OpusCapita makes Liquidity Management free for all customers

| 26-3-2020 | treasuryXL | OpusCapita |

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does Liquidity Management Basic enable you to do?

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

In short, this includes:

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

Three steps to get started

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

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

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

 

Read more information here.

 

About OpusCapita

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

Visit OpusCapita

Visit Partner Page

Read Customer Success Stories

Brexit Drives Financial Institutions from UK to EU License

20-03-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

Since the UK left the European Union on January 31st, Brexit is a fact. Currently both sides are in a transition phase that lasts until the end of this year. For now, it remains unclear how the future relationship between the EU and the UK will be shaped after 2020.

It is therefore important that financial institutions prepare themselves, as from 2021 onwards, bottlenecks can arise in cross-border services between the EU and the UK.

On the 31st January 2020 the UK left the EU on the basis of the agreed withdrawal agreement. This prevented a no-deal Brexit on that date and led to the transition period until the end of 2020. During this period, EU law will continue to apply to the UK in all areas, including the financial passport rights that are part of the Single European Payment Area.

At the same time there is uncertainty about the situation after the transition period. In the coming period the EU and the UK will negotiate the design of the future relationship, including financial services. The basis for this is the political declaration that the EU and the UK agreed upon as part of the withdrawal agreement. Starting point for financial services is the possibility to make so-called EU-equivalence decisions with regard to third countries.

What is meant by equivalence?

Within the European Union, a single market exists that guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour. These four freedoms make life easier for international actors on this single market. It allows financial institutions to offer their services to more than 450 million consumers, living in any EU member state.

Although Brexit results in the UK leaving the EU, there might be a last resort. The EU allows companies that are not based in any of its member states to access the single market if the legal regime for a certain sector in a third country is declared to be equivalent.

Act rather than react

It has been agreed that the EU will carry out equivalence assessments with the UK (and vice versa) in the first half of this year. These assessments are aimed to finished in June this year.

However, it is still unclear which UK sectors the EU will (possibly) declare equivalent, and if so, when that happens. Even if UK regulations and supervision were to be declared equivalent in many different sectors, it would not correspond to the high level of market access that UK financial institutions currently have to offer their services in the EU. The scope of the equivalence regime is limited and excludes most of the core banking and financial activities. Deposit-taking, lending, payment services and investment services will not be granted access to the European single market without having an EU license.

treasuryXL announces partnership with OpusCapita

| 19-3-2020 | treasuryXL | OpusCapita |

treasuryXL announces partnership with OpusCapita, a leading cash management provider.

VENLO, The Netherlands, MARCH 19, 2020 – treasuryXL, the community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, today announced the premium partnership with a leading cash management provider, OpusCapita.

As a marketplace, treasuryXL will offer OpusCapita market commentary and insight to its audience. Offering a continuous flow of relevant treasury content, making treasury knowledge available, results in treasuryXL being the obvious go-to platform for its’ audience. OpusCapita will have a prominent role in the Treasury Topic environment with coverage in Cash Management, risk management, Treasury Software, Payments & Banking and Fraud & Cybersecurity. Together they will host virtual roundtables in the near future to connect with partners and experts around the world.

“We are excited to take part in the treasury community that TreasuryXL is building and look forward to join the network of treasury experts.” Marc Josefsson, Head of Strategic Sales, OpusCapita.

OpusCapita has over 800 customers across more than 100 countries. Their secure, cloud-based solution enables Treasury and Finance professionals to harmonize global processes and policies, centralize treasury and finance operations and reduce complexity.

treasuryXL and OpusCapita strive for a fruitful partnership where its’ audience are top of mind making sure that (potential) clients are always up to date with the latest cash management news and events benefit from a comprehensive range of services and products.

About treasuryXL

treasuryXL started in 2016 as a community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury. Their extensive and highly qualified network consists out of experienced and aspiring treasurers. treasuryXL keeps their network updated with daily news, events and the latest treasury vacancies.

treasuryXL brings the treasury function to a higher level, both for the inner circle: corporate treasurers, bankers & consultants, as well as others that might benefit: CFO’s, business owners, other people from the CFO Team and educators.

treasuryXL offers:

  • professionals the chance to publish their expertise, opinions, success stories, distribute these and stimulate dialogue.
  • a labour market platform by creating an overview of vacancies, events and treasury education.
  • a variety of consultancy services in collaboration with qualified treasurers.
  • a broad network of highly valued partners and experts.

About OpusCapita

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

Visit OpusCapita

Visit Partner Page

Read Customer Success Stories

Does your business need a DNB license? You need to take these 8 steps

07-02-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

Anyone that provides payment services in the Netherlands must either hold the appropriate licence issued by DNB or be excepted or exempted from the licensing requirement. A payment service provider may start operations only after DNB has issued its licence or after it has entered the provider in the register as an exempt payment service provider, unless it is excepted from the licensing requirement by law.

Do you need help in your DNB License application process?

The consultants at Enigma are highly experienced in license applications. Their clients often have widely divergent reasons for applying for a licence. For example:

  • Innovative companies that wish to utilise the opportunities offered by new payment rules for account information services and payment initiation services, such as fintech businesses and accounting software providers.
  • UK-based businesses that have decided to apply for a license in the Netherlands and to serve Europe from here because of the consequences of Brexit.
  • Asian and American companies that wish to use the Netherlands as a base for setting up their worldwide Payment Gateway.
  • Companies that can no longer utilise exceptions that were possible in PSD1 because of PSD2 and are therefore applying for a license to operate as a payment service provider.

Enigma has a multidisciplinary team, which offers the benefit of us being able to offer all areas of expertise required for license applications. The result is an application of which all elements meet the quality criteria of the supervisory body, which means a quicker assessment and granting of a license by the DNB.

You no longer need to be a bank to offer payment services. The Dutch Act on Financial Supervision applies in the Netherlands for the purpose of increasing competition and protecting consumers. This law makes it possible for payment institutions to offer payment services.

The law differentiates between 8 different types of payment service providers.

There are the classic payment service providers and electronic money institutions, but since the introduction of the PSD2 European payment guideline, there are also newer variants of account information service providers (AISPs) and payment initiation service providers (PISPs). Payment services offered include the administration of bank accounts, the transfer, deposit or receipt of funds, or the issuing or acceptance of payment instruments (such as cards).

So when is a licence required for a service? And what are the criteria that must be met?

A successful licence application for each type of payment institution is a question of thorough preparation and adequate quality assurance.

The steps required for an efficient, successful application at a glance:

1. Check whether a licence is required to offer the service

A payment service does not necessarily require a licence. Exceptions include services in which payment is made with a payment instrument with limited options for use. Neither is a license required if transactions take place in cash only and no bank account is involved.

2. If a licence is required, check whether an exemption applies

If step one indicates that a licence is required, check whether exemptions apply. A number of conditions need to be met in order to make use of that exemption. We have listed 3 below.

  1. Payment services are intended exclusively for people living in the Netherlands
  2. The monthly volume is less than 3 million Euros
  3. Asset segregation is managed by means of a trust account, bank guarantee, or comparable guarantee

If the conditions for an exemption appear to be met, then this also needs to be applied for from DNB. This application is also subject to considerable requirements. If these requirements can be met and the application for a licence has been submitted, the DNB will assess whether an exemption should be granted. If so, they will enter the exempted payment service provider into the public register.

3. Prepare the file and make the necessary organisational changes

Having completed the first 2 steps, it is clear that a licence is required and that the service does not qualify for an exemption. In that case, the payment institution must meet various criteria to be able to offer its services. These include:

  1. Demonstrating the reliability and suitability of policy makers
  2. The integrity of the company’s operations
  3. Controlled governance
  4. Surety of the funds
  5. Evaluation of the day-to-day policy makers
  6. Minimum equity and solvency requirements
  7. No Objection certificate

This is about managing operational processes and business risks, such as safeguarding the funds of the payment institution’s clients. Policy and procedures, such as a client acceptance policy, transaction monitoring, a compliance charter, and a procedure for reporting irregular transactions need to be formulated. In most cases, a ‘risk management’ policy needs to be formulated and a risk & compliance officer needs to be appointed.

4. Submit the application to De Nederlandsche Bank

All the supporting documentation for the application then needs to be submitted to the DNB. The application form that must to be completed and signed serves as the basis. The DNB decides whether to grant a licence within three months of receipt of a license application from a payment institution. Note that the three months only start once all the necessary documentation has been received. There are costs involved in applying for a licence from the DNB.

Enigma Consulting’s experience is that the DNB usually asks various questions and that the lead time for a licence application normally exceeds 3 months.

5. Implement the new policy and corresponding procedures in the organisation

When compiling the file, the implementation of specific policy and corresponding procedures in the payment institution is already a big step. Ensure these activities have actually been implemented by the company before the licence is granted. Do not underestimate this process, because depending on the size of the organisation, this step can be moderately to very resource intensive.

Experience

Thanks to Enigma Consulting’s extensive experience of the application procedure and short lines of communication with DNB, they can advise and support you in each step of the application process, whether it involves an application for an exemption, or a licence for a payment services provider, electronic money institution, account information services provider, or payment initiation services provider.

There is also the option of temporary deployment of a risk & compliance officer to share best practice and train your staff internally. Enigma possesses considerable experience in all stages of the application process. They can assist you in compiling the file and in setting up your organisational processes.
Contact Enigma Consulting with no obligation if you would like to discuss your objectives.

Geert Blom
Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

License application for payment services in 5 steps

| 27-9-2019 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

License applications from DNB: Enigma knows what is required!

If a business processes payment transactions or wants to become an account information service provider (AISP) or payment initiation service provider (PISP), it requires a license from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

The consultants at Enigma are highly experienced in license applications. Our clients often have widely divergent reasons for applying for a licence. For example:

  • Innovative companies that wish to utilise the opportunities offered by new payment rules for account information services and payment initiation services, such as fintech businesses and accounting software providers.
  • UK-based businesses that have decided to apply for a license in the Netherlands and to serve Europe from here because of the consequences of Brexit.
  • Asian and American companies that wish to use the Netherlands as a base for setting up their worldwide Payment Gateway.
  • Companies that can no longer utilise exceptions that were possible in PSD1 because of PSD2 and are therefore applying for a license to operate as a payment service provider.

We have a multidisciplinary team, which offers the benefit of us being able to offer all areas of expertise required for license applications. The result is an application of which all elements meet the quality criteria of the supervisory body, which means a quicker assessment and granting of a license by the DNB.

You no longer need to be a bank to offer payment services. The Dutch Act on Financial Supervision applies in the Netherlands for the purpose of increasing competition and protecting consumers. This law makes it possible for payment institutions to offer payment services.

The law differentiates between 8 different types of payment service providers.

There are the classic payment service providers and electronic money institutions, but since the introduction of the PSD2 European payment guideline, there are also newer variants of account information service providers (AISPs) and payment initiation service providers (PISPs). Payment services offered include the administration of bank accounts, the transfer, deposit or receipt of funds, or the issuing or acceptance of payment instruments (such as cards).

So when is a licence required for a service? And what are the criteria that must be met?

A successful licence application for each type of payment institution is a question of thorough preparation and adequate quality assurance.

The steps required for an efficient, successful application at a glance:

1. Check whether a licence is required to offer the service

A payment service does not necessarily require a licence. Exceptions include services in which payment is made with a payment instrument with limited options for use. Neither is a license required if transactions take place in cash only and no bank account is involved.

2. If a licence is required, check whether an exemption applies

If step one indicates that a licence is required, check whether exemptions apply. A number of conditions need to be met in order to make use of that exemption. We have listed 3 below.

  1. Payment services are intended exclusively for people living in the Netherlands
  2. The monthly volume is less than 3 million Euros
  3. Asset segregation is managed by means of a trust account, bank guarantee, or comparable guarantee

If the conditions for an exemption appear to be met, then this also needs to be applied for from DNB. This application is also subject to considerable requirements. If these requirements can be met and the application for a licence has been submitted, the DNB will assess whether an exemption should be granted. If so, they will enter the exempted payment service provider into the public register.

3. Prepare the file and make the necessary organisational changes

Having completed the first 2 steps, it is clear that a licence is required and that the service does not qualify for an exemption. In that case, the payment institution must meet various criteria to be able to offer its services. These include:

  1. Demonstrating the reliability and suitability of policy makers
  2. The integrity of the company’s operations
  3. Controlled governance
  4. Surety of the funds
  5. Evaluation of the day-to-day policy makers
  6. Minimum equity and solvency requirements
  7. No Objection certificate

This is about managing operational processes and business risks, such as safeguarding the funds of the payment institution’s clients. Policy and procedures, such as a client acceptance policy, transaction monitoring, a compliance charter, and a procedure for reporting irregular transactions need to be formulated. In most cases, a ‘risk management’ policy needs to be formulated and a risk & compliance officer needs to be appointed.

4. Submit the application to De Nederlandsche Bank

All the supporting documentation for the application then needs to be submitted to the DNB. The application form that must to be completed and signed serves as the basis. The DNB decides whether to grant a licence within three months of receipt of a license application from a payment institution. Note that the three months only start once all the necessary documentation has been received. There are costs involved in applying for a licence from the DNB.

Enigma Consulting’s experience is that the DNB usually asks various questions and that the lead time for a licence application normally exceeds 3 months.

5. Implement the new policy and corresponding procedures in the organisation

When compiling the file, the implementation of specific policy and corresponding procedures in the payment institution is already a big step. Ensure these activities have actually been implemented by the company before the licence is granted. Do not underestimate this process, because depending on the size of the organisation, this step can be moderately to very resource intensive.

Experience

Thanks to Enigma Consulting’s extensive experience of the application procedure and short lines of communication with DNB, they can advise and support you in each step of the application process, whether it involves an application for an exemption, or a licence for a payment services provider, electronic money institution, account information services provider, or payment initiation services provider.

There is also the option of temporary deployment of a risk & compliance officer to share best practice and train your staff internally. Enigma possesses considerable experience in all stages of the application process. They can assist you in compiling the file and in setting up your organisational processes.
Contact Enigma Consulting with no obligation if you would like to discuss your objectives..

Geert Blom
Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

Treasury for Dummies: The purpose of payment transfers

| 13-11-2018 | François de Witte | TreasuryXL |

1. Purpose of payments

The payment is the act of paying money to someone or of being paid. Payment transactions (payables, disbursements) can traditionally be split along the way the way the money is transmitted. The most important transmission means are:

  • The physical cash
  • The bank transfer and its variances
  • The card payments.

We have also observed in the last years new payment forms coming up, such as the telecom payments, the mobile payments, e-wallets and the cryptocurrency payments,

Bank transfers (and its variances) can traditionally be split in:

  • Domestic transfers: payments within a country, with the currency of the country
  • Cross-border transfers: payments outside the country or using a foreign currency

In this first article on payments, we will focus on the domestic bank transfers, including the current types payments, their advantages and the attention points, and some other concepts.

2. Domestic Transfers

2.1. Bank or Credit Transfer:

If A needs to pay money to B, then he will send a payment order to his bank (ordering bank), who will in turn debits the account of company A and sends the payment order to bank of the beneficiary (B’s Bank) through the clearing, asking to B’s bank to credit the beneficiary’s account.

The following drawing illustrates the flows:

2.2 Clearing:

Clearing is the system, by which an organization (the clearing house) acts as an intermediary in a transaction, to process reconcile orders between paying and receiving parties. Clearing houses provides smoother and more efficient payment markets as parties can make transfers to the clearing house rather than to each individual party with to whom they pay or from which they receive payments.

Within payments we have the difference between the gross and the net settlement:

  • Net settlement (also known under the name ACH – Automated Clearing House): This is the traditional Approach, whereby the amounts to be paid and received are netted. After agreed upon clearing cycles, the clearing house will pay a net amount to each of the participants, offsetting incoming and outgoing payments. The advantage of this clearing is that it is processed in batch payments and is less expensive. The drawback is that the finality of the payment is only at end of “clearing period”, and that it creates intra-day exposures.
    Examples: UK cheque clearing, BACS, ACH in USA, EBA Step 2 and STET for SEPA payments
  • Gross settlement (also known under the name RTGS – Real Time Gross Settlement): Each payment settles singly and bilaterally across accounts at the settlement bank, usually the central bank. The advantage of this method is that it is more rapid and eliminates settlement risk. However, it is more expensive than the ACH clearing, and hence will be used more for high value and treasury payments.
    Examples: Fedwire in the USA, CHATS in Hong Kong, TARGET in Europe, CHAPS in the UK, DEBES in Denmark, RIX in Sweden and SIX in Switzerland

 Illustration of the RTGS system:

 

2.3 Standing order (also called “recurrent payment”):

This a preauthorised payment under which an account holder instructs his bank to pay on a regular basis a fixed amount from his account to a defined beneficiary. Standing orders are used typically for recurring, fixed-amount expenses (e.g. rental payments, loan or mortgage instalments). They are cancellable at the accountholder’s request.

2.4 Direct debit: Direct Debit:

This is another type of preauthorised payment under which an account holder authorizes his bank to accept debit instructions on his account towards a defined account of a defined creditor. A direct debit is based upon a mandate which is held either by the bank of the debtor or by the creditor. Circumstances in which the funds are drawn as well as dates and amounts are agreed upon between the payee and payer.

This type of payments is typically used for recurrent payments with fluctuating amounts, such as utilities, phone, insurance, credit cards, etc. The payer can cancel the authorization for a direct debit at any time. In addition, several legislations foresee refund periods, enabling the account holder to ask a refund of the amount debited from his account (in the EU for authorized direct debits 8 weeks and for unauthorized direct debits 13 months).

2.5 Urgent versus non urgent-payments:

Most payments are processed as “non-urgent”, enabling the instructing bank to process the payment in batches through the ACH clearing and to take some float. However, for time critical payments, the instructing party can as to his bank to treat the payment order as “urgent”. Urgent payments are usually cleared through the RTGS clearing. If the ordering party respects the cut-off time of his bank (see down below), for domestic payments, the beneficiary is credited the same day with no float. Banks usually charge a higher payment commission for urgent payments.

2.6 Instant credit transfers:

Are a variance of the urgent bank transfer, whereby the money is made available within seconds on the account of the recipient, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In some countries, this is already possible.

Example: SEPA Credit Transfer Instant, Faster Payments Service in the UK, The RTP system which will be launched early 2019 in the US.

3. Some other concepts:

Settlement date is the date on which funds become unavailable for the paying party,  or available to the beneficiary party.

Value dating: applying a certain value date on a transaction:

  • Forward value dating (of Future dating): is the value dating at a moment which occurs after the date that the bank is notified of the transaction
  • Back value dating: is value dating which is retroactive, i.e. prior to the moment of the effective transaction.

Float: the “Bank Float” is the time that elapses between the moment that the funds are unavailable funds for the payer and the moment that the funds available to the beneficiary.

Cut-off time for payments: the point in time before which electronic payments, such as a RTGS or ACH payment, must be submitted to a processing bank for entry into the interbank clearing system. If the payment order is submitted thereafter, it will be executed the next day. The cut-off time is a function of the cut-off time of the clearing system and of the processing time of the ordering bank. In Europe, most banks foresee cut-off times around 15 p.m. for processing ACH or RTGS orders.

4. Some statistics and concluding remarks:

Each year, Cap Gemini and BNP Paribas publish a survey with interesting statistics about payment methods in the world. In their 2018 survey they point out that whilst credit transfers and direct debits remains important in Europe (46 % of the non-cash payment volumes), we see that card payments are becoming more and more important (50 % of the non-cash payment volumes in 2016).

Source: Cap Gemini and BNP World Payments Report 2018

In my next contribution I will go more in detail in the card payments and on cross border payments.

 

François de Witte

Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult

Managing Director and CFO at SafeTrade Holding S.A.

How to connect to your bank electronically

| 26-10-2017 | François de Witte |

One of the main challenges in treasury is ensuring the connectivity with your banking partners. Currently corporates use the e-banking, or “electronic banking” channels. ‘Electronic banking’ can be defined as the way in which a company can transmit transactions and obtain reporting instructions to a bank remotely and electronically.

In the present article about bank connectivity, we will outline the current types of e-banking channels in the market, their advantages and the attention points.

Interactive banking channels

For interactive e-banking channels, typically the communication is initiated by the corporate client from a PC within the finance department and the instructions are transmitted to the bank through the internet.

Banks are developing their portals more and more: ING Business Payment, Connexis, KBC-Online, IT Line, RABO Corporate Connect, etc. They also provide a full range of services through them.

Illustration of the interactive electronic banking channel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently the interactive- banking channels are widely used by corporates and other organizations, because they are easy to implement, user-friendly, enable to work on a standalone basis and less expensive. However, the drawbacks are that they are not always that suited for mass payments, and that each bank has its own system. Consequently, if you work with different banks, you will have different electronic banking channels for each bank, which adds to the complexity.

In some countries, the banks have put their efforts together to create a multibank interactive electronic banking channels (e.g. Isabel 6 in Belgium and Multiline in Luxembourg).

In my view, the interactive e-banking channel is best suited for corporates having not too high volumes of transactions and working with only few banks, or in countries were multibank electronic banking channels are available.

Host to host electronic banking channels

Some corporates or public institutions have very high volumes to treat, and will need for this a specific direct connection with their bank, a so-called “host to host” (H2H) connection. This is an automated solution for high volume data transfer between banks and their corporate clients.

Sophisticated H2H connectivity solutions give banks the flexibility to exchange information with their corporate clients in preferred file formats, agreeing on network protocols, and security standards.

The following figure illustrates this type of e-channel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H2H e-banking channels allows for automated payments and collections, attended (where the client needs to take an action) or unattended (directly initiated by the IT system) connection / authorization. They can treat very high volumes, and to integrate the data into ERP systems.

However, they are also more expensive, because they require a specific IT set-up and usually the services of a middleware provider to ensure the connectivity between your ERP or IT system and the bank.

Up to some years ago, corporates had to set up H2H connections with each of their banks, but now several multibank H2H solutions have been developed by the TMS (Treasury Management Systems) providers or by other multibank providers such as TIS, MultiCash and Power2Pay.

In some countries, the banks have set up common interbank protocols enabling an easier and standardized connection. The best know is EBICS, which is currently in use in Germany and France.

In my view, the host to host banking e-channel is best suited for corporates having very large volumes of transactions and requiring a high level of integration with their ERP or IT systems.

SWIFT e-banking

SWIFT has extended from a bank-to-bank platform to a corporate-to-bank platform, and has also launched its own bank connectivity solution, SCORE (Standardized Corporate Environment). SWIFT enables hence to replace the various e-banking systems with a single, bank-neutral multibank e-channel. This means that treasurers and finance managers can connect with their banks worldwide in a consistent way using industry-recognized standards.

Outline of a SWIFTNET Multibank set-up (source SWIFT):

Companies can connect to SWIFT in many ways. One option is to establish a direct connection to SWIFT, but this can be a technically complex exercise. As a result, many of the companies connecting to SWIFT do so via a SWIFT service bureau. In such a set-up, most of the technical challenges are resolved by the service bureau

The third SWIFT connectivity option is Alliance Lite2. This solution enables corporates to connect to SWIFT in a quicker and less expensive way.

The SWIFT channel offers, beside the multibank character, many other advantages, such as the SWIFT standards, services beyond payments, such as FX and deposit confirmation and securities transactions, and an improved security / reliability compared to the classic e-banking systems

However, the Swift e-banking solution is not easy to implement, and can be quite expensive (in particular for the direct connection and the connection through a service bureau. Hence this solution is more suite for very large corporates and institutions, working with many banks.

Conclusion:

When looking at setting up the e-banking connectivity, several factors need to be taken into consideration, such as the number of banks and transactions, the complexity of the organization and the treasury. Smaller organization can perfectly work with the interactive e-banking channels, whilst larger and more complex organizations need to consider the multibank H2H connections or a SWIFT setup.

In the framework of PSD2, with the XS2A (access to accounts), banks in the EU/EEA will have to provide access to authorized third parties. I expect that thanks to PSD2 the cost of multibank e-banking platforms will go down, which is good news for corporates.

 

François de Witte

Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult

Going cashless or not – will we have a cashless world?

|30-8-2017 | Olivier Werlingshoff | GTNews |

In their article ‘Going cashless or not: are Central Banks resigning facing private companies?‘ GTNews and author Nathan Evans depict an image of a cashless world and the decline of Central Banks. With online shopping sites or GAFA companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) taking over with cashless payments because, as Nathan Evans writes, ‘the more cash disappears from our economies, the more money falls into their virtual pockets’  will we have a cashless world? We asked our expert Olivier Werlingshoff to give us his opinion about a possible disappearance of cash.


Alliance

According to Nathan Evans a surprising alliance is slowly coming together, in the global war on cash. Large internet-based companies and commercial banks are mixing interests with top-level governmental bodies to press for the disappearance of hard currency, and speed up the digital transition towards a cashless world. On the losing end of the intended shift, central banks which seem to be putting up feeble resistance. Private banks are fed up with the high costs and low profitability of managing cash and its expensive security services.The EU Commission discretely published its anti-cash measures on its website: “The establishment of a common cash control strategy upon entering or leaving the territory of the EU was a decisive step in the EU policy aimed at the strengthening of measures to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and other illegal activities. One would have imagined that central banks and mints would be the first on the barricades to defend the national symbols bequeathed upon them , as they cease to exist if coins and banknotes dissappear.   But so far, they have been remarkably feeble in their resistance.

Our expert Olivier Werlingshoff has read the articel and comes back with the following remarks:
I don’t think cash payments will disappear soon. At this moment 60% of all payments in Europe are done with cash. A few positive aspects of cash are:

  • It is anonymous
  • Secure
  • A save haven
  • It is a direct transaction
  • And it helps budgeting

Two years ago I set up a test at a shop B2C to see what happened if during six weeks cash payments were not accepted. What happened was that the number of contactless payments increased but the total turnover of the shop decreased. After the test when cash was again accepted the turnover didn’t reached the level of before the test.

A few customers decided during the test to look for other shops where they could still pay with cash and decided after a few weeks not to come back.

For more information about this topic you can visit de website of G4S for the cash report: http://www.g4scashreport.com/

If you are interested to read the complete article at GTNews, please click on this link.

Olivier Werlingshoff - editor treasuryXL

 

Olivier Werlingshoff

Owner of Werfiad

 

 

 

 

More articles of this author:

How to improve cash awareness without targets

How to improve your working capital with trade finance instruments

 

 

Instant payments for treasurers

| 31-03-2017 | Alessandro Longoni |

Building on the ideas shared in a previous article about Cash Conversion Cycle on treasuryXL, this piece focuses on the developments that new European laws will bring in the areas of Instant Payments and how this will affect Treasury.

As part of further standardization within the union, European regulators mandated the industry to develop an “instant payments” product aimed to making the funds available on the receiving side “within a maximum execution time of ten seconds”. The SCT Inst scheme has been developed to allow for consumer payments (C2C, C2B) in Euro for the SEPA and will be an optional scheme – meaning that PSPs and Banks are not obliged to join.

Practical Use Cases

From a cash management perspective, Instant Payments open an array of new possibilities for merchants, especially for those operating eCommerce operations. Currently if a customer places an order on a friday late afternoon, the funds are made available (earliest) on monday evening, while the order is most likely processed and delivered by Saturday afternoon. With SCT Inst, if the order is placed on friday at 21:00, the funds will be received (maximum) at 21:00:10 and already available to pay suppliers if needed.

From a treasury perspective, Instant Payments will also allow for more transparency on transactions and easier reconciliation, but time needs to be devoted to update the current tools to facilitate for this. As Instant Payments will gain customer adoption, the incoming payments cash account will be filled with hundreds or thousands of transactions per day, as opposed to one per day coming from your Payment Service Provider. Having direct access and insight in each single transaction will make it easier to reconcile it with the relative order, check the amount and book it in the general ledger, but the sheer number of lines in the system requires current tools to be updated to cope with the increased volume and speed.

Pros and Cons

There are several benefits this new payment method brings to the table, including a strong reduction of working capital trapped to fund operations, however, in order to extract all the benefits, ERP systems need to be updated to check the status of transactions in real-time instead of intervals. Without investing in developing the current tools further, companies risk missing out on the new opportunities to deliver better customer service and create additional efficiencies in cash management.

 

Alessandro Longoni 

Managing Consultant at Proferus