should review your budget at least once per year. But that’s the bare minimum: if you’re experiencing any of the following with your budget, it might be time to take another look.

#1. Your income, expenses, or goals have changed.

These three things are the bare-bones basics of any budget:

  • How much money you earn each month
  • How much money you need to spend each month
  • How much money you want to put into savings each month

You’re free to add other features as you please, but those are the fundamentals. A change in your income (such as starting a new job or getting a raise), a change in your regular spending (such as paying off a debt or adding a new expense), and a change in your goals (such as deciding to save for a home) will impact how you budget. Maybe now you can afford to increase the amount that goes into your savings account each month, or maybe you’ll need to cut your spending to account for your new expenses.

Don’t wait until things become problems: as soon as your finances change, make the changes in your budget to reflect them.

#2. You can’t afford it.

Some things are out of your control, and there might be periods where you’re in a tight spot, financial. But during ordinary times, if you find yourself:

  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Regularly spending more than you earn
  • Frequently dipping into your savings
  • Habitually relying on credit cards to cover necessary expenses
  • Not being able to consistently put money (any amount) into savings

…then your current budget isn’t working for you.

Take a look at your budget and see why these things are happening. It could be as simple as setting up an automatic deposit into your savings account each month. Or, you might need to critically examine your spending habits and reallocate your monthly income.

#3. It’s too restrictive.

Keeping a specific, organized budget isn’t a bad thing. But budgeting yourself so tightly that you don’t have any wiggle room can lead to trouble later on. Do you have the emergency funds to purchase a new dishwasher or make unexpected repairs to your car or home? Or would you be forced to dip into your retirement savings or take out a loan.

It’s important to save and spend responsibly, but allowing yourself the leeway for an occasional takeout meal or latte won’t derail your financial future (unless you genuinely don’t have the funds for these things). When it comes to your budget, you should feel disciplined, not restrained.

#4. You’ve noticed some unfavorable patterns in your spending.

Some spending is inevitable. You know you’ll always need to spend a certain amount on things like rent, mortgage, utilities, bills, and groceries. Once you’ve taken care of the essential spending and your savings, you’ll hopefully have a bit left over for fun, frivolous, and miscellaneous purposes.

Take a look at your nonessential spending too. It’s normal to spend a little more than usual during the holidays, for example, but are you consistently going over budget on things like online shopping, nights out, or takeout food? If you’re spending more than you can afford on these things, it’s time to reassess: either reallocate your budget to account for more spending, or make the choice to reduce the amount you spend.

#5. You’re stressed.

Finances are a common worry for people all over the world. But if you’re constantly stressing about whether you’ll be able to pay your bills at the end of the month, or stay up late each night worrying about potential disasters that could empty your bank account, making some changes to your budget could help you to find peace of mind and feel more comfortable with your finances.

Source

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-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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Small progress in onboarding process, Challenger banks remain leading

| 15-07-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

Nowadays, mobile banking apps from pay banks are of great importance to bind and retain customers. The corona crisis stimulates companies to take steps in the field of digitization. For banks, a fully digital, fast and secure customer onboarding process is an ideal image to work towards. The onboarding process of the challenger banks still appears to have a considerable lead over the onboarding process of the major banks. This last group of banks has made few groundbreaking developments in the past year. On the other hand, interesting developments can be observed at a number of other banks examined. Triodos, Knab and ASN Bank in particular have made significant improvements.

Blog is in Dutch

De onderstaande overzichten geven grafisch weer welke bewegingen hebben plaatsgevonden bij de verschillende banken in het afgelopen jaar.

Grafiek vergelijking begin 2019 en begin 2020

Score begin 2019 = bol met dunne zwarte rand// Score begin 2020 = bol met dikke zwarte rand

Triodos, ASN en Knab zetten stappen vooruit

In het onderzoek van 2019 was één van de conclusies dat ASN en Triodos moesten oppassen dat het verschil met de overige banken niet te groot zou worden. Qua gebruiksvriendelijkheid heeft Triodos de afgelopen periode een aantal verbeteringen doorgevoerd. Zo heeft de online omgeving op de website een volledig nieuwe look-and-feel gekregen. Het onboardingsproces zelf is ook laagdrempeliger geworden. Zo moest de klant een jaar geleden nog een fysieke kopie van het legitimatiebewijs toesturen per post. Inmiddels kan deze kopie ook digitaal worden geüpload, waardoor het gebruikersgemak aanzienlijk is toegenomen.

ASN heeft de veiligheid van haar onboardingsproces verstevigd. In een uitzending van Rambam werd de noodzaak van deze versteviging aangetoond omdat het mogelijk bleek met een vervalste kopie van een paspoort een rekening te openen. ASN heeft daar lering uit getrokken en het lek gedicht.

Ook bij Knab zijn opvallende verbeterslagen doorgevoerd. Waar de klant voorheen de onboarding startte via de website, is het proces inmiddels volledig via de app uit te voeren. De app is ook gemoderniseerd. Verder is het mogelijk om het paspoort te scannen, een pincode via de app te registreren en is het koppelen van de identifier en de bankpas niet meer nodig. Het gebruikersgemak is met de nieuwe ontwikkelingen positief beïnvloed. Met het oog op het know your customer proces krijgt de klant een uitgebreide vragenlijst voorgelegd.

Challengerbanken zijn snel, papierloos en innovatief

De challengerbanken houden de traditionele banken achter zich met een volledig digitaal en papierloos proces, een korte doorlooptijd en innovatieve oplossingen. De online banken dwingen de gevestigde orde nog altijd tot een verbeterslag als het gaat om gebruikersgemak en snelheid. Daarnaast zijn de fintechs stabiel als het gaat om veiligheid.

Monese en Openbank zijn nieuwkomers in het onderzoek. Bij Monese wordt de legitimatie via een foto uitgelezen en identificeert de klant zich via een selfiefilm en stemopname. Deze functionaliteiten scoren goed op gebruikersgemak. Echter is op het gebied van fraudepreventie en veiligheid veel verbetering mogelijk. Het komt voor dat de klant een betaalpas ontvangt met een foutieve naam. De naam van de klant wordt bij het uitlezen van de legitimatie niet altijd correct overgenomen en het systeem maakt daar een eigen interpretatie van. Daarbij vraagt de bank niet om een controle van de identiteitsgegevens door de klant zelf. Op dit vlak zijn gebruikersgemak, snelheid en veiligheid niet in balans.

Ook bij de Spaanse onlinebank Openbank, die in februari 2020 de Nederlandse markt betrad, verloopt het onboardingsproces volledig digitaal. De klant kan zich identificeren via een identificatiestorting of via een videogesprek. Een medewerker van Openbank stelt in het videogesprek enkele verificatievragen. Vervolgens wordt een foto gemaakt van de consument en het identificatiemiddel. Naar onze mening is de verificatie via een videogesprek een veilige en digitale manier om te achterhalen of de persoon die de rekening aanvraagt ook echt de opgegeven identiteit heeft. Daarentegen kan een videogesprek voor een klant wel een drempel zijn om het proces af te ronden. Verder dient de klant de voorwaarden te ondertekenen via een digitale handtekening.

Bij Revolut kan de klant de pinpas nu activeren in de app. Er is geen bevestiging per telefoon meer nodig. Daarnaast is een uitgebreidere toestelregistratie ingevoerd. Bunq, Moneyou en N26 hebben het onboardingsproces via de app het afgelopen jaar onveranderd gelaten.

Wat verder interessant is, is dat challengerbanken, zoals Bunq, Monese en N26, een aantrekkelijk ‘referral model’ aanbieden. Als klant krijg je een beloning wanneer je een nieuwe klant aanbrengt. Deze beloning vertaalt zich vaak in de vorm van een geldbedrag.

Grootbanken stabiel

Het onboardingsproces laat bij de grootbanken geen opvallende ontwikkelingen zien. Bij ABN Amro is het rijbewijs toegevoegd als legitimatiemiddel en dient een klant verplicht door alle schermen van de ‘instellingen’ te gaan, zoals de limieten en alerts. ABN Amro scoort goed op veiligheid. De bank geeft aan dat zij voor de veiligheid alle post apart verstuurt. Zo ontvangt de klant vier verschillende brieven – voor de betaalpas, pincode, activeringscode voor de betaalpas en de identifier. Bovendien dient de klant voor ieder toestel waarmee mobiel wordt gebankierd een uitgebreide toestelregistratie te doorlopen. Deze extra beveiligingsstappen gaan enigszins ten koste van de gebruiksvriendelijkheid.

Bij ING en Rabobank hebben geen wijzigingen plaatsgevonden. Bij ING verloopt de onboarding met een Android-besturingssysteem soepel. Onboarding via het iOS besturingssysteem (Apple) is echter nog steeds niet mogelijk. Deze klanten zijn aangewezen op het onboardingsproces via de website.

Klantidentificatie en -verificatie

Identificatiemethoden zoals een videogesprek, selfiefoto en selfiefilm worden steeds relevanter. De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) heeft in de ‘Leidraad Wwft 2019’ aangegeven dat instellingen naast een identificatiestorting één of meerdere andere betrouwbare methoden dienen te gebruiken om de identiteit van de klant te verifiëren. Bij een identificatiestorting staat niet vast dat door een andere instelling een adequate identificatie en verificatie is uitgevoerd, stelt de DNB. Sommige banken maken gebruik van de identificatiestorting zonder andere methoden te gebruiken ter verificatie van de identiteit van de klant. Deze banken zullen aan de slag moeten met hun identificatie- en verificatieproces om te voldoen aan de richtlijnen van de DNB.

Superieure onboarding klantreis bij andere banken?

Samenvattend kan worden gesteld dat de grootbanken weinig waarde hebben toegevoegd aan hun onboardingsproces. Achterliggende reden kan zijn dat zij niet worden geprikkeld om het proces verder te ontwikkelen, omdat zij verwachten dat hun marktaandeel toch wel op peil blijft. De banken die vorig jaar niet uitblonken in hun klantreis, hebben prioriteit gegeven aan het verder digitaliseren en verbeteren van de klantervaring.  Hiernaast hebben meerdere banken de look-and-feel verbeterd.

Interessant is hoe deze betaalbanken zich verhouden tot andere financiële instellingen. Bieden financiële instellingen met alleen een spaarrekening en/of een beleggingsrekening een veiligere, innovatievere of gebruiksvriendelijkere klantreis? Om die vraag te beantwoorden heeft Enigma Consulting de onboarding van elf andere financiële instellingen onder de loep genomen. Hiervan volgen de uitkomsten in een vervolg op dit artikel.

Als u meer waarde wilt halen uit uw onboardingsproces of meer wilt weten over de nieuwe richtlijnen met betrekking tot afgeleide identificatie, dan kan Enigma Consulting u voorzien van advies.

 

Source

Meet our Experts – Arnoud Doornbos

14-07-2020 | Arnoud Doornbos | treasuryXL

Our Expert Arnoud is Associate partner at ILFA Group and Managing partner at Smartfunding Haarlem. With over 30 years of experience both as Investment banker and with listed and non-listed corporates, Arnoud is specialised  in Cash Management, Risk Management, Corporate Finance, FX, Interest Derivatives, Consultancy, interim management, financial engineering, and finance arrangements.

We asked him 10 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

After studying business economics I started working as an accountant. After a few years, I was able to read balance sheets and had seen many companies inside. My wish was to do something commercial with that knowledge. So after 4 years, I switched to banking and became a treasury sales advisor with a Dutch bank, NCB Bank. That was the beginning of a long career as an investment banker with various domestic and foreign banks. I moved from junior dealer to Head of Sales at Deutsche Bank, Rabo International and BNP Paribas. I became an expert in FX and interest rate derivatives and became a treasury advisor to a number of large corporates. In 2013 I had the opportunity to co-own a treasury consultancy / IT company in Belgium, called Treasury Services. There I was responsible for the marketing and sales of the company. I obtained consultancy assignments and sold the treasury software, a treasury management system called TreasuryMetrics. During that period I gained a lot of treasury knowledge and in combination with my banking experience I was able to give our customers good treasury advice. At the end of 2017 I sold Treasury Services to Ilfa, where I am now an Associate Partner and I am a senior treasury consultant.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Working in treasury is fun and interesting because in that position you actually see everything that happens in the company like a spider in the web. All business matters that generate money flows go through your treasury department. In addition next to cash management a good risk management is very important.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

I find it interesting to correctly identify and quantify the financial risks. Then mitigate the risks with the right financial instruments. My banking background with 25 years dealing room experience makes me an expert in pricing and executing of financial instruments. I really like the pricing and execution of hedging products. Specially FX and interest rate derivatives and loan pricing.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

One of my relations took over a company in the UK. This investment was paid in GBP. A translation risk EUR/GBP therefore arose. The customer asked what is the best to buy the GBP. I advised him not to buy the GBP but borrow it from the company’s EUR liquidity through FX swaps. If he had bought the GBP, a FX risk would have been created 100% by the GBP amount on top of the newly created risk of a subsidiary in the UK. Translation risk on foreign assets is NOT a FX issue but instead a finance issue. For another large corporate, i executed the unwind of a large CCIRS portfolio in EUR/USD. Due to my banking dealing room background, I was an equal counterparty to the banks in the negotiations and I was able to make significant savings on transaction costs.

5. What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

My best treasury experience is that I have been involved in a M&A case where the customer made a major acquisition in the USA and I had to hedge the currency component of that transaction. More than a billion USD were involved. I was on the customer’s deal team, behind the Chinese wall. First all secret discussions internally and with the banks involved. The credit facilities had to be arranged before we could do the execution. At the end the large execution was done with Algo trading with the banks. Algorithmic trading is a method of executing orders using automated pre-programmed trading instructions that take into account variables such as time, price and volume.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

There are a lot of regulations hitting our banks and us, and the financial arena is changing. In Europe, we are now facing the challenge of negative interest rates that, apart from lowering our interest payments, has other effects. A treasurer need to be light on foot and quick to react to these challenges, and understand their importance. My biggest challenge is being able to navigate in an ever-changing world.

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

The Treasurer’s area of ​​activity consists of supporting the company / CFO in managing and controlling the company’s balance sheet (Corporate Finance Management), managing and controlling financial resources (Treasury operations) and managing and controlling financial risks. of the company (Financial Risk Management). The role of a Treasurer has become more and more a strategic business partner of the CFO and teams such as Control, Tax, Accounting and Legal, and provides support to business units, sales teams, etc.

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

The corona crisis has a major impact on our daily lives. A lot will change in the coming period, both business and private. Orders and appointments are canceled, customers cannot pay (on time) and purchasing and sales are difficult. As a company or organization, it is now more than ever important to know how your company is doing in the coming months. It is important that you have a clear financial overview. In good times this helps you to manage your money wisely and in uncertain and bad times you know where you stand and where to adjust. 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 the business, but how do you ensure that you can manage your liquidity as well as possible? A solid and proper cash flow forecasting will assist you in this.

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

The last few years have been eventful for treasuries. We have had to react to a number of regulatory changes and a vibrant macro environment, while operating in the shadow of the 2008 global financial crisis and more recently the Corona crisis. We have also had to respond to changing working practices, as automation and digitization have enabled easier and faster transaction and communication processes. With organisations seeking to introduce leaner, more efficient and increasingly automated operations, it may seem logical to suppose that treasuries will assume a progressively transactional role. However there is still a significant amount of wariness regarding the stability of the world’s capital markets — a concern that feeds into many treasury priorities, such as liquidity, hedging of risk and bank relationships. With these key concerns top of the mind in the treasury, many businesses are looking to their treasury departments to act as internal advisers and provide strategic input on funding requirements and how best to limit exposure.

10. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Every organization has to deal with treasury. Even if it only has 1 bank account, treasury actions must still be performed. Ilfa makes it possible for any organization to have its own professional treasury function, regardless of the size of the organization and the experience in the treasury field. Our service and systems give you quick and clear insight. Consider the course of your liquidity, interest rate and currency risks. In addition, you know which financing is best suited and we help you reduce your bank costs. A treasury does not aim to beat financial markets, but systematically monitors the money flows of your organization and the development of financial risks. This way you can identify in time and then act. A company without its own treasury can rely on Ilfa’s special services, Treasury as a Service (TaaS). Many organisations are too small to have their own treasury department. On an ad hoc or continuous basis, Ilfa takes the companies concerns about the execution of treasury tasks off their hands in a way that suits their organization and wishes best.

 

Arnoud Doornbos

Interim Treasury & Finance | Consultant

 

 

 

 

Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Blockchain and Interoperability: key to mass adoption

| 13-07-2020 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL

Blockchain‘s  potential for improving business processes, providing transactional transparency and security in the value chain, and reducing operational costs is obvious for many. Notwithstanding this the expected mass adoption failed to happen up till now. What has been holding blockchain back?

In fact, there have been several concerns in recent years preventing this mass adoption. But by far the most widely recognized problematic issue is that of interoperability. Or, more accurately, the lack of it. In this blog, I will not go into the details of the various tools that can be used to enable interoperability. There are many reports that give in-depth description. I will look at recent developments in the interoperability area, the various offerings and real word interoperability use cases that should give an idea of what we may expect.

Siloed blockchain ecosystems

While blockchain was conceived as a decentralized technology, individual blockchain networks are not inherently open and are not able to communicate properly to each other. There are a large number of blockchain projects, all of which have different characteristics – such as the type of transactions, hashing algorithms, or consensus models – and which focused on a particular area. The problem is further deepened by different networks and financial institutions running completely different governance rules, blockchain technology versions and regulatory controls. This has resulted in a series of unconnected blockchain ecosystems operating alongside, but siloed from each other, preventing the industry from reaching its full potential.

“We would be left with a scattered collection of siloed blockchains, each supported by a weak network of nodes and susceptible to attack, manipulation, and centralisation.” ConsenSys research paper

What is interoperability?

The term blockchain interoperability is increasingly being talked for some time now. It not only means the possibility that disparate blockchain systems can communicate with each other. Above all it is the ability to share, see, and access information across different blockchain networks without the need for an intermediary – like a centralised exchange. So, blockchain projects that want to implement interoperability into their platform aim to create an ecosystem that will enable different blockchains to easily communicate with each other. The vision of interoperable enterprise blockchains thereby rests on a number of functionalities and abilities including: integration with existing systems, initiate transactions on other networks, conduct transactions with other chains, transact between deployments on the same chain by integrating apps and making it easy to switch one underlying platform for another.

Why is interoperability critical?

It is easy to see why interoperability for blockchain is not only desirable, but above all critical, in a world where enterprises depend on ever-greater levels of collaboration and interaction. In fact, interoperability is crucial in any software system – it simply won’t work to its full potential if it can’t work with other software. It is the only way to realise the full promise of enterprise blockchain and get the most out of their blockchain investments. Interoperability would enable smooth information sharing, easier execution of smart contracts, a more user-friendly experience, the opportunity to develop partnerships, and the sharing of solutions.

Where is interoperability needed?

Especially in areas where the value chain is important, such as supply chain, trade finance, healthcare, aviation, etc., one blockchain network will simply be unable to provide all the needs for any given transaction. This asks for multiple networks, each providing specific value, and proper communication so that data from private networks can be routed to other relevant networks for transactions “without having to establish a one-to-one integration”. “Everyone is dependent on physical goods’ ability to move across all participants in the global supply chain with minimal friction. We need the same ability to move a digital asset from one blockchain to another without creating redundant data or a new market for intermediaries. This is why blockchain interoperability is critical.” Rasmus Winther Mølbjerg, Director, Deloitte, Denmark.
Blockchain’s characteristics allow disconnected supply chain management systems to interoperate securely without too high investment costs. Because of the pressing need for supply chain transformation, leveraging these characteristics ensures that blockchain can be useful and effective in the real world.

Interoperability Studies: WEF Report

In the meantime a number of interesting papers covering the interoperability issue have been. The most ground-breaking one is that of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF described blockchain technology as being “balkanised in silos.” In collaboration with Deloitte, the WEF this year released a report on “Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains – A Framework for Blockchain Interoperability”. The report covers several models, concepts, approaches and best practices for blockchain interoperability. It should help organizations understand the importance of interoperable blockchains and outlines a decision framework to support their development and execution. “Interoperability and compatibility issues are key to address in a world after the coronavirus pandemic.” “The challenge of interoperability is not only a technology problem, but even more so a problem in terms of governance, data ownerships and commercial business models.” Nadia Hewett, Blockchain and Digital Currency Project Lead at the World Economic Forum

Blockchain interoperability approaches

Broadly one could distinct two main blockchain interoperability approaches: APIs and network-of networks model.

‘Mashup’ APIs
Blockchain networks and solutions could be brought together for an organization via a so called “mashup” application. They only have to interact with one consistent application programming interface (API) and not an API for every network. This mashup application can include a variety of capabilities defined in data models and smart contracts, but fundamentally, it will serve as “the glue that joins various networks together”. However, APIs do not presuppose a governance structure, which makes them flexible and expedient but also a poor choice for organizing interoperability in the long run.

Network of networks model
The most efficient and scalable way to build interoperability is through the joint effort of establishing industry standards as well as identifying a network of networks structure that industry networks can converge around. An organizations blockchain network actually represents a ”web” of interconnected networks. This architecture would allow an organization to connect and transact with multiple solutions, not restrained to a single network, and open up a market of interoperability across solutions. By unlocking the power of the peer, organizations can use their peer to connect into multiple blockchain networks via channels. This significantly reduces the complexity and optimizes an organizations interaction with different blockchain networks. This network of networks model for interoperability continues to gain momentum, especially as we see natural blockchain hubs emerge.

Blockchain interoperability solutions

The majority of interoperability solutions up till recently were mainly focused on chain interoperability across public blockchains, thereby using crypto-directed tools like sidechains (or relay chain), notary schemes and timed hash-locks. The focus however has increasingly shifted towards solutions for interoperability between private networks and/or between private networks and public blockchains. One way to solve interoperability is to use a separate blockchain as a bridge to facilitate cross-communication. Essentially, this is a third blockchain that sits in the middle of the two blockchains and maintains a cryptographically secured timestamped ledger of the transactional and messaging activity between the two. Interoperability tools that are used range from hub and spoke, decentralised finance (DeFi) and general purpose bridges. Another way to facilitate interoperability between systems is with off-chain or middleware systems. This so-called non-blockchain interoperability approach uses tools including atomic swaps, oracles and state channels.

Blockchain Interoperability projects

A growing number of interoperability projects have entered the scene to try to bridge the gap between the various blockchains. Their aim is to facilitate interaction between networks and ensure the concept of decentralisation is fully realised. Depended on the interoperability solutions these can be used for activities like decentralised asset exchange and decentralised message exchange. Interesting projects are Chainlink, Cosmos, Hybrix, Polkadot and Wanchain. Other examples include Aion, Ark, ICON, Transledger, and Overledger.

Chainlink
Chainlink is a decentralised oracle network, an interoperability solution to facilitate secure and trustless communication between all disparate blockchain systems. The resources mostly revolve around off-chain data to trigger smart contracts and settlement outputs like established payment systems and cloud backend. This standalone function is important for many blockchains that don’t have to interact with other blockchain protocols but do need access to externals inputs and outputs. Chainlink nodes are able to format messaging and data from public APIs into a readable format for smart contracts. These nodes can connect to any API, whether it is a blockchain, enterprise system, Web API, or IoT device. Chainlink is sometimes working in combination with other interoperability protocols. Chainlink has already announced partnerships with Polkadot and Ethereum to provide off-chain data to their networks. Wanchain is integrating with Chainlink to provide off-chain  data to their on-chain smart contracts.

Cosmos
One of the most prominent interoperability solutions is Cosmos, very much focused on its Cosmos SDK platform. Cosmos aims to act as an ecosystem of blockchains that can scale and interoperate with each other. Cosmos is a smart contract platform that has prioritized interoperability as a critical component of their blockchain design. Their architecture is based on the so-called ‘hub-and-spoke’ system whereby a series of ‘spoke’ chains connect to a ‘central’ hub by means of inter-blockchain communication. Cosmos is heavily reliant on validators to provide interoperability. It makes use of the so—called Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm and uses both member chains and Peg-Zones for existing chains to improve the overall ecosystem. Their end goal is to create an ‘internet of blockchains’ – a network of blockchains that can communicate with one another in a decentralised way. The implementation of the IBC (Inter Blockchain Communication) protocol is scheduled for this year 2020. Cosmos will use the IBC protocol to allow communication between a central hub and the chains linked to the network, also called Zones. It will first only concern the interoperability of chains built on top of Cosmos SDK platform.

Hybrix
Hybrix is an open-source cross-chain solution aimed to make it easier to make cross-chain transactions, and also increase the level of ease for developers who want to offer multi-chain platforms. For that purpose Hybrix is developing an “HY” token. Each token represents an identical block of a chain and can be used to reconcile data across the entire crypto complex. Tokens form as bridges that allow transactions to be conducted on either a single chain or multi-ledger systems. Since Hybrix utilizes existing languages to build its protocol and interface, there’s no need to acquire new coding languages to use its system. Hybrix has amplified its capacity to adapt 27 major blockchains and more than 400 tokens.

Polkadot
Another project is Polkadot, which facilitates transactions and data exchange, aiming to promote interoperability between blockchains. It uses the DPoS algorithm and employs required validators which can lead to a certain degree of centralization. The concept at Polkadot is quite similar to that of Cosmos. It allows communication between the relay chain and the parachains of Polkadot’s network. By using Parachains and Bridgechains, this approach enables to transfer both value and data. Additionally, scalability will be taken to a whole new level by running multiple parallel chains. This is a bit different from other projects which are looking to bridge the gap between blockchains as well. The launch of their mainnet is planned for this year (2020). As for interoperability, there are no precise timelines regarding their protocols for chains  implementation.

Wanchain
The Wanchain network allows interoperability between very heterogeneous blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS. Wanchain aims to link and facilitate communication between the different blockchains as much as possible. Wanchain is already functional and allows communication and exchange of value and data between public and private blockchains through storeman nodes and the T-Bridge framework. The storeman node system combines two cryptographic concepts that ensure security and confidentiality of network transactions: secure multi-party computation and “Shamir’s secret sharing”. The Wanchain project recently announced the integration of EOS blockchain and the implementation of the T-bridge framework. Wanchain’ s next challenge is to fully decentralise its network. This is planned to be finalised in 2022.

Other interoperability offerings

And there are many more interoperability projects including Aion, which is working towards integrating artificial intelligence in its consensus model. Or Ark which uses Smartbridge to link existing chains, and will also allow for the transfer of both data and value. And the Loom Network, which uses its DPoS blockchain Basechain to connect and transfer value among several blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance. A rather unknown but interesting player is Block Collider. Its proof-of-distance (PoD) consensus algorithm ensures that ledgers can operate with one another. It is also the only project that, in its current form, requires any validators.

Real world interoperability use cases

During 2020 we have seen a number of interesting real world interoperability use cases.

AVA Network (Defi Apps)

The AVA network is an open-source platform for building and deploying decentralized finance (DeFi) apps and enterprise-grade blockchain solutions that can be run in one interoperable, highly scalable ecosystem. AVA has officially released the codebase of its AVA blockchain platform to the global community. Interoperability between different DLT networks has thereby been built into the AVA protocol, using the Avalanch consensus protocol. The AVA platform has coupled this protocol with a network model that enables the system to span permissioned and permissionless networks, making AVA a self-serve platform for new blockchains and digital assets. Instead of one network with thousands of tokens, the AVA ecosystem is one platform with thousands of subnetworks and tokens on each subnetwork . AVA’s infrastructure allows anyone to build their own private, public, permissioned or permissionless blockchain networks or subnetwork, so-called “subnets.”

Kava Labs and IRISnet (decentralised finance)

Another  real world  example is Kava Labs that has teamed up with IRISnet in order to provide a technology foundation for facilitating the development of distributed business applications. Kava is a Cosmos SDK (software development kit) blockchain. The collaboration will involve the whole interchain ecosystem that has been developed by  blockchain interoperability solution provider Cosmos. Aim is to further support and promote decentralized finance (DeFi) application development on each other’s respective blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) networks. Kava’s Interblockchain Communication Protocol (ICP) will be used by both development teams to expand the nascent DeFi ecosystem. IRISnet aims to offer iService and Coinswap applications to Kava in order to improve liquidity. “Cosmos’ value proposition is that “if you make a blockchain and it has a similar consensus mechanism to another blockchain …[then by using] … the inter-blockchain communication protocol (IBC), you should be able to connect those two blockchains and transfer data [or assets] between them.” Brian Kerr, CEO at Kava Labs

Quant Overledger and Oracle Cloud (banking lifecycle)

Quant Networka technology provider, delivering blockchain enterprise-grade interoperability for the secure exchange of information and digital assets across any network, platform or protocol, at scale, has partnered with Oracle. Quant will use Oracle Cloud to run mission critical business applications on interoperable DLTs that will be powered by Overledger, which connects global networks to blockchain-based platforms. Banking institutions may deploy an extensive set of APIs that aim to cover all areas across the banking lifecycle. “Quant helps Oracle’s customer banks by providing a single API to all supported blockchains to power interoperability across platforms. Giving clients choice and flexibility to freely use any blockchain technology and go cross-platform with only three lines of code.”  “Clients gain benefits of market access, new products and revenue streams without the challenges of managing complex underlying blockchain technology stacks.” Gilbert Verdian, CEO at Quant Network

SIA and Quant Overledger (financial services)

Banking users of SIA’s private blockchain infrastructure, SIAchain, will be able to link up with other distributed ledgers following successful testing of interoperability via Quant Network’s Overledger technology. Quant’s Overledger complements and connects existing systems and DLTs, to drive innovative and efficient growth for companies, public entities, and regulatory bodies alike. This integration provides the ability to bridge permissioned blockchain instances between SIAchain’s 580 European network nodes and other external networks in order to have crossplatform applications and services covering the likes of notarisation, payments and KYC. SIA, that provides its services in  50 countries, is European leader in the design, creation and management of technology infrastructures and services for Financial Institutions, Central Banks, Corporates and the Public Sector, in the areas of Card & Merchant Solutions, Digital Payment Solutions and Capital Market & Network Solutions. “The achievement of a fully interoperable blockchain network, through our collaboration with Quant Network, is another key-element in our path of bringing innovation and state-of-the-art technologies for supporting banks, financial institutions, corporates and public administration bodies to extend their capabilities in integrating different DLT business applications.” Daniele Savarè, innovation & business solutions director SIA.

Telos and Transledger (crypto currency transfers)

Transledger, a blockchain interoperability platform that aims to facilitate cryptocurrency transfer between separate or independent DLT networks, has chosen the Telos blockchain network to perform cross-chain digital asset transactions with its utility token in a fast and secure manner. Transledger Inter-blockchain Communication (IBC), allows different blockchains to interact with each other and perform tasks together. Use cases for blockchain interoperability solutions include peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as decentralized or non-custodial cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXes). These types of trading platforms allow digital asset users to trade their tokens without requiring centralized, third-party exchange platforms. DEXes may use Transledger IBC to run P2P networks across several different blockchain platforms. This allows trading on DEXes to take place at speeds that are comparable to centralized exchanges, however, these non-custodial platforms allow users retain control of their funds. They also allow investors to manage their cryptocurrency portfolios with “faster and more powerful” smart contract functionality and features.

Skuchain and Corda (trade finance)

Skuchain network, a blockchain platform for supply chain, recently launched the DLPC CorDapp, a Skuchain application that promotes interoperability in trade finance blockchain applications. This application is the first example of The Bankers Association for Trade and Finance’s Distributed Ledger Payment Commitment (DLPC) operating in a real network. A DLPC is a fundamental piece of trade transaction. Everyone needs to commit to a payment. Skuchain’s DLPC CorDapp allows transactions to take place between its enterprises on Hyperledger Fabric and their bank partners on the Corda Network. The ultimate goal of brokering interoperability between Skuchain EC3 and Corda is to allow Skuchain’s enterprise customers to receive trade finance from banks on a Corda implementation without any party having to onboard onto another platform. Enterprises can now easily access trade finance as native part of their own supply chain platform.

Moving forward

The arrival of interoperability solutions may fundamentally change  present attitudes towards blockchain and will be an important step in persuading networks that the seamless exchange of data is crucial to the success of the entire market. As more progress towards interoperability between blockchain protocols is expected in the coming years, and we already may see successful cross-blockchain projects this year, interoperability is likely to become an important game changer for the blockchain industry. We may say that Blockchain seems to be at the threshold of widespread acceptance and adoption.

 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

 

 

Source

Junior Corporate Finance Analyst met werkervaring in Londen (m/v, only Dutch speakers)

10-06-2020 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL

Onze Partner Treasurer Search zoekt een Junior Corporate Finance Analyst met werkervaring in London. De analyst opereert als rechterhand van de directeur treasury. De rol is een mixture van corporate finance taken, organisatie opbouw en analyse & rapportage. Taken zullen gaandeweg toenemen, afhankelijk van de situatie en de talenten van de analyst. Zonder uitputtend te willen zijn, zal de analyst zich bezighouden met (her-)financieringen, rating agencies, leningdocumentatie, analyse van geld- en kapitaalmarkten en de verbinding van treasury met de rest van de organisatie.

Ideale Junior Corporate Finance Analyst

De ideale kandidaat voor deze functie heeft een academische opleiding met bovengemiddelde resultaten afgerond en heeft gewerkt of werkt nog in de financiële dienstverlening in London. In deze positie wordt een Nederlands hoofdkantoor verbonden met de Angel Saksische wereld, bekendheid met beiden is zeer gewenst.

Onze Opdrachtgever

Onze opdrachtgever is een zeer bekende corporate met een middelgroot treasury team dat momenteel verder wordt uitgebouwd en geprofessionaliseerd.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden en proces

Onze opdrachtgever biedt een markt conform salaris. Het is gepland dat wordt geïnvesteerd in verdere loopbaanstappen van de kandidaat die deze functie oppakt. Invulling van deze positie is niet urgent, men is bereid te wachten op “de ideale kandidaat”.

The Treasurer Test might be part of the recruitment process. Did you know that you can update your profile online and apply easily for this vacancy via the button ‘apply’ below?

Contact person

Pieter de Kiewit
T: (0850) 866 798
M: (06) 1111 9783
E: pdk@treasurersearch.com


Location

Midden Nederland


APPLY HERE

Going Cash-Free: Is it Right for You?

09-07-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Let’s try something. Reach out to your friends, family, or roommates and ask if anyone has $50 they could loan you. Did anyone have that much money on them? Or did they say that they needed to go to the bank, or ask if they could electronically transfer you the money?
In recent years, it’s become increasingly common for people to not carry cash around with them, or to just carry a little bit in the case of emergencies. While there are exceptions, the majority of consumers have moved to using their credit and debit cards and other forms of electronic, cashless payment.

At the end of 2019, 70% of consumers in a survey answered that they preferred card payments to cash, with 38% of card users citing inconvenience as the main reason they preferred cards to cash. And it’s not just consumers who are looking to go cashless. Corporations like Starbucks, Sweet-green, and even Amazon have all implemented cashless measures at their physical locations. Whether you’re tired of the inconvenience of cash, want to keep track of your transactions, or you’re worried about the possibility of your cash carrying germs, you may be considering taking your payments completely cashless. Let’s take a look at what that could mean for you going forward.

Why go cashless?

Many people around the world have enjoyed the benefits of transitioning away from cash and toward electronic payment methods. These are some of the most popular reasons for making the switch:

  • It’s convenient. No more lugging that heavy wallet around, and no more digging around trying to find the right bills. If you’re short on time and want a quick transaction, all you need to do is swipe a card.
  • It leaves a paper trail. Does anyone keep a record of every single time they pay with cash? When you pay electronically, on the other hand, you have a built-in record of everything you’ve purchased, when you purchased it, and how much it cost. If you’re trying to budget, this makes it easier for you to see exactly how much you’re spending and where your money’s going. Or if your balance is lower than you expected, you’ll be able to see where the money went—or if your account information has been compromised.
  • Some cards come with benefits.From discounts to rewards, cash-back points, airline miles, and more, using your card frequently now could bring you a lot of benefits in the future.

Why you might want to keep a little cash

Even as technology continues to advance, it’s not likely that cash is going anywhere anytime soon. 88% of surveyed consumers stated that they still use cash sometimes, and here’s why:

  • Data security and privacy are a concern. With technological advancement comes new data security worries, and the world of payments is not an exception. E-commerce sites can be breached, and card information can be stolen. Or, after buying online, you might start seeing targeted advertisements based on your purchase and search history.
  • Cashless payment isn’t always a guarantee. Some vendors (particularly smaller, local businesses) only take cash. Or if they accept card payments, they might have a required minimum or add a small additional service fee to the transaction. Or maybe a store or restaurant’s card reader could go down for the day, and you’ll need to find an ATM. It might be small now, but these fees can quickly add up—and your card might end up being more of an inconvenience in these establishments.
  • You could spend more! When you have cash in your wallet, it’s easy to keep track of how much you have left, and how much you’ve spent. When all you need to do is swipe your card, it can be easy to lose track of what you’ve purchased and what’s left in your account.

Could my cash be contaminated?

In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a question on everyone’s minds. Can cash carry the virus? Which payment method is the least likely to put you at risk of cross-contamination?

You’ve been told to try to avoid coming into contact with high-touch surfaces (such as door handles, handrails, and tables). Since cash frequently changes hands, you might be worried about the chances of your money carrying some harmful germs.

It’s true: coins and bills can potentially carry viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. It’s not the most common method of transmission, but it can potentially happen. If it gives you peace of mind and makes you feel less anxious about the possibility of cross-contamination, prioritize electronic payment and card payments, since your credit and debit cards can be wiped down. If you do need to handle cash, wear gloves if possible, and always wash your hands after coming into contact with new, potentially infectious objects.

In conclusion…

From buying a house to transferring money overseas, there are a few situations where paying with cash obviously isn’t the best move. If you enjoy the convenience of electronic payments and want to make the transition into a completely cashless lifestyle, you’re not the only one ready to make the switch. As long as you know what works for your purchases and your lifestyle, there’s no reason not to explore alternate methods of payment.

Source

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-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

 

 

 

Accounting for FX; the Do’s and Don’ts

08-07-2020 | Niki van Zanten

Let’s start by mentioning a phrase that I hear regularly and, to be honest, also use myself: ‘I am not an accountant, but…..’.
The urge to mention this phrase (usually targeted to an accountant while having an ‘I know it better’ attitude), can perhaps be traced back to the following reasons:

  • Discrepancies between accounting and real economics;
  • The fact that some (from my perspective, way too many) companies are run by accountants and numbers;
  • Historically absurd requirements in terms of hedge accounting*.IFRS on paper brought some relief but the old FAS and IAS standards were over the top accounting driven without a mere grasp of the real world.

The first point could already result into great discussions. As companies are expected to adhere to certain accounting standards, these standards represent the objective part of these discussions. This results in real economics claiming an underdog position.
If companies have to choose between compliance on one hand and doing what works best economically on the other hand, the way to find the right balance is by training accountants about real economics. Many individuals working in treasury have an accounting background, which could be beneficial if that individual takes the economic approach and uses accounting knowledge convince business partners.

Let’s jump into some basic examples where accounting doesn’t reflect economic reality:

  1. IC (inter company) bookings where the transaction is not reported in the same currency at both ends

Entity A (EUR Functional) has a receivable of 1 Mio EUR and entity B (USD Functional) has a payable of 1.1 Mio USD. The Historic rate was 1.10 and cash flow occurred in USD. Entity A decided to book in EUR to avoid any FX reporting. The consequence is that there is indeed no FX exposure visible. However upon settlements all FX results suddenly appear.What a nasty surprise!

  1. Re-measurements not done at correct rates

The best indication for FX effects in your books is obtained when the applied rates are close to the market rates. As you know there are many different sources for markets rates.  The awareness of this fact is not visible in accounting.

  1. Forward points not segregated

If you do not segregate forward points in PL, you can have FX results when the currency in question does not move. That just sounds very strange to me and this also touches upon a bigger issue, namely the allocation of result on PL. In the case your FX does not land in a segregated PL line, or worse non-FX related results end in your FX PL,
this usually does not change the total PL. However this makes it extremely difficult to control FX results, as you need good exposure information as well solid controls in terms of realized results. Segregation of realized and unrealized FX is also a very helpful tool for the Risk manager.

Are companies run by accountants?

That question should be discussed over a beer or glass of wine. Right now, I will limit myself to some pointers on how to identify whether a case could be identified as an accounting issue or economics issue. It is actually very simple and should be done by treasurers and financial controllers, before any discussion occurs on what the actual problem is.

By comparing the accounting steps for each of the proposed solutions with the trades, you can identify where market risk arises and where accounting risk. The one can see that thes are not always the same. Furthermore, it might also be a good time to call for a specialist, if the right level of comfort is not met. This way of working also fits well with the absurd requirements of hedge accounting.

Regarding this topic, ask yourself whether you really need to apply hedge accounting. From my experiences, in most cases hedge accounting is applied only for one reason; to reduce the PL volatility in between hedging and the moment of cash flow for forecasted transactions. (especially true for listed companies).Taking an economic perspective, there is no benefit in hedge accounting at such a significant cost in terms of audits and administration . Hence, determine how high the cliff is, before you dive down into hedge accounting procedures.

Conclusion

In a perfect world with only blue skies and where work consists of having margaritas on the beach, there are no accounting requirements (and probably also no FX to manage). In our world, the same feeling can be obtained by making sure that the accounting for FX reflects economic reality as much as possible. Thisby applying the accounting standards as a framework. Furthermore  take into account what level of known discrepancies between the economic and accounting reality you are comfortable with.

*Please note hedge accounting and accounting for FX are not the same. By accounting for FX I mean the accounting entries done by non-local or group currency items. These can be invoices in different currencies or intercompany bookings. Hedge accounting is only linked to deferring derivative MTM on the balance sheet as opposed to PL immediately.

I am curious about your thoughts. Please comment…

 

Niki van Zanten

FX specialist

 

Meet our Experts – Interview François de Witte

07-07-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, our expert François de Witte launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult, specialized in finance and treasury consulting. From 2014 to 2016, he was also Solution Partner Treasury & Finance at USG Professionals. Since then he took up several assignments, including one in the automotive sector with Ginion Group and with Ibanity, part of Isabel Group in the area of PSD2 and open banking. He currently is Senior Project Manager Treasury at Gaming1 (part of Ardent-Group). He is also co-founder and CFO of SafeTrade Holding. Key areas of expertise:

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

My roots are not really in treasury, because I have spent 30 years in banking with ING. Mid-2013, I made a major career move to treasury & finance. I could thereby leverage on the expertise I acquired in both Corporate Banking and Payments & Cash Management.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

The diversity of topics and people with whom you are in contact. The treasurer monitors the cash & finance, and is in the frontline of the circulatory system of the company. In addition, in view of the technology developments and the globalisation, treasury is a fast moving discipline,

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

Based upon a gap analysis, during the first couple of years, I strengthened my expertise in the other areas of treasury by self-training. I also started training in some subject matters, at the university and at other training organisations, and this is a good way to keep yourself updated on the latest developments.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

I have done quite a number of consultancy assignments. In one of them, thanks to a complete review of the processes, including also the business, we managed to gain some 10-15 days working capital management. In another project, we reviewed the account structure and the bank lines and could generate substantial savings. During a treasury scan, I was able to identify foreign exchange risks, which had not been spotted by the management.

5. What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

In my current assignment, we have selected a TMS-solution (Kyriba) and are currently finalising the implementation. Simultaneously we created a cash pooling and an In-House bank and streamlined the processes.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

When starting in treasury, I did not have experience on the field, and needed to switch from a banker’s approach to a corporate approach. If you want to be successful, you need to also have operational experience. I have spent at the start quite a lot to train myself and to get up to speed in treasury.

7. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

Cash is and remains king. It is very important to make the management aware of the importance of cash, even if a company is in a cash-rich position.

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

The Treasurer is becoming a business partner of the whole group. As a treasury, you get a good transversal view of the business flows. This is very nice because you are in the cockpit of the finance department.

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

The COVID crisis was a wake-up call. It reminds us that it is important to keep the focus on cash and working capital management. It also highlighted the importance of good well-balanced banking relationships. During the last years, some corporates did not put the right attention to this.

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

Cash will remain dominant. In addition, we have the automation enabling to work more efficiently. I also see AI (Artificial Intelligence) as enabler, e.g. for cash forecasting. Blockchain will also add value in some areas, such as documentary trade.

11. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

 Even if you do not have the critical mass to justify a treasury department, give it the right attention. Try to understand the drivers of your cash generation and to identify the risks. I would also recommend to invest in a treasury management scan.

 

 

François de Witte

Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult

 

 

 

 

Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance course in September 2020

06-07-2020 | by Kendra Keydeniers | Francois De Witte | ATEL

The treasurer is the custodian of the company’s daily liquidity. He manages, anticipates and secures cash flows by ensuring that financial needs are covered.

This cursus will give the ability to assist directly and practically the treasurer of large corporates or to take over the treasury responsibilities in a SME.

The various modules will allow acquiring an in-depth knowledge of the various areas of the “Corporate Treasure” profession.

Registration

This course will start late September 2020. It includes 13 training modules and 5 intermediary exams. It is necessary to complete this form before your official registration. Registration will be closed early September 2020.

Objectives

At the end of this programme, the participant will able to:

  • assist directly and practically the treasurer of large corporates
  • take over treasury responsibilities in a SME.

The various modules will allow to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the various areas of the “Corporate Treasurer” profession.

Programme

Module 0: Introduction to Treasury Management
Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury Manager

  • Corporate Treasurer’s responsibilities
  • Cash management (bank account opening, closing, KYC, Cash pooling, Payments and bank connectivity)
  • Liquidity management (importance of working capital management,
  • Risk management (foreign exchange, fraud, credit risk)
  • Trade finance (general context, intro to bank guarantees and letters of credit)

Module 1: Financial Maths (Focus on treasury & corporate finance)
Speaker: Hugues Pirotte / Professor of Finance at Solvay Brussels School

  • Focus on treasury & corporate finance
  • Time Value of Money
  • Vocabulary
  • Compounding intervals
  • Discount and annuity factors

Module 2: Advanced Excel workshop for treasurers (Dedicated to treasury)
Speaker: Hugues Pirotte / Professor of Finance at Solvay Brussels School

Module 3: Corporate Finance
Speaker: Mikael Pereira / Associate, Finance

  • Valuations
    • M&A’s
    • Portfolios
  • Corporate Financing
  • Corporate Investments

Module 4: Cash Management (domestic and international)
Speaker François De Witte / Consultant

  • Payments (Process, Tools)
  • Liquidity Management
  • Cash-Flow Forecasting
  • In-House Banking
  • Banking Relationship

Module 5: Trade Finance
Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury Manager

  • General contact, cultural aspects
  • Why trade finance in treasury
  • Bank Guarantees, Burgschafts, Surety Bonds, Letters of Credit, Cash against Documents
  • Alterative security instruments
  • Disruptive technologies

Module 6: Credit Control
Speaker: Anca Vasiliu / Counterparty Risk Manager

  • Concepts & Practices/Types of Credit Risks
  • Understanding Financial Statements and Ratios
  • Credit Scoring/Ratings – S&P, Bloomberg models
  • Collecting overdue receivables – setting priorities
  • Strategies dealing with overdue invoices
  • Debt collection services development

Module 7: Pension / Insurance 

  • General introduction on insurances and pensions
  • Typology of insurances
  • Risk management via insurances
  • Saving via insurances

Module 8: Compliance

  • KYC, GDPR, EMIR, Bale III
  • International sanctions and their impact on transactions & overall business activities
  • Anticorruption (FCPA, UK Bribery Act)
  • EU competition law compliance
  • INCOTERMS
  • Drafting a contract (main considerations)

Module 9: Risk Management
Speaker: Patrick Verspecht / Group Treasurer

  • FX, Interests
  • Counterparties
  • Others (Reputation, etc…)

Module 10: Regulations / Accounting
Speaker: Quentin Bodart / Senior Finance Engineer

  • Emir, Mifid 2, Basle II and III,
  • Dodd Frank, GDPR, Fatca, Section 385…

Module 11: Treasury Accounting
Speaker: Quentin Bodart / Senior Finance Engineer

  • Accounting for Derivatives
  • Hedge Accounting, IFRS9 (all from a treasury side)

Module 12: Technologies
Speaker: Patrick Verspecht / Group Treasurer

  • New Technologies
    • Blockchain, Crypto-currencies, Smart Contracts
  • Treasury Console (Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters)
  • TMS, Fintechs

Module 13: Cyber Fraud

  • Why Cyber fraud needs to be considered as a major risk
  • Identify the consequences of a cyberattack
  • Main fraud schemes
  • How to protect against fraud

Some homework might be proposed for some modules, there will be continuous control in the form of intermediary exams (under the form of QCM) and a final exam will be sanctioned by an attestation delivered by ATEL (The Luxembourg Association of Corporate Treasurers).

There might also be one or two “extra-activity”, such as a visit in a bank trading room or/and a special guest speaker addressing the cursus participants on a specific subject (still to be defined, optional events).

Target Audience

Anyone willing to acquire an in-depth knowledge in corporate treasury and wishing to exercise this knowledge in practice.

Prerequisites

  • Basic background in finance or accounting
  • For the Advanced Excel workshop, a preliminary (good) knowledge in Excel is required

Course Material

The course material can be downloaded free of charge via your portal the day before the start of the course (download the Client Portal User’s Guide here).

Certificate

At the end of the programme, the participants will receive a “Certificate of Attendance” delivered by the House of Training, and an attestation of “Exam Success Pass” delivered by ATEL.

In order to get certified, an 80% rate of attendance and a 60% average score on the examinations are required.

The participants will also receive a one-year free membership to ATEL (www.atel.lu) giving a number of advantages.

Register here