Why You Don’t Need a Treasury Workstation

| 11-11-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Location dependence vs. universal collaboration and access

Often times, terms and definitions change over time; and sometimes terms remain the same but their meaning shifts. Take for example the word “bookkeeping:” accountants nowadays no longer put pen to paper and make manual entries in a book. Transferring this concept to treasury, we only need to look at the name of the department itself. Treasurers no longer watch over dungeons filled with treasure troves and other valuables (maybe with the exception of Fort Knox). But that’s not the only shift in meaning: we can also come across obsolete terms and definitions when it comes to the digitalization of treasury tasks and specifically with the term: treasury workstation.

Looking at search requests in Google, one of the most commonly searched terms in treasury is “treasury workstation” – a term that has been in use for treasury systems for many years. However, we need to ask ourselves if the term and the understanding of technology and processes associated with it are still appropriate today. Should they have long been replaced by other terms?

“Treasury Workstation” – is that what treasury is?

“Treasury workstation” contains the element of “station” that appears to have no place in today’s treasury world: mobile communication and the flexible use of systems are such obvious characteristics of our daily work that a “station” clearly no longer delivers. A workstation is literally stationary and therefore limited: it sits in one single place and is only available right there. Conversely, this is precisely where modern systems differ: they’re web-based and can be used from any mobile device without any limitations regarding security, user-friendliness, and functionality. Indeed, the very fact that modern systems are not stationary makes them so powerful. They’re mobile and any number of people can make use of them from anywhere.

Today, large departments and units need to be able to readily collaborate and exchange knowledge and data; a workstation seems inappropriate to meet these demands and stands for a status quo that IT has long left behind. No one wants to install software on a workstation anymore; no one wants to be tied to a desktop computer. The internet with all its enormous potential drives the optimization of business processes and data communication to the point where companies can no longer afford to back workstations, in particular in treasury.

Collaboration with a Treasury Management System

At BELLIN, their system, tm5, is not a physical workstation limited to a specific location. The system is a web-based and dynamically-integrated platform that excels in ensuring global visibility, maximized security and uncapped work-hours saved. The key ingredient in regard to this article is that the system is web-based, yet accessibly by anyone company wide. We call this our Load Balanced Treasury approach which means no per-user licenses, ensuring subsidiaries can share data seamlessly, profit from real-time transparency, and maximize global security.

While many treasurers still refer to modern platforms as workstations, the distinction is important. Modern, web-based systems are platforms for collaboration, for cooperation and for uniting internal and external parties and partners who all contribute to treasurers always having the information they need to do their job: make decisions that reduce business risk, optimize asset management, manage funding and hedging and give the company the overall stability to meet the company objectives.

This is by no means limited to treasury. Unlike a workstation that is only ever available to the people in one particular office, treasury management systems serve the entire company and people from any department can be involved where needed. This allows treasurers to share the workload, get information first hand and have a fully integrated and connected workflow that ultimately benefits everyone.


Treasury workstations are a thing of the past and platforms like the BELLIN tm5 have long become established as industry standards. Consequently,  it is time we reflect that fact in our terminology in order to find what businesses really need and stop searching for things that were modern years ago. “Station” ultimately suggests inflexibility, stagnation. As time goes by, both terminology and processes are subject to change and move forward – just as treasury does. Perhaps this is just a semantic error or term that has stuck over the years? Either way, as treasury enthusiasts and experts, we are keen to help the industry acclimate to the existing technological ecosystem.

Martin Bellin



Open banking and APIs: transforming the future of treasury

| 05-11-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Open banking is about much more than advanced technology. It has an impact on business models, processes and ways of thinking – and it will definitely have a huge impact on treasury.

The EU’s revised payment services directive (PSD2) has forced European banks to set up standardised interfaces, so-called APIs, to enable third parties’ technological access to bank accounts. This is an attempt to break up the banks’ monopoly and boost competition amongst payment service providers.

When it comes to payments, PSD2 APIs are currently limited to single Euro payments area (SEPA) single payments. Simply put, they are generally ill-suited for corporate payment processing. Nevertheless, open access to customer and transaction data for third parties represents a radical change that threatens traditional banking business models.

While in the past, banks reigned freely over their customers’ financial data – often keeping them in the dark about margins, fees and transaction routes – open banking makes banking fundamentally more democratic and gives companies much more freedom and flexibility.

How does a company want to handle its payment processing? With open banking, it will be of little relevance to corporates exactly how their payments are processed. As long as the payment goes from A to B, the back-end technology being used is up to the service provider. What will be more significant for corporate treasury departments when it comes to payments is how quickly this information becomes available to them.

Open banking’s impact on cash management

Today, treasurers are blind when it comes to intraday cash flow movements. Depending on the bank, they only receive balance information a few times a day at specific times. This has always been as real-time as it gets. Treasurers who would like to know their account balance at any time and in ‘real, real-time’ need to request this information. But how can you know when to best inquire about your account balance when you have no idea when money will be credited?

Some companies make use of automated requests, managed in their treasury management system (TMS). The system sends scheduled requests to the bank, for example every minute, to check if any new information is available. An analogy would be sending round a company postman to empty the letterbox every few minutes without knowing if anyone has actually posted a letter. This leads to enormous amounts of data and clogs up communication channels and systems, without really solving the issue.

A much more intelligent solution would be to not request the information until it is actually available. For that to work, there would need to be some kind of signal that data has come in – just like the signal flag on American letterboxes. New technologies, such as APIs and WebSockets, enable this kind of reversed order. The bank signals that a new balance is available as soon as money is credited to or debited from an account, and treasurers and other finance professionals can then take action. The same is true for payments, where status notifications for a transaction would be available straight away.

The future of APIs

What will the future look like for banking communication? Will APIs relegate existing technologies, such as electronic banking internet communication standard (EBICS) or SWIFT, to the sidelines? APIs’ greatest downfall is their lack of standardisation. Conversely, complete and powerful standardisation across the SEPA area is the biggest asset of these established communication channels.

In the context of PSD2, there have been various European initiatives to achieve standardisation, for example those of the Berlin Group. However, there is no comparable global initiative, and when BELLIN recently analysed the open banking offering of the ten most relevant banking groups, the discrepancies were staggering. What is needed are suitable enhancements of established technologies that could then be combined with new technologies, for example combining the EBICS protocol with API technology.

And this future is not far off. Massive changes that will impact treasurers’ day-to-day work significantly are just around the corner. Large retailers have already implemented instant payment solutions using APIs that not only enable them to transfer money, but also to receive notifications when a payment has come in as soon as it does. This has enabled them to fully connect payment processing, real-time balance information and customer service.

Direct communication of data between companies and banks is likely to have other, far-reaching consequences for treasury, for example when it comes to FX and risk management. Real-time corporate-bank communication definitely brings challenges for cash management. Banks will have to solve how cash pooling is handled in the future whilst also determining the time on which interest calculations are based. However, with new standards for speed, efficiency and data quality, open banking will continue to revolutionise treasury far beyond 2020.

Karsten Kiefer, Product Manager Solution Management, BELLIN

Karsten Kiefer

Product Manager Solution Management


The 2019 DACT Treasury Fair: it’s time to connect

| 01-11-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

The DACT (Dutch Association of Corporate Treasurers) is organizing their annual Treasury Fair at Hotel NH Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst in Noordwijkerhout on November 14th and 15th 2019. The DACT treasury fair is the most important annual treasury event in the Netherlands.

Practice-oriented workshops and specialist presentations on trends and developments. Information on the latest solutions, products and techniques in your professional field. And plenty of room for interaction with colleagues and peers. This is the successful formula of the DACT Treasury Fairs. This year, DACT is organising the 16th edition!


There are more than 50 exhibitors present at the Treasury Fair. You can see an overview of all exhibitors here.

We are thrilled to highlight the treasuryXL partners who will host a booth at the expo and organize a product demo:

ILFA Group
ILFA Group supports companies and civil society organizations in obtaining financing and managing their treasury.
Product demo 17:
De obligatielening 2.0
Time: 13:00 – 13:30
Presenter: Irma Langeraert – ILFA & Jasper Verhoog – AKD



BELLIN is the global leader in technology for corporate banking and treasury.
Product demo 11:
Tm5 – SWIFT GPI functionality / Company case: Darling Ingredients Int.
Time: 11:30 – 12:00
Presenter: Hien Dijkstra, Darling Ingredients Int.l | Bas Kolenburg & Roderick Kroon, Enigma Consulting




Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH (TIS)
TIS is the leading cloud platform for managing corporate payments, liquidity and bank relationships worldwide.
Product demo 8:
TIS Corporate Payment Solutions
Time: 10:40 – 11:10
Presenter: Luuk Linssen and Jörg Wiemer – TIS



Cashforce is a smart cash flow management and cash flow forecasting platform for working capital intensive businesses.
Product demo 6:
Time: 09:50 – 10:20
Presenter: Nicolas Christiaen, CEO Cashforce / Bart Messing, European Treasury Manager Dawn Foods



Treasurer Search
Treasurer Search finds candidates for both permanent and temporary positions in industry, trade, services and non-profit.

You can find their booth at the beginning of the expo.

Contact: Pieter de Kiewit, owner Treasurer Search




Would you like to connect with one of our partners? I recommend to schedule your appointment in advance to ensure your spot. You can contact me directly for assistance. Of course you can visit their booth at the expo anytime, don’t forget to mention treasuryXL.

Connect with treasuryXL

treasuryXL ambassadors Francois De Witte and Marco Lassche will be visiting the Treasury Fair on Friday, November 15th. Would you like to meet one of them and learn more about the treasuryXL mission and partnership options? Don’t hesitate to contact them directly and schedule your appointment today!


Marco Lassche

view profile and connect






François De Witte

view profile and connect



Treasury Fair programme

Thursday, November 14

Time: 19.00 – 23.30

EAT, MEET & GREET | info here

Grand Café Roundabout

Friday, November 15

Time: from 8.00

Registration, Expo, Workshops, Product demos, Master Class

Time: 16.00-18.00 Drinks

You can find an overview of the full programme here.

About the DACT

DACT, Dutch Association of Corporate Treasurers, is the professional association for (corporate) treasurers and treasury professionals in The Netherlands. It has 600+ members, employed by multinationals, large and midsized companies, but also working in public sector and nonprofit organisations.

As a professional association DACT stimulates the professional development of its members, offers a network that connects treasury professionals and facilitates a platform for the exchange of information and development of knowledge.

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

8 Driving Factors for a Lean and Agile Treasury

| 28-10-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Dynamic processes in today’s world need lean and agile organizations. We have compiled 8 driving factors how the treasury department can achieve this goal easily.

1 Agile treasury thanks to simplified global statement collection

For businesses, a daily, group-wide, global financial status can now be a reality. It neither requires tedious manual data entry in Excel nor collecting data from subsidiaries by email.

Corporates can share their very own SWIFT BIC with all the banks they have accounts with worldwide and request to receive their account statements to this address (ideally in an MT940 format). One by one, all their banks are going to adopt this way of communication, and everything else is a question of technological automation.

2 Agile treasury thanks to netting and its effect on FX and cash management

Anyone still processing subsidiary payments as if they were customers or third-party suppliers is missing out on a number of potential benefits. This goes for anything from the reconciliation of invoices, to payments, optimized forward cover and efficient cash management. With the right intercompany netting setup, uncertainty and unknown quantities in relation to the amount, date or contents of a payment quickly become a thing of the past.

3 Agile treasury thanks to integrated IC trade documentation

Almost all group companies make use of intercompany loans – agreed to in writing, by email or by phone. If you’re lucky, the subsidiary in question can still find the agreement or has created an Excel sheet reminding them of their interest payments. If you’re unlucky, the auditor has to go in search of the correct documents, and tax authorities are knocking on your door to establish whether or not everything is compliant with the arm’s length principle. This is exactly the kind of scenario the BELLIN treasury management system can help you prevent: it creates a platform that allows both parties to demonstrate that payment dates, conditions and permissions in connection with IC loans are met and complied with, and that everything is documented properly.

4 Agile treasury thanks to digital matching

Exchanging confirmations for FX and Money Market deals is nothing new: for years, banks have been sending confirmation documents to their customers who had to return a signed copy. Ever since EMIR, this is no longer feasible and no longer makes sense. BELLIN’s treasury management system tm5 offers integrated electronic matching and has automated and digitized deal confirmation – technology that is easily implemented, saves time and identifies any errors in real time, in turn reducing risks.

5 Agile treasury thanks to collaboration and spreading the workload

The principle of Load Balanced Treasury® allows you to organize processes in a way that best meets skills and capacities. Depending on your Treasury Policy, you could for example delegate responsibility for local payments to subsidiaries or share responsibility, based on the permissions defined in the system. You can set the system up so that central treasury is automatically notified whenever they need to intervene – so they have the overview and the control.

The platform-based collaboration simplifies complex tasks, such as liquidity planning, for the whole group. Simply use the chat function to organize intercompany reconciliation and set up regular “information cycles” for funding requirements and the use of funds. This way you can stay on top of cash flows and obtain a quick and efficient overview of liquidity developments and any deviations from the planning scenario – so you are alerted straight away and can always react quickly.

6 Agile treasury thanks to agile reporting

The business world over, reports are considered time-consuming and tedious – but they don’t have to be. With all relevant data already entered and available in the system, you have everything you need to create reports at the touch of a button – tailored to the needs of your businesses. This way, you can keep all stakeholders in the loop directly from your treasury management system without the need for an additional tool.

7 Agile treasury thanks to automated processes

Repetitive user actions and recurring tasks can be done by a technological solution. The automation service schedules and automates recurring treasury tasks, such as market data import, account statement import and export, entering bulk payments or importing deals traded via a trading platform. The system automatically takes over tasks that would normally have to be done by a user. While process automation is not suitable for every task, it is also not necessary to do everything manually, again eating up resources; some tasks can easily be performed by the system.

8 Agile treasury thanks to mobile connectivity and payments authorization

Frequently, your financial challenges no longer play out behind a desk but in transit between business meetings or on your way to and from work. Or you are simply the one in charge of making that final decision based on the data gathered by your trusted team. On top of your agenda: mobile access to clearly presented information, the ability to focus on specific processes, and most importantly the knowledge that all your data and all your processes are secure!

The BELLIN Connect app allows users to access certain tm5 functions to facilitate remote working and to boost security. A straightforward interface presents data clearly, selection and configuration options are streamlined and processes are targeted and accessible.

How will Open Banking impact Treasury?

| 20-9-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Interview with Karsten Kiefer on open banking, APIs and the future of bank connectivity

With financial data increasingly digitized and moved to the cloud, disruptive approaches have become available to fintechs and corporates have gained access to new and revolutionary opportunities. One such opportunity is open banking, also known as API banking. In this article, we take a closer look at open banking and the potential benefits of current trends for treasurers. Karsten Kiefer, Product Manager and Solutions Manager at BELLIN, introduces us to the latest developments and assesses their impact on corporate treasury.

The European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) sets rules for access to payment accounts but it has also caused great uncertainty. Is this the beginning of open banking for everyone in Europe? And what does the directive mean for treasury?

One of the provisions of PSD2 forces European banks to provide a standardized access interface, known as API, to third parties, which enables technical access to the bank’s customers’ accounts. This is an attempt by the regulator to break up the banks’ monopoly on account information and to boost competition amongst payment service providers.

The directive clearly stipulates the type of information banks have to give access to and the scope of services associated with it. For example, when it comes to payments PSD2 API access is restricted to SEPA single payments. Few banks, if any, will support bulk payments, FX payments etc. as additional services. This is why for the time being this technology is only of limited use to corporate treasury. It is definitely in no way comparable to established channels such as EBICS, H2H or SWIFT.

Where do you see the main advantages of open banking for treasury? When will corporate financial departments adopt open banking?

Changes have been flooding the international payments sector, and open banking is only one of the waves to ride. Demand is driven by developments in the consumer goods sector, where mobile, real-time payments are rapidly gaining ground, with providers springing up all over the place. 24/7/365 availability of payments services is highly relevant for treasurers. This has also been the driving force behind developments in connection with established channels, such as SWIFT or EBICS, including the SWIFT g4C technology that enables real-time information on payment transactions. For corporates who use a treasury management system with an integrated payments platform, open banking has already become a reality.

How does open banking with a treasury management system work?

A treasury management system with an integrated payments platform, such as tm5 by BELLIN, enables multi-channel access to banks. There are standardized channels for specific regions, such as EBICS, or the BELLIN SWIFT Service that provides access to the global SWIFT Network. Another connectivity option is direct host-to-host connections to specific banks and their networks. APIs represent an additional technology to connect banks and corporates, and in the future, this will become more and more relevant. Today, the BELLIN Payment Gateway enables access to real-time payment transaction information and a company’s global financial status.

Are there any challenges associated with API interfaces?

Many of the banks today that can connect via two or even three channels are working on APIs. So this will become an additional bank connectivity option. However, we need to bear in mind that such an API must bring added value and additional benefits. Otherwise, you are better off using one of the more established channels. Looking at the API specifications of several major banks in more detail, you will realize that there are minor standardization options at the moment. Everyone is talking about APIs but in fact, every bank has their own! Ultimately, it is irrelevant for the customer or the user which technological options we have available to connect a financial institution.

What new aspects does API connectivity bring and what makes it special?

The main difference is the way in which information is made accessible. Intraday account statements are a perfect example. Many banks provide this information at least once or twice a day, some more often. The times vary according to bank, which makes it difficult to gain a complete overview of your financial status at any one time. For EBICS and H2H connections, BELLIN has to actively retrieve this information for clients, while the banks send the data to a company’s BIC in the case of SWIFT Service customers. Corporates have little or no insight into any fluctuations outside these times.
API technology enables two systems to communicate directly. In theory, any API request to a bank requesting intraday account information or the current financial status could be processed and responded to in real time. This would be a huge leap towards the concept of an “instant treasury:” It would enable treasurers to trigger information directly and to receive the latest data at the touch of a button. Unfortunately, few banks are able to offer such a service, as it would require not just an interface but also powerful and modern banking systems.

So the flood of information triggered by APIs very quickly hits a wall, reined in by banking systems. Do you see any solutions to this problem?

So-called WebSocket interfaces are a step up from APIs. This technology would see a bank notify a client as soon as any relevant data has become available. Corporates could retrieve this information promptly and would always have the latest information. This is a very intelligent reversal of the logic described earlier and would get rid of any redundant data communication. Customers or their service providers would only ever communicate with a bank when the bank has notified them of available data. You could compare a notification that money has been credited to your account to notifications sent by LinkedIn or YouTube: As soon as something new happens, it’s shown to you and you’re notified.

Will these new technologies mean the end for existing solutions such as EBICS?

Not at all. EBICS is a great example. The EBICS standard is long established and thousands of corporate clients use it. Banks have invested a lot of money in these systems. Intelligent updates to these standards will be the key. The German Banking Industry Committee, the industry association of the German banking industry, is planning specifications for 2020 and working on introducing technology that will enable banks to notify corporate clients as soon as relevant data is available to be retrieved from the EBICS bank server. From a technological point of view, this will be a combination of the established EBICS protocol and the latest API technology. I think this is the perfect combination of old and new standards and brings enormous advantages to customers with little or no adjustments required.

What would you recommend treasurers do right now?

My advice would be to remain calm and wait it out. At the moment, APIs and the opportunities associated with them are being hyped up. But in reality, very few banks have actually developed new services.

At BELLIN, we develop and integrate APIs every day, whether it is to communicate with transaction repositories, to integrate SAP systems or to connect our BELLIN Connect app. We have decades of experience when it comes to banking communication and have just launched API projects with three major international banks. Our aim is to create viable use cases that add value to our treasury clients.


Author picture ofKarsten Kiefer

Karsten Kiefer
As a Product Manager and Payments Specialist, Karsten Kiefer is responsible for any payments topics at BELLIN. The main focus of his work is on enhancing software functionality, supported payment formats and communications channels. Karsten has a background in IT and has over 20 years’ experience in the payments sector.



Author picture ofAnja BiehlerAnja Biehler
Anja has a PhD in German Philology and trained in a business communications agency before gaining valuable creative and marketing experience in a number of advertising agencies. For five years, she was in charge of the communications department of a renowned, private financial service provider. Her last position before joining BELLIN’s Global Marketing & Communications team in November 2014 was with Freiburg University where Anja was responsible for the marketing efforts of the EXIST business start-up program.

The Core Benefits of Netting For Corporates

| 29-8-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Simplify intercompany commerce, minimize fees and elevate visibility


Understanding the core benefits of netting

Multinational corporations are familiar with the downsides when involved with intercompany commerce. Growing transaction fees, currency exchange risk, and lack of transparency are common facets that make it difficult for such organizations. Corporations can implement netting to mitigate those downsides and free up valuable time for treasury and accounting departments. This article will shed light on the benefits of netting and why your company needs to consider implementing it.

A brief definition of netting

Netting or “Intercompany Netting” is the process of reconciling and netting intercompany invoices between two parties, resulting in a final payment and netted cashflow. In regard to financial markets, the purpose is essentially to minimize transactions and distinguish remuneration in multiparty agreements. Netting is suitable for various situations, participants, and cycle types. For more information, check out our in-depth guide to netting here.

Bilateral Netting: Two companies reconcile invoices they may owe to each other and one company agrees to pay the other one sum.

Multilateral Netting: Three or more companies netting invoices together and a netting center is used.

Multilateral Netting vs Bilateral Netting

Further Reading: Netting: An Immersive Guide to Global Reconciliation

Macro benefits of netting

Foreign Exchange Risk Mitigation

Multinational companies often perform transactions with their own subsidiaries or with non-group companies. Because of this, companies must keep currency exchange rates in mind. Original invoices are often sent in the originating currency,  which raises the need for either an external exchange service, a bank, or a netting center. With netting, the foreign exchange risk is centralized to the netting center.

It will not only keep existing invoicing procedures intact but avoid the loss of money involved with inflated currency exchange rates when using external exchanges. As mentioned, the FX risk is transferred from individual subsidiaries to the parent company, which is usually more equipped to manage it.

Floating money is wasted money

Cash-in-transit is a thorn in just about everyone’s side. Stagnant approval and processing times can create a chain reaction of risk as that cash is unable to be used. Whether it is bilateral or multilateral netting, keeping invoices to a minimum reduces the amount of money that is stuck in the limbo phase of approvals and processing times.

Increased transparency

Treasurers are able to operate at a high level when they are afforded visibility of cash flows. When subsidiaries make bulk payments, lack of liquidity or financing issues can arise and if company-wide visibility is lacking, it becomes difficult for a treasury department to act accordingly. Bulk payments backload and are concentrated in a short amount of time, cash flow is stretched thin among many of the subsidiaries. A netting system will provide daily reports and monitoring tools that provide cash flow visibility throughout the group.

Netting Vorteil Transparenz

Maximize operational efficiency

Naturally, one of the more prominent benefits of netting occurs on a daily basis. Treasury departments will see a drastic reduction in time spent on transactions and managing foreign exchange risk. From an operational point of view, a netting process simply saves treasurers time and establishes a company-wide process for disputes.

An example of this is with BELLIN clients, who save an average of 2 days of work per month per affiliated company. For an organization of 30 affiliated companies, that’s 60 days per month or 720 days a year. Realized savings typically range from $250,000 to +$1,000,000 on an annual basis.

Manage Disputes

When implementing a netting system, the treasury department is tasked with establishing a protocol for managing disputes. When subsidiaries fail to submit payables, a hitch in the payment process is born. What this causes is the inability for the payee to continue with their daily operation as they wait for receivables. Administrators can establish automated escalation protocols, which will elevate disputes to upper management based on pre-defined time periods. The escalation system leads to both tangible and intangible benefits as it literally resolves disputes through escalation and also provides an incentive for subsidiaries to execute their payables to avoid the unnecessary involvement of management.

BELLIN tm5: a comprehensive netting solution

BELLIN’s intuitive TMS: tm5, has a netting module that reconciles invoices and manages disputes with an ‘agreement-driven approach’.

The ‘agreement-driven approach’ is essentially a self-clearing methodology that utilizes the previously-mentioned: escalation protocol. tm5 automatically matches all receivables against payables and has an embedded dispute workflow for discrepancies. Consequently, the group company establishes group-wide agreements for disputes and will elevate them accordingly. With such an approach, all subsidiaries are involved in the entire process, disputes are mitigated and automatically escalated, and there is group-wide transparency.

BELLIN’s tm5 netting module has an intuitive interface but the key ingredient that makes it shine is that the platform has standardized functionality with the flexibility to meet the needs of all subsidiaries.

Interested in finding out more about whether netting is the right solution for you? Give BELLIN a shout or check out tm5, our intuitive treasury management system.

Author picture ofFlorian Kolb

Florian Kolb
As a Senior Treasury Consultant and Payments Specialist, Florian Kolb is in charge of a number of implementation and process consulting projects focusing on worldwide bank connectivity. He has great experience with SWIFT/H2H connections and complex global payments projects. Before joining BELLIN in June 2016, Florian worked as a consultant in accounting for an IT systems solutions provider. He studied at Verwaltungs- und Wirtschaftsakademie (Administration and Business Academy) in Freiburg, Germany, and is a Certified SWIFT Specialist.


Transform Intercompany Trade with Multilateral Netting

| 19-8-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Legacy tools yield legacy results

Too many international companies are manually reconciling and netting intercompany invoices. These companies may lack a clear and structured workflow for this process, leading to a host of potential risks and issues along the way including:

  • High volume of intercompany transactions
  • Too many invoice and expense disputes
  • Shadow bookkeeping
  • Lost productivity
  • High bank fees and fx costs

According to a recent Deloitte poll of finance professionals, reconciliation is the biggest intercompany hurdle. With only 9.2% of finance professionals saying their organization has a holistic, efficient, and clear intercompany reconciliation process, there is a clear need for a solution.

When asked what poses the greatest challenge to the implementation of intercompany accounting:

  • 21.4% of participants claim disparate software systems are their biggest challenge
  • 16.8% claim intercompany settlement
  • 16.7% said complex intercompany agreements
  • 13.3% said transfer pricing compliance
  • 9.4% said FX exposure

Introducing a multilateral netting solution

With a centralized multilateral netting solution, companies can boost profit and productivity by gaining global visibility and control, automating processes, settling disputes locally, and reconciling and netting transactions seamlessly.

Average BELLIN clients savings with our multilateral netting solution:

  • 2 days of work per month
  • $250,000 to $1,000,000 on an annual basis from banking and FX fees

Average industry savings figures:

  • 15% year over year growth
  • 50% labor cost reduction
  • €13 saved per invoice through automation
  • 1hr of labor saved per day

Would you like to learn more about BELLIN’s multilateral netting solution? Just reach out to BELLIN for a tm5 demo, or visit tm5 page.

The Role of Netting in Cash Management

|13-8-2019 | treasuryXL | BELLIN

Increased cash flow efficiency, faster cash allocation and optimized FX management

Cash management is every company’s bread and butter. Considerably fewer companies make use of netting, despite its many advantages for cash management.




Netting supports companies in making their cash management more efficient and less costly by

  • Boosting cash flow efficiency,
  • Consolidating invoices and enabling faster cash allocation,
  • Allowing companies to better calculate their FX exposure and hedge it strategically.

Cash management

Through cash management, companies ensure they can always meet their financial obligations. It allows them to allocate the required liquidity to the right entity, at the right time, in the right currency. For treasury to achieve that, all incoming and outgoing payments as well as account balances and forecasts must be visible. With access to complete and up-to-date information, treasury can monitor processes, plan liquidity based on forecasts and strategically manage cash in different currencies.


Companies that have implemented netting offset cash flow obligations between two parties and consolidate them to a net payment. Most companies use netting for balancing intercompany trade flows. However, it is also possible to integrate other parties as netting participants. Using internally-agreed conversion rates, companies can engage in cross-currency netting.

More information on netting: Netting: An Immersive Guide to Global Reconciliation

Videos on Reconciliation and Netting and Cash Management

The impact of netting on cash management

Netting takes a specific proportion of all cash flows and places them within the framework of a dedicated and structured process. This process, the netting run, is repeated at regular intervals. It can be divided into four steps:

  1. Data import
    Data is imported from the ERP system to the netting system.
  2. Data reconciliation
    The netting system automatically matches and consolidates submitted payables and receivables based on pre-defined parameters and creates a netting statement.
  3. Data sharing
    Once data has been matched and invoices consolidated, the netting center communicates the net amount to every netting run participant. It can be issued in their currency of choice.
  4. End of cycle
    The netting center makes one single payment to participants with a positive balance. Participants with a negative balance make one net payment to the netting center.

netting run

Netting boosts cash flow efficiency

By offsetting payables and receivables, netting reduces the number of transactions. In turn, this reduces cash-in-transit. And reduced cash-in-transit and minimal transactions make for reduced efforts when it comes to procuring liquidity, interest burden and payment processing.

In addition, the schedule of the netting run means payments are made on a specific date: instead of having to monitor countless different dates, treasury can lean back and wait for the end of the netting cycle.

Netting makes the lives of cash managers much more linear: they can plan accurately and allocate the exact amounts of required funds to accounts. This means that the company can keep floating assets to a minimum. Netting lends structure to complex processes and ensures opitmal allocation of cash flows.

Netting accelerates cash consolidation and allocation

All transactions between two parties result in accounts receivable for one company and accounts payable for the counterparty. The respective journal entry must show a zero balance. However, without a structured process in place, consolidation efforts are often far from straightforward. The different parties pursue different interests – either receivable- or payable-driven.

A good netting process seeks agreement between the parties and allows them to clarify any disagreements within a structured and automated framework. Agreement-driven netting encourages participants to submit accurate data. This makes for a much faster reconciliation process and makes it possible to automate several steps of the netting cycle. A speedy reconciliation process is followed by swift payment processing –  directly in the system and with one click – and makes for greater efficiency.

Faster consolidation has a positive impact on cash flows. At the same time, netting saves treasurers valuable time when it comes to monitoring invoices. Conversely, accountants no longer need to waste hours matching invoices. On average, time savings amount to 1-2 man-days per month per entity. For a group consisting of 10 entities, this equals 10 to 20 days per month and 240 days per year – a full-time position that can be dedicated to other tasks that add real value to the company.


Netting saves time

Netting optimizes FX management

Netting makes it easier for companies to manage their FX exposure, i.e. to optimize their FX management.

The payment terms defined as part of the netting cycle govern the timeframe between issuing an invoice and paying it. Companies that use cross-currency netting also set internal conversion rates for the currencies in question that apply to the respective netting cycle.

Having defined dates and rates, treasurers gain insight into an entity’s hedging requirements for a specific time period and can consolidate this sum to one hedging transaction. The netting center also defines the settlement price that is used to convert each entity’s FX payments to the respective settlement currency. This creates implicit hedging. The netting center can post and settle the transactions for each netting run participant without impacting the FX result. Entities transfer their actual currency exposure to the netting center, where it can be hedged strategically.

How netting optimizes FX management – an example:

As part of a monthly netting cycle, a company defines a payment term of 30 days. An entity issues and posts an invoice in March, which is paid in April. In February, the netting center defines the FX rate for March, and the March rate is identical with the settlement price for April. The netting center has complete visibility of currency requirements and can hedge the FX exposure centrally. Transaction and conversion costs are reduced to a minimum.

Netting FX-Management


Netting and cash management in a nutshell:

Netting is a powerful tool for companies to optimize their cash management. Netting lends structure to offsetting cash flows and puts them into a clearly defined timeframe, the netting cycle. This has the following benefits:

  • Very precise account planning
  • More efficient cash flows
  • Faster consolidation
  • Option to automate processes
  • Speeding up of the cash allocation process
  • Visibility of FX requirements
  • Strategic FX hedging

Interested in finding out more about whether netting is the right solution for you? Give BELLIN a shout or check out tm5, our intuitive treasury management system.



BELLIN Launches SWIFT g4C Product Offering

| 30-07-2019 | BELLIN |

BELLIN, a global leader in providing treasury software and services, has successfully integrated SWIFT gpi for Corporates (g4C) in its tm5 treasury management system and completed the pilot and Early Adopter phase. With the BELLIN SWIFT product offering extended, all BELLIN clients can now benefit from fast cross-border payments as well as tracking directly in the tm5 system.

tm5, BELLIN’s treasury management system, has supported SWIFT g4C technology since as early as April, making BELLIN the first of the TMS provider Early Adopters with a customer live on g4C. SWIFT has now officially launched gpi for Corporates, enabling all users of the BELLIN SWIFT Service to consider benefiting from transparency and traceability for cross-border payments. Corporates need their own SWIFT BIC to make use of the SWIFT g4C technology. They register their BIC with gpi for Corporates and connect financial institutions that offer g4C. Started Monday, June 24, 2019, the entire SWIFT community can register their BICs for the new SWIFT g4C technology.

SWIFT g4C from pilot to live

“All of us, our clients, BELLIN and SWIFT, are bound by the desire to advance corporate payments. This is why we have worked hard in a concerted effort to implement SWIFT g4C technology,” explains Karsten Kiefer, Product Manager SOLUTION MANAGEMENT at BELLIN. “With SWIFT g4C, corporates will benefit enormously from speed, transparency and comprehensive information with cross-border payment processing. The obvious advantages will make for an immediate success story.”

The BELLIN SWIFT Service enables BELLIN clients to receive their own BIC and to gain access to the SWIFT Network as a member of the Standard Corporate Environment (SCORE). BELLIN takes care of the BIC application, connects the company to the SWIFT Network and guides the client through onboarding and configuration. The BELLIN SWIFT Service has been part of BELLIN’s portfolio since 2013, making BELLIN the very first treasury management system provider with a service of this kind. Today, over 160 customers use the BELLIN SWIFT Service.

Interview with Karsten Kiefer on the SWIFT g4C integration in BELLIN’s treasury management system and the benefits for corporates


BELLIN is the global leader in technology for corporate banking and treasury. We provide solutions for the financial sector, catering to a range of clients from large multinationals to SMEs and banks. Founded by a treasurer, BELLIN has been championing innovation and out-of-the-box thinking since 1998. With the treasury software tm5 as the centerpiece, BELLIN makes a fundamental difference by offering solutions that zero in on the relationship between corporates and banks and cover everything from payments to FX, cash and risk management. BELLIN is an international company with offices on four continents, powered by a trailblazing fintech spirit and yet firmly rooted in the heritage of German craftsmanship and engineering. BELLIN delights 500 clients and over 80,000 users around the globe.

How to Solve the 4 Main Payments Challenges

| 18-07-2019 | BELLIN |

Sascha Kopp has been a Consulting Director with BELLIN for over 10 years. He has successfully accompanied and implemented well over 100 payments projects in international groups. In this interview, based on our on-demand webinar, he outlines the 4 main payments challenges for corporates and how to best tackle them.

#1 payments challenge: a complex set-up

What is the biggest challenge for international businesses in handling their payments?

When it comes to payments, the biggest challenge for companies is usually their existing set-up. Very often we witness the following: You have banks on one side, ERP systems on the other side, and the individual entities in the middle. They all exchange payment data, generated by various technologies and in different formats, communicated by several channels. Companies find it difficult to manage this complexity.

How can companies make sense of this complex set-up of several e-banking systems, payment platforms and communication channels?

A payments solution, such as BELLIN’s integrated payments platform in the tm5 treasury management system, allows corporates to leave complex set-ups behind: instead, they experience simplicity with one platform that is accessible to all group companies and connected to all ERP systems and banks. tm5 can be used with any payment format.

You can access it on a desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. All you need is Internet access. One of the many benefits of this solution is that it is scalable and can be adapted to changing company requirements – and we all know companies change all the time.  Every time a new entity is added, no matter where in the world, this company and its banks can easily be connected to the payment platform. There is no need for an additional solution. The tm5 platform handles it all and is easy to use, transparent and secure when communicating data.

#2 payments challenge: fraud and cyber crime

How important is payment fraud?

Fraud, cyber crime and internal manipulation have been increasing dramatically for years. In 2016, the Leoni Group lost 40 million euros to payment fraud. In 2017, ABB reported a fraud case amounting to 100 million dollars. Companies lose more and more money and the number of attacks has been growing. This was confirmed by the AFP Payments Fraud & Control Survey published in April 2019: 82% of companies report having fallen victim to payment fraud.

How can companies best protect themselves against payment fraud?

Organizations currently invest a lot of time and money in fraud prevention. The best way of achieving payment security is to eliminate vulnerabilities, i.e. by using a multi-bank payments platform with integrated user permissions management such as BELLIN’s tm5. Thanks to a single point of entry and an additional security measure by way of 2-factor authentication in the BELLIN Connect app, tm5 protects companies from external threats. The integrated permissions functionality enables companies to define and manage user rights and implement dual approval for payment processing, thus ensuring compliance.

#3 payments challenge: cost

How can companies save money in their payment process?

In addition to bank fees, payments processing eats up resources. For most companies a centralized set-up is the most efficient – as well as the most secure – option to manage group-wide payments with only one team. As a web-based system, tm5 also enables decentralized cooperation using a central platform. We refer to this approach as Load-balanced Treasury.

What is the most affordable payments set-up for companies?

The most cost-efficient combination of formats and connectivity always depends on the countries in which payments are processed as well as on the volume of payments. tm5 offers all types of connectivity, be it local standards such as EBICS, host-to-host connections to main banks or a global solution such as SWIFT. BELLIN consultants offer advice on how to find the most affordable solution.

#4 payments challenge: new banking partners

What is the impact of changes to the banking landscape on corporate payments?

Companies are hit hard by changes to the banking landscape. In recent years, some banks have discontinued their services in some countries over night. But even when the selection of a new banking partner is driven by strategic and cost reasons, this change usually goes hand in hand with a new, additional e-banking system.

But it could be so much simpler: Companies who process their payments on the integrated payments platform in the tm5 treasury management system always work with the same user interface. This user interface is independent of the banks, channels and payment formats a company uses.

All in all:

Make the move to a central, multi-bank payments platform and benefit from:

  • compliance
  • security
  • reduced cost and effort
  • 100% visibility and transparency
  • 100% cash flow visibility
  • 100% independence thanks to self-administration

Sascha Kopp author picture

Sascha Kopp
Consulting Director at BELLIN