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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Last Call | International Treasury Management Virtual Week | September 27 – October 1

22-09-2021 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

It’s free, It’s Virtual…

International Treasury Management is the annual meeting place for 1000s of the World’s most senior treasurers to learn and share experiences in valuable peer to peer discussions. With a reputation for ground-breaking sessions and world-class speakers, our 30th anniversary event will explore the boundaries of the profession, take a glimpse into the future of business, treasury and working life as well as offer the practical case studies on the treasurer’s top agenda items.

Only one treasury event can deliver the comprehensive mix of big picture global insight and granular treasury knowledge you need to make the right choices for the future.


Back to the future, again

Over the past 30 years since EuroFinance’s inaugural conference on International Cash and Treasury Management, much has changed. Treasurers have firmly become business partners, technology experts, risk managers and opportunity spotters. They often lead fundamental change within the company as markets, business models and technology shifts.

What next? This event will delve into how treasury operations can gear up for the future, having learned the lessons from the past. Where, who, what and how will the corporate be in the coming years and what is treasury’s role?

Keynote sessions will offer big-picture insight alongside themed streams including:

  • Payments revisited
  • Risks and Rewards
  • Digital strategies
  • Practical solutions to day-to-day Treasury challenges
  • The power of partnership

What makes International Treasury Management the must-attend event of the year?

  • networking on a global scale – a significant rise in attendees in 2020 boosted the value networking with banks, providers and potential clients… all in one place
  • strategic insights and best practices – get solutions to the challenges you face from treasury and economic experts during keynotes, practical case studies, fireside chats, analytical panels and more
  • future trends – delve into the latest innovations and new technology driving change in treasury, and their practical applications
  • live Q&A with world-class treasurers – enjoy borderless networking and live Q&As with high-profile speakers directly after each session
  • cost and time-efficiency – tune in form anywhere in the world, at the click of a button with no long distance travel or accommodation costs
  • continued learning – catch up on any missed sessions and re-watch your highlights, on demand for up 2 months after the event
  • unite your international teams – as a free event, it offers an opportunity for your whole treasury team to attend. Perfect for encouraging learning and development at all levels

September 27th – October 1st | Virtual

Register Now for Free!

 

 

Why M&A-Intensive Enterprises Need a Robust Technology Integration Strategy

21-09-2021| treasuryXL | TIS |

This article evaluates how the success of long-term M&A activity on the part of large enterprises is dependent upon their ability to integrate and connect the pre-existing technology stacks of newly acquired subsidiaries with their broader infrastructure. Chiefly, we evaluate how enterprises that regularly establish new subsidiaries and entities across the globe can ensure that the various finance, treasury, and banking solutions leveraged by these companies before the acquisition can be integrated and connected in a cost-effective and optimized fashion.

M&A Activity Remains a Top Priority for Global Enterprises

Although merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is fairly common in today’s business environment, it is typically large, global enterprises that leverage the strategy most frequently.

For organizations with billions in revenue and a steady stream of new investment, taking advantage of new market opportunities is often best achieved by acquiring companies that have already proven themselves successful in the field. In the case of the world’s largest enterprises like Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, M&A activity comprises a significant portion of overall growth. In fact, Microsoft alone has acquired more than 216 companies since their founding, and Apple acquires a new company at an average rate of once every four weeks. Across other industries like staffing and HR, Fortune 500 firm ManpowerGroup has acquired four new companies in the past five years and 15 total companies over the past few decades.

But while an M&A-intensive business strategy might be advantageous for eliminating competition, increasing revenue, and maintaining growth, there are a variety of challenges that must be confronted in order for the model to prove successful in the long-term.

Of course, any M&A project undertaken by a company will face obstacles, most of which revolve around how to best integrate the employees, products, systems, culture, and customers of the acquired company into the acquiring enterprise. These challenges are typically what executives and business leaders focus on most during M&A projects, and for good reason. If employees and customers are dissatisfied with how the acquisition is managed or if the acquired company’s product line stagnates, it can quickly turn the entire project on its head and substantially hinder future profits and revenue.

However, in today’s digitally-oriented business landscape, the above factors are not the only concern for M&A-intensive enterprises. Instead, one of the core challenges confronting modern acquisition projects lies along the technology front.

This is particularly true when it comes dealing with finance, treasury, and banking technology.

Why is Financial Technology Complexity so Common for M&A-Intensive Companies?

When evaluating the operations of enterprises that regularly undertake new acquisitions, it’s easy to see how technology complexity can manifest itself.

Let’s quickly walk through a sample scenario.

Looking specifically at finance and treasury technology, suppose that a U.S.-based manufacturing firm decides to acquire an emerging competitor in Asia. Also suppose that this Asian competitor has been operating independently for several decades and has its own spread of regional entities, as well as a pre-existing set of back-office platforms and IT solutions. As such, the company is already using an ERP, TMS, and AP system, as well as a globally distributed network of banks and bank accounts.

Going a step further, now consider the diverse range of currencies, payment formats, and financial networks that the Asian enterprise uses compared to the acquiring U.S. company. Also, because the compliance arena in Asia is managed through a diverse and multifaceted set of jurisdictions, conducting financial operations in the region will require a unique approach to managing regulatory and sanctions processes, as well as data and payment security.

For the acquiring U.S. company, connecting the various systems and networks used by the Asian subsidiary with their broader technology stack will be no easy feat. To start, some of the systems in place at the Asian subsidiary may be hosted locally or even running on older, unsupported versions. If modern cloud solutions have not been adopted, then integration via open APIs becomes highly unfeasible and it will likely require extensive IT support to establish the connections. The same is true for integrating the various bank channels and payment formats in use by the Asian subsidiary into the enterprise’s global financial architecture. Accommodating the various risk, regulatory, and compliance measures in place across Asia will require even more support, as well as collaboration with multiple legal and banking teams.

The end result being?

Although a single acquisition of this scale may be manageable for a global enterprise with significant resources, those that consistently undergo new acquisitions will likely experience much more difficulty. This is because internal IT teams rarely have enough bandwidth (or budget) to successfully establish all of the required connections for every system. Instead, what often happens is after a few months or years, IT is forced to divert their attention from one acquisition to another, thereby letting a portion of outstanding system connections fall to the wayside.

Ultimately, this creates an environment where much of the data and information captured at the local or “entity” level will sit idle and siloed from the rest of the enterprise. Instead of real-time data access across their individual units and subsidiaries, finance and treasury teams at HQ will have to rely on manual submissions from field personnel to ascertain data. In some cases, it may take weeks for this information to be received, by which time it is often outdated.

In the long run, the impact of these technology limitations has far-reaching consequences for the broader enterprise, especially if such issues are present across each new subsidiary or locality that they acquire.

What are the Main Problems That This Lack of System Integration & Connectivity Cause?

Thinking through the above M&A scenario, suppose that a similar conundrum impacts each (or most) of the M&A projects that an enterprise undertakes. Eventually, the lack of automated connectivity and control between the enterprise’s HQ and each of their subsidiaries will result in significant financial issues, particularly in the below areas:

  1. Liquidity Management: If financial data related to cash positions and balances across a subsidiary and its underlying banks and accounts cannot be effectively transmitted to an enterprise’s HQ, then everything from cash forecasting and cash repatriation to short-term investing and risk mitigation will be impacted. If the enterprise does not know the exact amount of funds available across each entity, then it cannot effectively plan ahead to take advantage of investment or tax savings opportunities. Over time, losing out on these opportunities due to gaps in data quality and reporting can cost an enterprise millions of dollars every year.
  2. Payments Management: For enterprises that cannot accommodate the range of payment systems and formats in use by their subsidiaries or that struggle to connect with their bank channels and networks, a variety of pain points will occur. Common issues include a reliance on outdated formats that limit data quality and security, delays in payment processing that impact the timeliness of transactions and also constrain employee bandwidth, and an increase in operational costs for continuing to support legacy processes and channels. Additional security and compliance issues may also manifest themselves, as highlighted below.
  3. Security & Fraud Prevention: Without ample visibility into the payment processes and cash positions at each of a company’s subsidiaries or any centralized window for viewing this activity in real-time (or at least same-day), it becomes monumentally more difficult to identify and prevent fraud from occurring. If payments are initiated in disparate platforms at the local level and no overarching control or transparency is provided at the HQ level, then the threat of both internal fraud and external fraud increases exponentially.
  4. Compliance & Regulation: Due to the diversity of data management protocols, financial regulations, and sanctions policies that exist across each world region, a lack of payments standardization within an enterprise can result in increased legal and regulatory risk and also jeopardize their reputation and standing. Examples of data and payments compliance protocols for which non-compliance can result in severe penalties include OFAC sanctions in the U.S., GDPR data policies in Europe, and the recently introduced Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) in China.
  5. General Financial Execution: If financial data is not automatically flowing between an enterprise and its subsidiaries, then every department and stakeholder with a need for this data is impacted. Accounting will be unable to track ledgers or financial statements, legal will struggle to manage regulatory and compliance issues, treasury will be hindered in their liquidity and payment processes, and the C-suite will lack the high-level financial data they need to make strategic decisions.

Although the above financial technology challenges present serious hurdles for M&A-intensive enterprises, there are solutions that can be put in place to alleviate the strain. One such solution includes the adoption of a modern Enterprise Payment Optimization (EPO) platform.

How Can the Complexity Caused by Global M&A Activity be Simplified & Managed?  

Because of the diverse systems landscape and limited IT bandwidth that often exists across M&A-intensive enterprises, achieving global visibility and control over finance and treasury operations requires a unique approach to connectivity and integration. In recent years, one strategy that has grown increasingly popular involves the adoption of an enterprise payment optimization (EPO) platform.

Modern EPO platforms are typically cloud-based solutions that sit above the other systems in an enterprise’s financial technology stack and manage connectivity across all their various back-office, banking, and 3rd party systems, including those at their entities and subsidiaries. Rather than connect every platform used within the enterprise to every other system, each solution need only connect to the EPO platform instead. This drastically simplifies the process of integrating new solutions with an enterprise’s tech stack and also automates the process of transmitting payments and financial data between any system that is connected to the EPO platform, including those used by different entities and departments.

Although the adoption of an EPO platform requires some up-front legwork, using a vendor like TIS ensures that the complexity of connecting to banks and various internal systems is almost entirely outsourced. This means that formerly difficult and time-consuming tasks that were a drag on internal IT teams (such as configuring and maintaining the links between new entity systems and HQ ERPs, HR systems, and TMSs) are now managed by the EPO vendor. As payment formats evolve or new regulations require changes in integration, EPO vendors like TIS automatically handle the upgrades and also manage the addition of new countries, banks, and users to an enterprise’s network as growth and expansion dictate over time.

Ultimately, by connecting all of the various banks and systems that comprise your financial technology stack to an EPO platform, you effectively ensure that regardless of where an entity is located or what local systems are being used, the data and information stored on their platforms is never left isolated or unaccounted for. And as older or outdated enterprise payment solutions are eventually replaced by newer and more upgraded systems, connecting them to the EPO platform in a similar fashion will ensure ongoing cohesion and connectivity across your global networks, even as various technology overhauls and system migrations occur at specific entities within the enterprise.

Once this type of EPO platform has been adopted, the ensuing benefits can be felt immediately by all enterprise stakeholders. Company-wide visibility to global cash balances drastically improves, liquidity management protocols become more streamlined, payments compliance and security features are standardized across all departments and entities, and the enterprise’s overall payments execution workflows become more automated and controlled.

Today, these capabilities are exactly what TIS is offering enterprises through our EPO technology suite.

Why is TIS the Ideal Solution for Simplifying M&A-Induced Technology Complexity?

TIS’ Enterprise Payment Optimization platform is a global, multi-channel and multi-bank connectivity ecosystem that streamlines and automates the processing of a company’s payments and subsequent reporting across all their global entities, banks, and financial systems. By sitting above an enterprise’s technology stack and connecting with all their back-office, banking, and 3rd party solutions, TIS effectively breaks down department and geographic silos to allow 360-degree payments and cash visibility and control. To date, the ~200 organizations that have integrated TIS with their global technology stacks have achieved near-100% real-time transparency into their payments and liquidity. This has benefitted a broad variety of internal stakeholders and has also enabled them to access information through their platform of choice, since the data that passes through TIS is always delivered back to the originating systems.

This systematically controlled payments workflow is managed by TIS for both inbound balance and transaction information and outbound payment instructions. Data can be delivered from any back-office system via APIs, direct plug-ins, or agents for transmission through TIS to banks and 3rd party vendors. No matter where you operate, TIS provides global connectivity by creating and maintaining compatibility with your required formats, channels, and standards so that organizations can connect with virtually any bank in the world.

Because of the deep connections that TIS maintains with internal systems such as ERPs or TMSs, external banks, and 3rd party vendors / service providers, the process of managing payments is simplified for every internal stakeholder. C-suite executives, treasury, accounting, AP, legal, HR, and other key personnel can access whatever financial data they need, exactly when they need it. And by automating this flow of information for both inbound and outbound payments, TIS provides the control and flexibility that enterprises need to function at their highest level.

Ultimately, the extensive experience and unparalleled integration capabilities provided by TIS enable enterprises to streamline their methods for managing payments and data across each entity and subsidiary. This has proven vital for a variety of TIS’ globally diverse clients, including Fortune 500 firms like ManpowerGroup and international NGOs like IFAW. And as these organizations add new companies, localities or seek to replace the underlying systems in use across various regions, TIS is there to help them manage the new integrations and connections, thereby ensuring a seamless transition and constant control over global payments and information.

In the digital world of enterprise payments, TIS is here to help you reimagine and simplify. For more information about how TIS can help you transform your global payments and information processes, please refer to the below resources.

About TIS

TIS is reimagining the world of enterprise payments through a cloud-based platform uniquely designed to help global organizations optimize outbound payments. Corporations, banks and business vendors leverage TIS to transform how they connect global accounts, collaborate on payment processes, execute outbound payments, analyze cash flow and compliance data, and improve critical outbound payment functions. The TIS corporate payments technology platform helps businesses improve operational efficiency, lower risk, manage liquidity, gain strategic advantage – and ultimately achieve enterprise payment optimization.

Visit tis.biz to reimagine your approach to payments.

 

Readying Treasury for Hybrid Work

20-09-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way treasury departments and companies operate is a massive understatement. Treasury, a function already accustomed to ‘doing more with less,’ began operating remotely—often with a skeleton crew as companies were forced to reduce headcount.

Once mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine began, companies quickly began to strategise over what their post-pandemic workforce might look like. While the rise of the Delta variant has thrown a wrench into many organisations’ plans to reopen, eventually, that new work model will take shape. And it might look drastically different than what has come before.

Here are a few things to consider.

A hybrid work environment will very likely be the new normal.

Research from Harvard Business Review found that 70 percent of companies—including giants like Google, Citi and HSBC—are moving to a hybrid model. Just as treasury teams needed to adapt quickly to operating from home, now they’ll have to adjust to having some team members in the office while others are remote.

CFOs have an eye on emerging technologies.

The remote working environment brought on by the pandemic prompted, or perhaps forced, many organisations to digitise their processes. In a hybrid work environment (that could revert back to a fully remote one if COVID-19 variants continue to emerge), finance chiefs will continue to call for better technological solutions. New research from Gartner found that 82 percent of CFOs plan to increase investments in digital capabilities. CFOs named artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology that they expect to have the most impact over the next three years. Kyriba users can apply AI and machine learning (ML) to key cash management tasks like reconciling prior day bank files with their expected cash positions. For organisations that process high volumes of transactions, handling this process manually can take hours. Kyriba’s solution can identify and resolve discrepancies in minutes, and it learns from the data so that eventually, little to no human interaction is required.

Treasury’s role expanded considerably throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

More than 80 percent of treasury professionals said that greater value was assigned to treasury during the pandemic, according to the 2020 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of respondents believe that treasury’s role will continue to be of greater significance. To maintain that influence over other, other departments, treasury professionals may need to revisit their soft skills. Just as employees may have faced difficulty giving presentations over Zoom, they may also find presenting in-person or to a mix of in-person and remote employees to be equally challenging.

Regional treasury centers might no longer need to be regional. 

While it can be convenient to house a treasury center to manage cash and FX hedging in a region with unique regulations, the COVID-19 pandemic may prompt organisations to rethink that approach. Since the onset of the pandemic, those remote working has surged; the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research found that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force currently works from home. And perhaps more importantly, it’s been incredibly successful for both employers and workers, according to PwC’s U.S. Remote Work Survey. Ultimately, this could mean that treasury teams may no longer see a need to centralise their operations regionally even after the pandemic ends.

Continuous remote work means fraud threats will remain elevated.

According to the 2021 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, business email compromise (BEC) scams increased last year. This was likely due to the remote work environment making it more difficult to verify emails with colleagues. Security will continue to be paramount for treasury, particularly if it moves to a permanent model where some employees regularly work from home. Treasury teams will need to continue to use strong controls like multifactor authentication, single sign-on and virtual private networks to ensure that only the appropriate people have access to their systems. Additionally, treasury employees must be even more meticulous about setting approvals for payments so that fraud attempts will be thwarted. With Kyriba Payment Fraud Detection, treasury can stop fraud in real-time. Users can set pre-defined detection rules, to screen for suspicious transactions. Additionally, ML algorithms can identify and quarantine dubious payments for further review.

The cloud provides a failsafe for business continuity planning (BCP). 

Cloud-based treasury management systems aren’t only efficient modules to help treasury teams track cash and liquidity. They are also a key cog in BCP. Cloud-based solutions like Kyriba’s are hosted offsite in multiple locations, allowing your treasury department to function regardless of whether your team is working in the office or from a dozen different locations. So even if a new COVID-19 variant emerges, treasury teams can continue to function without interruption.

Making a Game Plan

While it’s unclear how soon offices will begin opening back up en masse, now is the time for treasury teams to begin planning for the shift. When the pandemic first hit, treasury functions had to respond quickly, and they did as best they could. Pivoting in this next phase won’t be seamless, but with the right protocols and technology in place, treasury teams can make smooth transitions.

Vacancy | Part-Time Interim Cash Manager

17-09-2021 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL |

Our Partner Treasurer Search is looking for a Part-Time Interim Cash Manager for a large industrial firm with a global presence. The ideal candidate has a solid track record in cash management. This could be a position for a seasoned interim manager but also for a retired cash manager who is open to roll up her sleeves for a short period of time.

 

Tasks

Main tasks will be liquidity management, forecasting, payments and communications with internal (finance team) and external (banks) parties.

Ideal Interim Part-Time Cash Manager

The ideal candidate has a solid track record in cash management. This could be a position for a seasoned interim manager but also for a retired cash manager who is open to roll up her sleeves for a short period of time.

Our Client

Our client is a large industrial firm with a global presence.

Remuneration and Process

Both a ZZP (independent contractor) or a payrolling solution is possible. Most likely this is a three-month project.

Location

Schiphol Area

Contact person

Pieter de Kiewit
T: +31 850 866 798
M: +31 6 1111 9783

APPLY HERE

 

#7 Poor internal communication (Dutch Item)

16-09-2021 | treasuryXL| XE

Internal communication problems can be an obstacle to good currency practices and risk management, especially as organizations grow. Business units that working in silos and rarely talking to each other, have little insight into the place their specific currency risk within the company’s overall risk.

In het ergste geval nemen bedrijfsonderdelen zelfs autonome beslissingen over transacties en risicobeheer die niet passen binnen de context van het bedrijf als geheel. Zo kunnen toeleveringsketenmanagers hedging gebruiken om het risico van hogere importprijzen af te dekken zonder te weten welke omzet de verkoopafdeling verwacht te halen uit buitenlandse verkopen.

Zulke storingen in de communicatie maken het erg moeilijk voor uw bedrijf om vreemde valuta holistisch te benaderen om de beste koersen en de beste service te krijgen en de risico’s zo effectief mogelijk te beheren. Als uw bedrijf met dit probleem te maken heeft, is het belangrijk om zo snel mogelijk actie te ondernemen voordat sluimerende risico’s ergens in het bedrijf echt een probleem gaan worden.

“Ken alle aspecten van het valutarisico van uw bedrijf”

De beste manier om dit risico tegen te gaan, is samen met uw valutaprovider een degelijk risicobeheerbeleid te ontwikkelen. Als u eenmaal alle aspecten van het valutarisico van uw bedrijf kent, kunt u de juiste procedures implementeren om het op holistische wijze te benaderen. En door deze procedures in elk onderdeel van uw bedrijf te implementeren, voorkomt u dat een enkel onderdeel van uw bedrijf een probleem kan veroorzaken. Tot slot moet u zich afvragen hoe gemakkelijk of moeilijk het is om voortdurend te communiceren met uw valutaprovider zelf. Online systemen maken de dagelijkse gang van zaken voor veel bedrijven sneller en eenvoudiger, maar er zullen altijd momenten zijn dat u extra hulp nodig hebt. Zoek een provider die telefonische hulp biedt waarmee u problemen zo snel mogelijk kunt oplossen. Weet u persoonlijk met wie u waarschijnlijk te maken krijgt? Is er bijvoorbeeld een enkele persoon of een team verantwoordelijk voor uw account? Krijgt u de informatie over valutamarkten die u nodig hebt om proactief beslissingen te nemen?

Klik hier voor meer Info en Download WhitePaper



Which Options Are There When It Comes To Bank Connectivity?

15-09-2021 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

In this blog, we want to give an overview of the different options for bank connections from host-to host, direct connections through regional standards and SWIFT. On top of that we’ll also take a look at open banking APIs and what possibilities they might hold for the future.

Bank connections enable corporate customers to exchange messages with their banking partners. Companies need to have a relationship with at least one bank, in practice there are typically several banks involved, for example to exchange account information and sending payments. Bank connections are so to speak the backbone of your treasury department because they ensure the uninterrupted flow of information between your business process tools and banks, allowing you to create accurate cash forecasts, manage liquidity and the likes. Bank connectivity will remain a topic that corporate treasury departments need to decide how to approach. Now, let’s look at the different options for creating bank connections.

Direct host-to-host connections

One of our webinar polls showed there are still 30% of our respondents who maintain host-to-host connections with their banks. This means that typically the IT department sets up bank connections to specific banks. How those work in specific then depends on the bank. With some banks a host-to-host connection is needed for each country where the company is operating. Luckily many banks offer single point of entry connectivity which means that once you’re connected, you can use it to operate cash management messages in all or multiple countries where the bank has branches.

Since the bank is hosting the service, it also means that the bank is dictating all technical requirements and corporate customers need to adapt to changes the banks might make.

And change is imminent, especially when it comes to messaging formats, communication protocols and security requirements. There are for example client certificate renewals that come up usually every two years. Root certificates expire more infrequently but cause more maintenance work.

Another quite timely example is the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version upgrade. TLS certificates not only have to be renewed from time to time, but older TLS protocol versions have known vulnerabilities and the banks are enforcing their clients to use newer versions all the time.

Maintaining direct host-to-host connection requires you and especially your IT department to make a commitment to maintain these connections day in and day out. Which requires special technical expertise from the IT department and a lot of resources, especially when you employ many host-to-host connections in your ecosystem.

Direct connections through regional standard protocols

The EBICS (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard) is a standard protocol that is used in Germany, Switzerland, and France. Also, banks in other countries are testing this standard.

The challenge with EBICS has been that different countries have their own versions of the standard. In 2018 EBICS 3.0 was launched with the goal to harmonize the differences and to make it easier to communicate across borders. In practice Germany and Switzerland are still using EBICS 2.5 and it will take until November 2021 until EBICS 3.0 becomes mandatory for banks in Germany.

Some international banks have adopted EBICS into wider use. Which means that corporations familiar with EBICS may use it for message exchange and authorization in other countries as well. Only the future will show if EBICS fulfils its vision of becoming the pan-European standard protocol for bank communication.

Connections through SWIFT

Companies can connect directly to the SWIFT network and with that get connected with over 11 000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries. SWIFT is hosting and maintaining the global network for that. It’s highly secure and reliable. It’s a single gateway that almost sounds like it opens the door to paradise for you, at least in the mind of someone who spends his time building host-to-host bank connections for single banks. You are empowered to change banking partners based on your business needs without having to worry about establishing new connections.

SWIFT has a sort of do-it-yourself approach by providing Alliance Lite2 to companies. And here comes the other side of the coin. A direct connection to SWIFT is costly and requires time and resource-demanding integration. In addition, you need to comply in full scope with the SWIFT Customer Security Programme (CSP) that requires all their members to protect their endpoint, because naturally, they need to protect their network.

Most corporate customers use a SWIFT Alliance Lite2 Business Application (L2BA) provider or a Service Bureau for the connection. In the L2BA model, a service provider takes care of handling all necessary requirements to connect to the Swift network and you buy your bank connections pretty much as a service. Often this is packaged with other products and solutions you might use.

Open banking APIs

Open banking APIs are one of the most interesting developments. We already see banks all across Europe offering premium APIs for corporates that go beyond what is possible today.

Open banking APIs are set to bring a real-time component to the game that hasn’t been there so far. In the past there was no way for external systems to fetch for example real time balances from banks, but this is about to change. While as previously, corporations would execute batch payments, with open banking APIs this will be possible whenever a payment is needed with instant effect. Looking at balances and payments is the beginning of new solutions that will be available to corporate treasury.

Open banking APIs is something that companies and providers such as Nomentia will need to take into account for their roadmap because this is clearly where we will be able to provide innovative solutions for our customers in the future.

What’s the verdict?

It would be great to give an easy answer to this question. But it’s just not that simple. As I outlined above, all connection methods have pros and cons It really depends on your needs and internal structures what you need.

WATCH OUR WEBINAR ABOUT BANK CONNECTIVITY

 

 

Transitioning from LIBOR: Explaining the cash fallback rates

14-09-2021 | treasuryXL | Refinitiv | Jacob Rank-Broadley

The LIBOR transition: We explain what fallback rates for the USD cash markets are and provide practical insights on how these rates can be used.


  1. Refinitiv USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks are designed to ensure existing USD LIBOR referencing products such as loans, bonds and securitisations can continue to operate post-USD LIBOR cessation.
  2. There are two versions of the Refinitiv USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks: those for consumer products and those for institutional products.
  3. Initially, market participants can use the prototype USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks to become more familiar with the rates and test technical connectivity.

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During my previous blog on fallbacks in April 2021, I outlined the importance of introducing robust fallback rates into the USD cash markets.

There is a substantial exposure of cash instruments that have no effective means to easily transition away from LIBOR upon its cessation. New LIBOR legislation signed into State of New York law reduces the adverse economic outcomes associated with the instruments by requiring them to use the Alternative Reference Rates Committee’s (ARRC) recommended fallback language.

In March, the ARRC announced Refinitiv as publisher of its fallback rates for cash products. Since then, Refinitiv has been working with the Federal Reserve and the ARRC to finalise the design of the USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks.

Refinitiv is committed to supporting you through the LIBOR transition with LIBOR Transition and Replacement Rate solutions

Fallback rate economically equivalent to USD LIBOR

The Refinitiv USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks provide the rates described in the ARRC’s recommended fallback language.

These are composed of two components: the adjusted Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) part measures the average SOFR rate for the relevant tenor. Added to this is a spread adjustment, which measures the difference between the USD LIBOR for each tenor and SOFR compounded in arrears for that tenor.

Adding these two components together gives an all-in fallback rate that is economically equivalent to USD LIBOR.

There are two version of the Refinitiv USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks: those for consumer products and those for institutional products. Both are published to five decimal places and include the adjusted SOFR rate, the spread adjustment and the all-in rate.

Watch: Refinitiv Perspectives LIVE – The LIBOR Transition: Risk-Free Term Rates

Consumer cash fallbacks

Refinitiv USD IBOR Consumer Cash Fallbacks are designed to ensure existing USD LIBOR referencing consumer cash products such as mortgages and student loans can continue to operate post-USD LIBOR cessation.

These rates are based upon compound SOFR in advance, which means the rate is known at the start of the interest period, plus the spread adjustment.

Prior to 1 July 2023, the spread adjustment will be calculated as the median difference between USD LIBOR and SOFR compound in arrears for the previous 10 working days, resulting in the spread adjustment changing on a daily basis.

This is an indicative rate, and while it should not be used as a reference rate in financial products, it is designed to aid familiarity with the USD IBOR Consumer Cash Fallbacks prior to adoption in July 2023.

Following 30 June 2024, the spread adjustment will be calculated as the median of the historical differences between USD LIBOR for each tenor and the compounded in arrears SOFR for that tenor over a five-year period prior to 5 March 2021.

For the period between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024, the spread adjustment will be calculated as the linear interpolation between the two rates outlined above.

A floored version of the consumer cash fallbacks is also available, meaning that if the average SOFR across all days in the tenor is below zero, then the all-in published fallback rate will be solely the corresponding spread adjustment.

Refinitiv USD IBOR Consumer Cash Fallbacks will be published in 1-month, 3-month and 6-month tenors.

Institutional cash fallbacks

Refinitiv USD IBOR Institutional Cash Fallbacks are designed to ensure existing USD LIBOR referencing commercial cash products such as bilateral business loans, floating rate notes, securitisations and syndicated loans can continue to operate post USD LIBOR cessation.

In order to account for different conventions in different markets, there are a number of different versions of the Refinitiv USD IBOR Institutional Cash Fallbacks. There are three different ways of capturing the average SOFR rate: SOFR compound in arrears, Simple SOFR in arrears and SOFR compound in advance.

Added to this is the spread adjustment, which is calculated as the median of the historical differences between USD LIBOR for each tenor and the compounded in arrears SOFR for that tenor over a five-year period prior to 5 March 2021.

Unlike Refinitiv USD IBOR Consumer Cash Fallbacks, there is no transition period. This means that the spread adjustment remains fixed for perpetuity.

Each of the SOFR compound in arrears and Daily Simple SOFR rates will be available in up to seven tenors in a variety of different forms in order to conform to convention in different markets.

The 3-, 5- and 10-day lookback without observation shift versions give counterparties more notice by applying the SOFR rate from three, five and ten business days prior to the rate publication date.

The 2-, 3- and 5-days lookback with an observation shift versions also give counterparties more notice by applying the SOFR rate from two, three and five business days prior to the publication date, but in contrast to a lookback without observation shift, it applies that rate for the number of calendar days associated with the rate two, three and five business days prior.

The 2- and 3-day lockout versions fix the SOFR rate for the last two and three days prior to publication.

The plain version has no lookback, observation shift, or lockout.

The SOFR compound in advance rates for institutional products will be available in 1-month, 3-month and 6-month tenors.

Navigating the LIBOR transition

What’s the next step?

Initially, market participants can use the prototype USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks to become more familiar with the rates and test technical connectivity.

Following the ARRC’s recent endorsement of Term SOFR, Refinitiv plans to supplement the initial prototype with a forward-looking term rate version in due course.

During the prototype phase, we anticipate changes to the methodology based on user feedback to ensure full alignment with industry standards prior to publication of the production rates.

Production rates for the institutional cash fallbacks should be available from autumn 2021, and for the consumer cash fallbacks they will be available from July 2023.

How to access the rates

Prototype rates are now available from the Refinitiv website and through Refinitiv products including Refinitiv® Eikon, Refinitiv Real-Time and Refinitiv® DataScope.

For more information on these rates, including the methodology and identifiers (RICs), please visit our Refinitiv USD IBOR Cash Fallbacks page.

Refinitiv is committed to supporting you through the LIBOR transition with LIBOR Transition and Replacement Rate solutions

 

 

Our (interim) treasury labour market is extremely international

13-09-2021 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit Just before starting my vacation I created a small overview of the recent successes of Team Treasurer Search. Next to the fact that we see the speed of placements picking up, I think it is striking how international our treasury labour market is. This is not only for […]

Vacancy | Interim Operational Cash Manager

10-09-2021 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL |

Our Partner Treasurer Search is looking for an Interim Operational Cash Manager for the Schiphol region. The ideal candidate for this position has a relevant track record in treasury and cash management preferably in smaller organisations. As a person she is flexible, proactive and not afraid to speak her mind. Understanding Dutch would be an asset. The candidate can be a seasoned interim treasurer, although the budget is tight. This could also be a position for somebody between jobs who can use this assignment as a stepping stone.

 

Tasks Interim Cash Manager

  • Operational payments and maintenance of the international bank account structure;
  • FX risk mitigation including trades;
  • Managing credit risk with your specialized colleagues;
  • Coordination of the cash & credit management team;
  • Representation treasury to in- and external stakeholders.

Ideal interim cash manager

The ideal candidate for this position has a relevant track record in treasury and cash management preferably in smaller organisations. As a person she is flexible, proactive and not afraid to speak her mind. Understanding Dutch would be an asset. The candidate can be a seasoned interim treasurer, although the budget is tight. This could also be a position for somebody between jobs who can use this assignment as a stepping stone.

Remuneration and Process

This project is for three months and might be extended. Both candidates with an own entity (ZZP), as well as candidates who prefer a payrolling solution are invited to apply. The expected maximal monthly base salary is €6,000.

The Treasurer Test might be part of the recruitment process.

Contact person

Pieter de Kiewit
T: +31 850 866 798
M: +31 6 1111 9783

APPLY HERE