Discussion LinkedIn poll | What is the expected conclusion of crypto volatility for Corporate Treasury?

08-06-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

A couple of weeks ago we launched a poll on our LinkedIn page about the impact of crypto volatility on corporate treasury.

The poll received 72 votes in total, which is a great number! Thanks to everyone who joined the poll.

Scroll down to read our recap with the results and treasuryXL expert opinions. 

 

POLL QUESTION


Currently, we see Crypto volatility crushing Stablecoins. What is the expected conclusion of these events for Corporate Treasury?

 


VOTES

              • Crypto is too risky (25x) 35%

              • We need more regulation (19x) 26%

              • Crypto is the solution (8x) 11%

              • Let’s wait and see (20x) 28%


What do our treasuryXL experts say about this topic?

 

Francois De Witte

 

 

“There is a clear need for more regulation”



It is quite clear that cryptos present a high-risk profile. The volatility is high, and it is not easy to hedge these risks. In addition, payment transactions in cryptos take more time and energy than existing payments systems like the instant payments.

Currently, cryptos are held within the blockchain and are based upon a consensus. As a corporate, you do not have a control over these assets. In addition, you do not have the stringent KYC and AML checks which you have in the classic payment systems. The KYC and AML controls occur only on the moment that an individual or a company buys cryptocurrencies with its bank account or card, or when the proceeds of the sales of cryptocurrencies are paid to their bank account.

 

For this reason, there is a clear need for more regulation. Although the 5th AML Directive covers certain crypto assets under the term “virtual currencies”, it does not provide a harmonized approach. This problem will be addressed by the proposal of the EU Commission for the Regulation of Markets in Crypto Assets (abbreviated as MiCAR), which aims to create an EU framework for crypto assets falling outside the scope of other existing EU financial regulation and is expected to enter into force by end 2024. Let’s hope that this will bring more clarity in this complex topic.

 

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

“Let’s see what will happen”

 

 

Rejecting crypto currencies or even blockchain before fully understanding the concept is like holding on tohorse and wagon when seeing the first cars. And current inflation following the QE strategy of the ECB shows that stability is not guaranteed in the traditional system. At the same time, treasurers are there to manage risk and the current crypto landscape seems very risky. So let’s see what will happen.

 

 

 

Carlo de Meijer

 

“Without well thought-out regulation, the inherent volatility of cryptocurrencies will continue to make stablecoins vulnerable to various risks”

Regulation of stablecoins has long been on the agenda of regulators worldwide. To date, however, the crypto sector in general and the stablecoin segment in particular remain largely unregulated.

Stablecoins continue to come under scrutiny from regulators, given the rapid growth of the $130 billion market and its potential to impact the broader financial system. As stablecoins are deemed increasingly important to the system by regulators, with the potential to disrupt payment and settlement transactions.

The recent collapse of stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and the resulting fall of Bitcoin below the $28.000 level have provided an additional argument for speeding up the regulatory process and coming up with adequate regulatory measures.

 

With a growing number of traditional financial institutions, investors and also companies entering the Crypto and DeFi market, regulation becomes urgent to prevent such collapses in the future. Buyers need to understand the risks of these algorithmically stablecoins in particular. Therefore, standards are needed.

Without well thought-out regulation, the inherent volatility of cryptocurrencies in general but also of some types of stablecoins, will continue to make these stablecoins vulnerable to various risks, and make using these instruments for treasury purposes a difficult activity. The lack of transparency about what assets are being used and whether they have enough dollars to support all the digital coins in circulation also amplifies this consequence.

 




Would you care to explain your vote on this poll? Or would you like to explain your vote in a future poll? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

 

 

Embedded Finance: What are the possibilities?

19-04-2022 | François de Witte | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

The barriers to entry that have traditionally protected the financial services sector are beginning to fade away, and incumbents now face a multitude of disruptive shifts. On the other side, customers expect real-time, seamless, and intelligent financial services. Regulation drives further competition.


Setting the Scene

This has brought new providers to come up with new solutions competing with the incumbent banks, which we call “Embedded Finance” Solutions. They leverage a greenfield environment to benefit from innovations such as cloud, microservices and APIs.

Simply put, embedded finance, also known as embedded banking, is the use of financial tools or services — such as lending or payment processing — by a non-financial provider, through its technology platform (proprietary or outsourced).

In more technical terms, embedded finance is when Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is used to embed a financial API into a website or app. The purpose of this is to integrate financial services within other environments and ecosystems.

In doing so, some providers (e.g. Neo-bank) wish to go further than being a Technical Service Provider, and are also providing their licenses (e.g. Payment Institution, Licensed Deposit Taker, ….). Eventually, someone who offers both technical and regulatory access in a service fashion is a Banking as a Service Provider.

 

What are the main drivers enabling this?

We have identified three fundamental technological developments that facilitate the re-design of financial services for maximum scalability, efficiency, and resilience:


Cloud, Microservices, and APIs.

Utilizing cloud technologies in the right way enables financial services providers to create and scale their digital services and products at much faster speeds.

Traditionally, significant investments were required to build and operate server parks and data centers. Now, financial services providers can enter the game simply by teaming up with an established cloud provider, such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud.

 

Microservices

While a typical monolithic IT architecture consists of a bulky, intertwined collection of systems and processes, an architecture based on microservices consists of smaller, loosely coupled modules that cover specific functionalities, which communicate through asynchronous messaging.

The underlying architecture has proven to be very resilient, secure, and easier to maintain and upgrade: one failed microservice can easily be isolated and fixed while the whole system keeps running.

Due to the autonomous nature of microservices, the technology actively empowers internal business teams to adapt and build new solutions on their own.

 

APIs

Technically, APIs (Application Program Interfaces) enable the standardized exchange of data, and hence allow the rise of intra- and intercompany ecosystems. By connecting internal systems and data, APIs streamline tasks and are hence key enablers of automation and straight-through-processing.

APIs allow users to aggregate various data sources, a prerequisite for personalization at scale outside of the organization. APIs drive the rise of entire ecosystems: API platforms and marketplaces

APIs also allow brands to integrate banking data and functionalities into their offerings, such as bookkeeping SaaS (Software as a Service) tools or personal wallets – categorized under the umbrella of “Embedded Finance”.

 

 

In addition to these 3 trends, PSD2 and Open Banking have been catalysts of this new trend, by pushing banks to provide access to the accounts by authorized third parties-providers.

 

Potential impacts on corporate treasury and payments

We see new players coming up using their licenses to sell embedded financial services that matter for brands who face difficulties accessing embedded finance advantages.

Thanks to the “as a Service” model, their strategy is to outsource the IT domains to a Core-Banking provider who will also aggregate other fintech vendors on their behalf. It makes sense in a rapidly changing industry where brands and customers expect extensive services offering, while one can use software vendors at growing maturity levels.

The core-banking software must cover business functions including Accounts, Financials products & Connectivity, CRM, Compliance, Third Parties integration, and Interfaces.

Besides the incumbent players such as FIS, Temenos, Sopra Banking, we see also new Challengers, born native to the cloud and providing “build-your-own-platform” solutions via modular, microservices-based and API-first architectures.

They are both aggregators and orchestrators. A successful orchestrator aims to leverage financial data and capabilities, brand equity and product supply on a group level, while individual ventures remain autonomous and focused enough to innovate and stay close to external or internal client needs, such as wealth management, P2P payments, business banking, etc.

Embedded Finance offers corporates huge opportunities to decrease costs and increased customer loyalty and retention, thanks to amongst others an improved UX and better service.

When considering these new providers, corporates must also consider other factors such as trust: Do you have enough trust in the brand to interact in a financial context? Will you feel comfortable sharing your financial data with this new provider and trust that your privacy will be protected?

 

Conclusion

For corporate and institutional organizations, embedded finance provides huge opportunities in areas such as:

  • Embedded payments: Embedded payments examples could include an app that enables customers to save time by using the mobile app to order and pay ahead. It also allows customers to store cash and earn rewards for purchases with a merchant, as Starbucks does.
  • Embedded Lending: Embedded lending lets someone apply for and get a loan right at the point of purchase. The BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) scheme is an example. This removes the need for excessive paperwork and cumbersome processes and enables the customer to get loans at the tap of a button.
  • Embedded investments allow users to invest in the stock market, mutual funds, or retirement plans without leaving the platform they are on.

The use of BaaS and API-driven banking and payments services to integrate financial services within other environments and ecosystems offers large possibilities for corporations and banks. The challenge will be for the new players to provide the necessary trust to move away from incumbent players.


Francois de Witte

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance

17-01-2022 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

We would like to draw attention to the following event, which includes our Expert François de Witte. Register below to learn more about International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance.

Registration

 

In order to be accepted to this certified path it will be asked to complete this application form .

This training will be planned and will start when a sufficient number of participants has been reached. You will then be informed at least 2 months before the course starts.

However, you can still fill in your application and we will contact you.

If you do not wish to be certified but are interested in the topics, almost every course can be purchased independently by clicking on the title in the content below. This certified path is a blended training which contains both physical and virtual classroom, e-mentoring, teamwork, etc.

Description

 

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 Treasurer” profession.

 

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 different 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 in Excel (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: Payments, Cash Management and Banking Relations

Speaker François De Witte / Consultant

  • Payments (Process, Tools)
  • Liquidity Management
  • Cash-Flow Forecasting
  • In-House Banking
  • Banking Relationship
Module 3: Trade Finance in context of uncertainty

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 4: Introduction to Counterparty Credit Risk Management and Cash Collection

Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury 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 5: Practical Aspects of International Finance Regulation

Speaker: Lievin Tshikali  

  • 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 6: Risk Management applied to treasury

Speaker: François Masquelier / Group Treasurer

  • FX, Interests
  • Counterparties
  • Others (Reputation, etc…)
  • Objectives of Hedge Accounting
  • Required documentation and formalisation of Hedge Accounting relationships
  • Different types of hedges (Fair Value, Cash Flow, Net Investment)
  • Booking adjustments of different hedge types
  • Typical examples of different hedge types
Module 7: Technologies applied to treasury

Speaker: François Masquelier/ Group Treasurer

  • New Technologies
    • Blockchain, Crypto-currencies, Smart Contracts
  • Treasury Console (Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters)
  • TMS, Financial Technology
Module 8: Cyberfraud: what you need to know to manage this ever increasing risk

Speaker: Thierry Hamon / Cash management & security expert

  • Getting an overview of the different cyberattacks techniques currently used
  • Understand the possible consequences of cyberfraud and what needs to be protected
  • Learn 50 ways to protect

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

 

 

Francois de Witte

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beheer uw Financiële Middelen | Cash- en werkkapitaalbeheer

| 29-10-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

Een bedrijf financieel gezond houden kan niet zonder een gedegen werkkapitaalbeheer. In deze basisopleiding bekijken we alle inkomende en uitgaande geldstromen (debiteuren, crediteuren, voorraden en cash). U leert hoe u deze geldstromen kan beheren en optimaliseren. Een aanrader voor iedereen wie interesse heeft en de noodzaak inziet van een transparant treasury- en creditmanagement. Deze opleiding gaat klassikaal door in campus Gent.

Omschrijving

Productieprocessen, (internationale) logistieke processen en verkoopprocessen brengen grote geldstromen in beweging. Een bedrijf financieel gezond houden kan niet zonder een gedegen werkkapitaalbeheer. In deze basisopleiding bekijken we alle inkomende en uitgaande geldstromen (debiteuren, crediteuren, voorraden en cash). U leert hoe u deze geldstromen kunt beheren en optimaliseren. Een aanrader voor iedereen wie interesse heeft en de noodzaak inziet van een transparant treasury- en creditmanagement.

Voor wie is deze opleiding bestemd?

Deze module richt zich tot bedrijfsleiders, alsook alle financieel verantwoordelijken, leden van het treasury team, controllers, financieel adviseurs, accountants, accountmanagers en productmanagers bij financiële instellingen.

Voorkennis

Financieel basisinzicht is vereist.

Bijkomende info

Het programma komt in aanmerking voor 9 uren permanente vorming bij ITAA.

Methodologie

Het programma is doorspekt met cases die samen met de deelnemers behandeld worden. Naast voorbeelden uit de praktijk die de theoretische onderbouw concretiseren, is er steeds aandacht voor de opmerkingen en vragen van de deelnemers. Om deze reden is het aantal deelnemers beperkt.

Lesdata

DATUM STARTUUR EINDUUR
woensdag 01/12/2021 9:30 12:30
woensdag 01/12/2021 13:30 16:30
woensdag 8/12/2021 13:30 16:30

Meer informatie en inschrijven: Klik Hier

 

Francois de Witte

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recap #3: Round Table “Digital currencies for a digital future?” | Toekomst Betalingsverkeer

20-10-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

 

Here is my third and final recap where I will highlight the round table topic: Digital currencies for a digital future?

 

1. Introduction

On September 9, 2021, the event “Toekomst Betalingsverkeer”  has taken place in Amsterdam. Amongst others, following topics were covered:

  • The Fintech evolution of banking.
  • Platform strategies & developments big tech.
  • Customer experience strategies.
  • Open banking.
  • Instant payments.

I hosted two round table sessions on “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid” World and we made a deep dive on the following 3 topics:

Click on the above links to read my previous articles where I discussed the first two topics.

2. Setting the Scene

Facebook’s Libra announcement in June 2019 has shaken up the finance industry, forcing regulators around the world to take a closer look at it. This has sped up analyses and projects around Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Moreover, the fears that the Covid-19 virus might live on banknotes and coins, fostered the development of CBCDs.

In the context of this article, CBDC is regarded as general-purpose central bank digital currency, which has 3 elements:

  • It is a digital currency and therefore only exists electronically.
  • Issued directly by a central bank;
  • Universally accessible.

Several countries started CBCD projects: e.g., China, The Bahamas, The Marshall Islands, Sweden, the UK and the EU.

For the digital Euro: According to the ECB, this will take 2 more years from now to establish its characteristics (See announcement ECB) .

3. Positioning of CBCDs versus the cryptocurrencies and the stablecoins

In the table below, you will find the positioning.

 

 

4. Current Status of the CBCDs

Below you can find an overview of CBDC adoption across global markets.

5. CBCDs: Benefits and Challenges

CBCDs offer several benefits such as:

  • Playing a role in retaining public money for general use. The increasing adoption of user-friendly digital money reduces the demand for cash, currently the only public form of money.
  • Acting as a backup for the critical infrastructure in the payment system, as physical cash currently has a function as backup during failures in non-cash payment. CBDC could serve as a parallel backup and its role could gradually become more prominent.
  • Considering the preferences of the public, related to privacy and the use of data. Some citizens and businesses value privacy when paying, as is the case with cash. Central banks could restrict the use of data generated by CBDC transactions to just that information required for public duties such as compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.
  • Facilitating financial inclusion: especially in countries whereinto everybody has access to a bank account with a commercial bank.
  • Enable new monetary policies: If central banks now want to pump money into the economy, the CBCDs are a new channel to get money directly into the economy.
  • Providing Financial security: There is less need for fractional banking and your bank can hardly fall over. This makes the deposit guarantee scheme virtually superfluous.
  • Capitalizing on « Trust », as it is supported by a central bank, whereas a stablecoin is merely capitalizing on technology and is not supported by a « Trusted » Party.

However, there are also some challenges such as:

  • Ensuring that the infrastructure for CBDC is sufficiently segregated from the current infrastructure to prevent both from becoming disrupted.
  • Time to market. The ECB is now starting to investigate what a digital euro might look like. This investigation phase will start in October 2021 and last for about two years. Other countries like Sweden and China seem to have a quicker time to market.
  • The risk that some central banks focus resources on other topics like instant payment and open banking models, rather than digital currencies.
  • A potential negative impact on the potential of commercial banks to cross-sell profitable products if customers were to switch to CBDC entirely. Banks use the payment account as an anchor to offer and grant higher-margin products such as mortgages and personal loans. Customers switching to CBDC entirely could put pressure on their profitability. The ECB took this into account by putting a maximum amount on CBCD accounts per citizen.

Thank you for reading!

To see all my previous blogs, click here.

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recap #2: Round Table “The bridge between customer convenience and reconciliation” | Toekomst Betalingsverkeer

04-10-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

 

Here is my second recap where I will highlight the round table topic: Request to Pay: the bridge between customer convenience and reconciliation?

 

1. Introduction

On September 9, 2021, the event “Toekomst Betalingsverkeer”  has taken place in Amsterdam. Amongst others, following topics were covered:

  • The Fintech evolution of banking.
  • Platform strategies & developments big tech.
  • Customer experience strategies.
  • Open banking.
  • Instant payments.

I hosted two round table sessions, the other round table named “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid World”, and you can read the recap here.

2. Setting the Scene

The Request to Pay (RTP) is a payment technique allowing a business or individual wishing to receive a payment, to send an electronic request for that payment to the debtor account.

The request will be received by the payer – most likely via an electronic interface such as a mobile banking app showing the requested amount and the due date. The payer will then have some choices:

  • Pay in full.
  • Pay part
  • Ask for an extension
  • Decline payment

If the payer chooses to make a payment, the payee will be notified whether the payment is in part of in full and when it has been confirmed.

The scheme is operational in the UK.

The European Payments Council has published the first version of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Request-To-Pay (SRTP) scheme rulebook, which is expected to go live during 2022.

3. Outline of the scheme

 

Source: IS REQUEST TO PAY THE SYSTEM FOR A WORLD OF NEW NORMS? Finextra July 2020

 

4. Request to Pay: Benefits and challenges

The major advantage of the scheme is the convenience: when consumers want something, they want it quickly—immediately, if possible— and they want to pay for it as simply as possible, preferably using contactless payment. And, if possible, without even leaving the couch to dig out their card or account details.

Another advantage for the payor is that keeps a full control of the payment process.

For the Merchant, there are also important advantages, such as:

  • The follow up of the payment process.
  • The certainty of the payment: once the payment has been done, it is final, which is not the case for direct debits, where the payor has a refund right.
  • The easy reconciliation at the Merchant’s side, as the payment message in the RTP is not altered.

The challenges are to find the right and secure network to send the invoices and to channel the payments – there are already providers positioning their offer, to get the consent of the payer to receive his invoice through the RTP and to come to a standardization of the different schemes. This will be a key driver of success.

The SRTP (SEPA Request to Pay) is a good step in this direction. Following on a 3-month public consultation, the EPC expects to publish on 30/11/2021 its next rulebook (entering into effect 6 months to 12 months later – to be confirmed).

 

Thank you for reading!

To see all my previous blogs, click here.

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recap: Round Table “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid World” | Toekomst Betalingsverkeer

22-09-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

On September 9, 2021, the event “Toekomst Betalingsverkeer“ took place in Amsterdam.

Amongst others, the following topics were covered:

  • The Fintech evolution of banking.
  • Platform strategies & developments big tech.
  • Customer experience strategies.
  • Open banking.
  • Instant payments.

I hosted two round table sessions on “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid” World and we made a deep dive on the following 3 topics:

  • Instant Payments – the new “normal”?
  • Request to Pay: the bridge between customer convenience and reconciliation?
  • Digital currencies for a digital future?

In the present article, I will take a deep dive on the topic “Instant Payments: The New Normal”.

Setting the Scene

Since the creation of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst CT) Scheme in November 2017, we have observed a huge increase in the number of instant payments in Europe, as outlined in the statistics of the EPC down below:

We have also observed the same tendency in other countries outside the UE, like e.g., the UK. The Netherlands are clearly forefront runners in Europe.

Reasons for Using Instant Payments

In the diagram down below, you will see an outline of the major use cases for instant payments:

We observe also that increasingly instant payments are challenging the card payments, and this happens for several reasons such as:

  • Party paying the costs: whilst for the credit card and wallet payments, the costs are collected at the merchant side, for instant payments, they are charged at the payer side.
  • Costs: the costs of instant payments are usually way lower than the traditional card or wallet payments, in particular for high-value transactions.
  • Amount of the transaction: traditionally card payments have a limit of up to EUR 5 K, whilst for SCT Inst CT, the limit is put at EUR 100 K.
  • Irrevocability: whilst in the card schemes, clients have the possibility to revoke payments, whilst instant payments are irrevocable.

However, there are still some hurdles to overcome, such as:

  • Card payments are well embedded in the ecosystem and provide real ease of use. This presents good challenges for Fintechs to find smart solutions in this area.
  • Card payments also make contactless payments possible
  • The possibility to process batch payments, although more and more banks are able to do this.
  • Pricing: in some counties, instant payments remain expensive.

European Payment Initiative

EPI is an initiative launched by 31 European banks/credit institutions and two third-party acquirers to create a unified, innovative pan-European payment solution leveraging Instant Payments SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) and cards. EPI will offer both a card and a digital wallet to consumers and merchants across Europe.

This innovative solution aims to become a new standard in payments for European consumers and merchants, both for retail payments and for payments between individuals “peer-to-peer”.

The aim is to reach out to the whole of Europe. In the first half of 2022, EPI plans to launch the first EPI offerings, based on both the EPI card and the EPI digital wallet. The first set of services will be available at the same time the brand is launched at a European level. These services will be expanded in phases from 2022 until 2024. EPI plans to complete a full deployment of services in 2025 (source: https://www.aciworldwide.com/what-is-the-european-payments-initiative).

EPI does not mean the end of the domestic card schemes. It means the migration of the domestic card volumes into EPI. Maintaining these domestic card schemes doesn’t make sense. It is a transfer of domestic transactions into EPI, which ultimately could result in de-commissioning domestic card schemes. But this is a choice of each national banking community and not of EPI.

The benefits are quite clear:

  • Immediate payment guarantees and high security
  • Capped debit interchange—lower fees
  • A standardized solution accepted across Europe—easier travel and enrolment procedures
  • Parallel development with Central Bank Digital Currencies and an identity scheme—enhanced user experience
  • A consolidation of use cases—increased convenience
  • The compatibility of existing card services with changes to other European payments schemes, such as SCT Inst CT.

The major challenge for EPI and its stakeholders will be convincing consumers (and, by extension, merchants) to get onboard. To acquire and retain a critical mass of users, EPI must have strong user incentives. It needs a compelling business case to convince issuers to migrate from domestic or international brands and acquirers to enable acceptance, the more that right now, all these national card schemes are amortized. This also requires a migration process, breaking user habits.

Conclusion

We see an increasing importance of Instant Payment in Europe, and the EPI initiative will further foster this evolution. However, the EPI might take some time. Good cooperation and interoperability with the domestic schemes will be important to get the required critical mass.

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Table “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid World” | Toekomst Betalingsverkeer

18-8-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

On September 9, 2021, the event “Toekomst Betalingsverkeer” will take place in Amsterdam. This annual event on the Future of Payments has been the meeting place for 20 years.

With upcoming edition following topics will amongst others be covered:

  • The Fintech evolution of banking.
  • Platform strategies & developments big tech.
  • Customer experience strategies.
  • Open banking.
  • Instant payments.

Close to 30 experts will share their views on the various developments and challenges in the payment world.

Round Table Sessions

I will be hosting two round table sessions on “Payment Challenges in a Post-Covid World”.

The Covid19 crisis had a huge impact on the payment landscape. We have seen interesting developments such as:

  • A large growth of e-commerce transactions.
  • An increased use of contactless payments.
  • A Surge in marketplaces and the increased importance of the platform strategy.
  • The payment experience is more critical than ever.
  • The increased use of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and Central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
  • The increasing Demand for Mobile Point of Sale.
  • Online payments increasing in importance, replacing partially card-based payments;

TOPICS

During the round table, we will make a deep dive on the following 3 topics:

  • Instant Payments – the new “normal” ?
  • Request to Pay: the bridge between customer convenience and reconciliation?
  • Digital currencies for a digital future ?

I will not tell more about this, but hope to meet you there.

For more information and program overview, click here

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance

| 15-7-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

We would like to highlight the following event, of which our Expert François de Witte is a part. Register below to learn more about International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance.

Registration

In order to be accepted to this certified path it will be asked to complete this application form .

This course will start in October 2021. It includes 9 training modules and 5 intermediary exams. It is necessary to complete this form before your official registration. Registration will be closed on 1st September 2021 .

If you do not wish to be certified but are interested in the topics, almost every course can be purchased independently by clicking on the title in the content below. This certified path is a blended training which contains both physical and virtual classroom, e-mentoring, teamwork, etc.

Description

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.

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 in Excel (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: Payments, Cash Management and Banking Relations
Speaker François De Witte / Consultant

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

Module 3: Trade Finance in context of uncertainty
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 4: Introduction to Counterparty Credit Risk Management and Cash Collection
Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury 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 5: Practical Aspects of International Finance Regulation

Speaker: Lievin Tshikali  

  • 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 6: Risk Management applied to treasury
Speaker: François Masquelier / Group Treasurer

  • FX, Interests
  • Counterparties
  • Others (Reputation, etc…)
  • Objectives of Hedge Accounting
  • Required documentation and formalisation of Hedge Accounting relationships
  • Different types of hedges (Fair Value, Cash Flow, Net Investment)
  • Booking adjustments of different hedge types
  • Typical examples of different hedge types

Module 7: Technologies applied to treasury
Speaker: François Masquelier/ Group Treasurer

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

Module 8: Cyberfraud: what you need to know to manage this ever increasing risk

Speaker: Thierry Hamon Cash management & security expert 

  • Getting an overview of the different cyberattacks techniques currently used
  • Understand the possible consequences of cyberfraud and what needs to be protected
  • Learn 50 ways to protect

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

 

Francois de Witte

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Masterclass | Advanced Treasury & Cash Management

| 06-05-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

 

How do you deal with constant change and uncertainty?

As treasury continues to expand its influence, delving deeper into the business and providing advisory services and tech solutions to increase efficiency, flexibility has become paramount. From building resilience in an environment of shifting risks to providing innovation to support business growth, much more is expected from treasury leaders today.

What will the next decade look like for treasury leaders? The past 10 years, with high levels of uncertainty, volatility and changing technology, have upended traditional treasury. Then along came Covid-19 to bring new risks and induce more anxiety for corporate growth and stability, never mind completely altering the way we work.

We’re delighted to introduce the Advanced Treasury & Cash Management Masterclass which is a live 3 half-day program of 4 hours each designed for finance, treasury and banking professionals who have practical experience in various roles in treasury management and who need to gain a deeper practical knowledge of advanced treasury management techniques in today’s changing environment.

Key takeaways and outcome of the program

Ensure that you are operating best practice in the current economic climate and receive the latest update on industry developments through the key topics:

When? 

June 2-4, 2021

Who Should attend?

  • Treasury Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Corporate and Institutional Treasury Sales
  • Corporate & Institutional Treasury Staff
  • Relationship Managers Corporate Banking
  • Fintechs
  • Financial Controllers
  • Business Controllers
  • Regulators
  • Auditors
  • Accountants
  • CFO

About The Trainer: François de Witte 

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, François launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult Services BV, specialized in Banking, 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 independent Director at CKV, a niche mortgage and savings bank & Community Ambassador of treasuryXL.com.

François is lecturer of the course “Advanced Treasury” and “Cash and Working Capital Management” in the Mastersprogram “Finance and Treasury” at the Lille Management School, at the Treasury Courses at the Vlerick Business School, at Febelfin Academy, and at SBM Opleidingen. He has also a leading role in the Certificate in International Treasury and Corporate Finance Management organized by ATEL and the House of Training in Luxembourg. François has a Master’s degree both in Law and Economics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

 

Register now and receive a 20% Discount

Register by sending an email to [email protected] for further instructions