What are BIC/ SWIFT codes, how do you find them, and how do they work?

26-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Not sure where to find this key ingredient to an international money transfer? Our guide will let you know about SWIFT and BIC codes inside and out.

To send or receive money internationally, your bank or any other financial institution must know where to send the money – but how do they know? Make way, for this is where a BIC/ SWIFT code comes into the scene! If you’ve ever initiated a money transfer with Xe or read our guide to sending money, you might’ve seen that you’ll need a BIC or SWIFT code. But what is that, and where would you find it?

Starting from what a SWIFT/ BIC code is and why you need it to how you can find it easily and use it for transferring money globally, our guide will let you know everything about this code inside out. Ready, get set, go!

What is a BIC or SWIFT Code?

BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code, and SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. Sometimes, people use the terms “BIC” and “SWIFT” interchangeably. A SWIFT code or SWIFT ID typically identifies banks and other financial institutions worldwide, for international transactions. More specifically, it says who and where these institutions are, so that your money goes to the correct place – you might even think of it as a global identity card for banks.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recognizes and approves SWIFT codes for financial and non-financial institutions. Right now, there are over 40,000 live SWIFT codes in the world.

What does a BIC/ SWIFT code look like?

SWIFT/ BIC codes contain 8-11 characters that identify your city, country, bank, and the branch of your bank. The code may look something like this: AAAABBCCXXX

All muddled up? Let’s get this BIC format straight:

  • AAAA: 4-letter bank code that’s usually a shortened version of your bank’s name.

  • BB: 2-letter country code that represents the country in which the bank’s located.

  • CC: 2-character location code, pointing to the place where the bank’s head office is situated. It’s made up of letters and numbers.

  • XXX: 3-digit branch code that specifies a particular branch of the bank, usually the bank’s headquarters. These last 3 digits are optional, though.

To help you understand better, we’ve listed out the BIC/ SWIFT codes for a few large banks from around the world:

  • Scotiabank (Canada): NOSCCATTXXX

  • Charles Schwab Bank (US): CSCHUS6SXXX

  • Bank of England: BKENGB2LXXX

  • State Bank of India: SBININBBXXX

Why do I need a BIC/ SWIFT code?

If you want to send money around the world, you’ll almost always need to use a SWIFT/ BIC code. That’s because money transfers technically don’t actually transfer money around the world. Banks securely transmit information to one another through the SWIFT system or their other channels, which lets them know where the money should come from (which account should be debited), and which account should be credited with the money. In short, without this code, your bank won’t know where exactly they should send your money to.

So, it’s important for a bank on one side of the world to find the right bank on the other side, when it comes to international wire transfers, even when you use an international money transfer app like Xe, you’ll have to enter the BIC/ SWIFT code of the recipient’s bank for wiring money to the recipient, because the money will travel from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account.

How do I find my SWIFT/ BIC code?

Don’t worry, you have a few options.

  • Check the bank statements

You can usually find your bank’s BIC/ SWIFT code in your bank account statements. If you’re using an online bank, log into your digital bank account to easily view your bank statement.

  • Check the bank’s official website

Visit the bank’s website and check their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, international wire transfers, and other related links for their BIC/ SWIFT code. If there’s a search feature on the website, enter “SWIFT code” in the search box.

  • Contact your bank

In case you still can’t find the BIC/ SWIFT code, reach out to your bank via live chat, phone, social media, or email.

How do I verify a SWIFT code?

When sending or receiving money, always cross-check the BIC/ SWIFT code and other details with the recipient or your bank before you or the sender sends the money.

But why should you cross-check it?

As a matter of fact, if you enter a SWIFT code that doesn’t exist, the bank should reverse the payment you’ve made, and return your money. They’ll be charging a specific fee for that, though, and it might take some time before you get your money back.

As soon as it hits you that you’ve entered the wrong code to send money internationally (uh-oh), get in touch with your bank right away. They may be able to cancel the transaction, so keep your fingers crossed.

You can avoid such a scenario if you make sure that the BIC/ SWIFT code has:

  • No typing mistakes

You might think entering a SWIFT code is the work of a moment. But when you finally type it, character by character, it might seem as long as a marathon. Since it’s easy to make a mistake while typing in the code, try to copy and paste the code whenever possible.

  • The correct format

Always stick to the format of the BIC/ SWIFT code that the recipient has given you. For example, don’t type the country code before entering the bank code. And remember, there shouldn’t be any spaces between the characters in the code.

How do I transfer money using a SWIFT code via money transfer apps (like Xe)?

Once you sign up on online money transfer apps like Xe, you need to link your bank account directly to the app. After that, you can send money straight to the recipient’s bank account through a wire transfer, no matter where in the world he or she may be. You’ll usually have to follow these steps for wiring money between banks via Xe:

  • Log in.

  • Confirm which currencies you’d want to exchange. You can use Xe’s free Currency Converter tool for a quick check on the mid-market rate.

  • Enter the amount you wish to send.

  • Enter the recipient’s name and address.

  • Enter the recipient’s bank details, including the BIC/ SWIFT code and the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of his or her bank.

  • Choose your payment method and confirm the money transfer.

Is IBAN the same as SWIFT?

No, IBAN and SWIFT are 2 different codes, but both of these do the same job – sending or receiving money. Banks use SWIFT codes to identify bank branches for making international payments. On the other hand, IBAN codes specify individual bank accounts for both domestic and international payments.

  • Do I need an IBAN number or a SWIFT code?

It depends on the country to which you’re sending money. For example, banks in the US, Australia, and New Zealand don’t use IBAN numbers, but they use SWIFT codes for different banking services.  But if you’re wiring money to a country within the Eurozone, you’ll surely need a SWIFT/ BIC code along with an IBAN number.

Is a SWIFT/ BIC code the same as a sort code?

Nope, sort codes aren’t the same as SWIFT codes. Sort codes are 6-digit codes that help British and Irish banks to identify bank branches for domestic payments (payments within a country).

  • Do all banks use BIC/ SWIFT codes?

No, all financial institutions, especially some small banks and credit unions, don’t have SWIFT codes. Instead, these institutions contact banks that do have BIC/ SWIFT codes, and ask them to serve as intermediaries for wiring money. You might also come across some financial institutions that use SWIFT for only a certain number of their branches, and not all of them.

Is a SWIFT code the same for all branches?

It depends on the recipient’s bank. Some banks may have one BIC/ SWIFT code for all their branches, while others have unique SWIFT codes for each of their branches. Plus, since all the branches of a bank may or may not use the SWIFT network, the code usually specifies the bank’s head office or primary office. So, are you ready to make an international money transfer using a BIC/ SWIFT code? Download the Xe app or sign up today!

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Savings and investment banks have a lot of potential for improvement in the onboarding process for customers

24-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

(Dutch Item)

Hoe digitaal en gebruiksvriendelijk verloopt het proces om klant te worden bij spaar- en beleggingsbanken? En wat kunnen zij opsteken van banken die een betaalrekening aanbieden? In een nieuw onderzoek van Enigma Consulting komt naar voren dat spaar- en beleggingsbanken hun onboardingsproces naar een hoger niveau kunnen brengen door te leren van de klantreis van banken die reguliere betaalrekeningen aanbieden. Wat vooral opvalt is dat de onboarding bij spaar- en beleggingsbanken nog hoofdzakelijk via de website verloopt, terwijl betaalbanken de onboarding via de app aanbieden en overduidelijk meer inzetten op innovatieve oplossingen. Een bijdrage van Marc Groot, Managing Consultant bij Enigma Consulting en expert binnen het onboardingsdomein.

Als expert in het klantonboardingsdomein publiceerde Enigma Consulting in juni 2020 een artikel over de onboardingsprocessen van de belangrijkste ‘betaalbanken’ in Nederland. Dit onderzoek heeft een vervolg gekregen, waarin naar de onboarding van spaar- en beleggingsbanken is gekeken, die worden aangeduid als ‘niet-betaalbanken’. Banken die  – onder andere – een betaalrekening aanbieden, noemen we betaalbanken.

Wanneer onboarding niet via de app mogelijk was, is de onboarding uitgevoerd via de website op de smartphone. Het onboardingsproces is per bank doorlopen en beoordeeld aan de hand van verschillende criteria. De onderzoekers hebben zich in het onderzoek geconcentreerd op de klantervaring, waarbij niet achter de schermen is gekeken bij de onderzochte banken. De klantreis is beoordeeld op basis van drie categorieën:

  • Innovatie: door handig gebruik te maken van innovatieve technieken, zoals een selfiefilm en de NFC-chip voor het uitlezen van legitimaties, kunnen gebruiksvriendelijkheid en fraudepreventie bij elkaar gebracht en versterkt worden.
  • Gebruiksvriendelijkheid: het gemak waarmee de klant het proces doorloopt, de doorlooptijd, de begeleiding van de klant door het proces en de aanwezigheid van technische barrières.
  • Veiligheid en fraudepreventie: alle banken hebben de verantwoordelijkheid om fraude te voorkomen en de klant correct te identificeren. De banken zijn beoordeeld op basis van hoe de klant wordt geïdentificeerd,  klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethoden en in hoeverre deze  aan de voorkant voldoen aan de geldende wet- en regelgeving.

De volgende afbeelding geeft weer welke spaar- en beleggingsbanken zijn meegenomen in het onderzoek en welke het beste zijn beoordeeld per categorie.

Niet-betaalbanken weinig innovatief

Allereerst is gekeken in hoeverre niet-betaalbanken innovaties gebruiken in het onboardingsproces en hoe dit zich verhoudt tot betaalbanken. Bij de identificatie van een klant gaat de bank af op de door de klant verstrekte gegevens. Een voorbeeld is een kopie of scan van het paspoort. Vervolgens verifieert de bank de identiteit door vast te stellen of de opgegeven identiteit overeenkomt met de werkelijke identiteit, bijvoorbeeld door een selfie-foto. Innovaties in het onboardingsproces zijn onder meer vernieuwende klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethoden en het uitlezen van de legitimatie via een foto in de app of via een NFC-chip.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken bieden alleen beleggersbanken DeGiro en Semmie de mogelijkheid aan om via een foto het legitimatiebewijs te delen met de bank. Bij de overige niet-betaalbanken dient de klant een scan van het legitimatiebewijs te maken en deze vervolgens te uploaden of te mailen. Daarbij moet de klant de persoonlijke gegevens handmatig invoeren op de website. Dit leidt tot een langer proces en kan leiden tot incorrecte invoer van de klant. Verder bieden de niet-betaalbanken geen van alle een selfie-foto, selfie-film of stemopname aan als middel voor klantverificatie.

Daarentegen gebruikt een meerderheid van de betaalbanken wel innovatieve identificatie- en verificatiemethoden. Vijf betaalbanken laten hun nieuwe klant een selfie-foto maken, drie kiezen voor een selfie-film en twee voor een stemopname. Verder worden bij vier betaalbanken de persoonsgegevens automatisch overgenomen in de app door middel van een scan van het legitimatiebewijs of door het uitlezen van de NFC-chip van het paspoort.

Onboarding via app bij niet-betaalbanken nog in kinderschoenen

Kijkend naar gebruiksvriendelijkheid is het bij vrijwel geen enkele niet-betaalbank mogelijk om de volledige onboarding te verrichten via de app. Dit kan alleen bij vermogensbeheerder Semmie. Deze jonge fintech-onderneming maakt in alle categorieën een goede indruk. Bij de overige gevallen gaat de klant grotendeels door het proces via de website. De klant vult de persoonlijke gegevens handmatig in via een webformulier. Bovendien heeft een deel van de niet-betaalbanken überhaupt geen app waarin zij hun diensten aanbieden.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken onderscheiden BinckBank, DeGiro, Lloyds Bank en Semmie zich positief qua doorlooptijd. De klant weet binnen een uur wat het spaarrekeningnummer is. Bij Semmie moet aangetekend worden dat het rekeningnummer nog niet direct actief is na de onboarding, vanwege de afhankelijkheid van de acceptatie door hun depotbank.  Bij de andere spaar- en beleggingsbanken varieert deze doorlooptijd van binnen een dag tot binnen een week.

Uit het onderzoek komt naar voren dat banken waarbij de onboarding via de app verloopt beter scoren op gebruiksvriendelijkheid en innovatie. Het grote voordeel van mobiele apps in vergelijking met mobiele websites is de betere klantervaring. Mobiele apps zijn geoptimaliseerd voor een grote hoeveelheid aan smartphones en schermresoluties, apps werken sneller dan websites en apps kunnen gebruikmaken van apparaat-eigenschappen, zoals camera of GPS. Bij onboarding via een website zijn deze apparaat-eigenschappen niet mogelijk.

Een belangrijk element van een goede gebruikerservaring is dat de klant zo snel mogelijk gebruik kan maken van de rekening en diensten. Bij een aantal betaalbanken is de rekening binnen een uur al actief en kan de klant transacties uitvoeren. Om dit te realiseren is een gedigitaliseerde klantreis noodzakelijk. Bij de meeste betaalbanken is het mogelijk de onboarding volledig te doorlopen via de app. Duidelijk is dat bij de niet-betaalbanken een flinke stap valt te maken in het aanbieden van de onboarding en dienstverlening via een app.

Veiligheid kan gebruikersgemak verlagen, innovatie is de oplossing

De derde categorie is ‘veiligheid en fraudepreventie’. Voor banken is het van groot belang dat zij op de hoogte zijn van de laatste wet- en regelgeving en de processen volledig compliant zijn in relatie tot KYC en AML.

Zowel betaalbanken als niet-betaalbanken gebruiken de identificatiestorting regelmatig. Bij niet-betaalbanken is het primaire doel van de identificatiestorting het moeten verifiëren van een vaste tegenrekening. Bij betaalbanken gaat het om afgeleide identificatie van de klant.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken komt de identificatiestorting acht keer terug. BinckBank, DeGiro  en Semmie maken het mogelijk om via iDEAL te betalen, terwijl de overige niet-betaalbanken nog steeds een handmatige overboeking hanteren. Deze handmatige overboeking is tijdrovend en gaat buiten de directe flow van de klantreis om. iDEAL is de oplossing hiervoor.

De betaalbanken hebben iDEAL nagenoeg standaard opgenomen in de klantreis. Bij zes betaalbanken die de identificatiestorting gebruiken, kan de klant bij vijf de storting uitvoeren via iDEAL en bij één gaat dit via een handmatige overboeking.

Innovatie en app zetten betaalbanken op grote voorsprong

Uit het onderzoek kunnen een aantal conclusies getrokken worden. Ten eerste lopen niet-betaalbanken ver achter op betaalbanken op het gebied van innovatieve  klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethodes. Ten tweede bieden niet-betaalbanken het onboardingsproces hoofdzakelijk aan via de website, terwijl de onboarding bij betaalbanken verloopt via de app.

Kortom, spaar- en beleggingsbanken hebben veel verbeterpotentieel als het gaat om klantervaring en digitalisering van het onboardingsproces. Tegenwoordig voeren steeds meer bedrijven een ‘app first-strategie’ waarbij alle diensten, en dus ook onboarding, via de app verlopen om zodoende een vlekkeloze mobiele online ervaring te kunnen bieden. We zijn immers tegenwoordig meer online via onze smartphones dan via andere apparaten.

Innovatie en gebruikersgemak zijn op een positieve wijze nauw met elkaar verbonden. Door gebruik te maken van innovaties, wordt de veiligheid van het proces bevorderd zonder dat dit ten koste gaat van de gebruiksvriendelijkheid.

TRAINING: PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

| 23-11-2020 | Francois De Witte

On December 16th, our Expert Francois de Witte will present a Webinar in collaboration with Febelfin-Academy, regarding PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges.

This training program prepares participants for 2 major challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 & Open Banking. This will have a major impact on the financial ecosystem and will create new challenges.

The goal of this training course is to:

  • Make participants aware of the ways PSD2 & Open Banking affect banks and other players in Europe;
  • Understand the impact of the technical requirements with a focus on strong customer authentication;
  • Outline the risks and responsibilities of the involved parties within the new regulatory framework;
  • Understand the impact of Open Banking APIs (Application Programming interfaces;
  • Understand the impacts of the PSD2 & Open Banking the financial ecosystem;
  • Evaluate the risk and opportunities created by PSD2 & Open Banking the banks and the new players;
  • Determine action plan for your company.

Target Audience

This training course can be followed by multiple target groups:

  • Managers of a banks/PSP’s/Fintechs involved with the payments and digital strategy
  • Product Development Experts (payments)
  • Service providers involved with Open Banking
  • Corporate Treasurers
  • Compliance officers

Prior Knowledge

Advanced: offers practice-based applications to complement the theoretical knowledge already acquired through the “basic level” courses (in-depth learning).

There is no specific preparation required. For persons who are less acquainted with PSD2 and payments, some pre-course reading material can be made available.”

Program

This training program prepares participants for two key challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 and Open Banking.

Part I: PSD2 and Open Banking – overview:

  • PSD2: Scope and Basic Principles
  • XS2A (Access the Accounts)
  • New Players: AISP and PISP
  • SCA (Strong Customer Authentication)
  • Consent and SCA
  • Requirements for the Banks and TPPs
  • Timetable
  • Trends in Open Banking

Part II: Open banking architecture: Implications for banks and the New Players

  • XS2A: Risks, Responsibilities and obligations of the related parties
  • XS2A: Availability Requirements
  • Setting up the SCA in Practice
  • SCA: Optimization of the Exemptions
  • Security requirements ensuring consumer protection
  • Addressing the fraud and cyberattack risks
  • Technology: building interfaces – APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • European initiatives to standardize the interfaces
  • Practical aspects – Role of Aggregators
  • Group Exercise

Part 3: PSD2: Potential impact on the market and next steps

  • Global impact on the market – New Players
  • Impact on the Payments Landscape
  • Impact on the Cards and Digital Payment Instruments
  • Impact on the Merchants and the e-commerce
  • Impact on corporates
  • FinTech Companies: ready to disrupt banks?
  • Implication on the Digital Banking Strategy
  • The new role of competition and cooperation
  • Action Plan for Banks and New Players
  • Group Exercise

Practical information

Duration: One day training

Date: December 16, 2020

Hours: 9AM-5PM (6 training hours)

Location: This training will be given online

Additional information: This training course will be given in English

Pricing: Members (€510), Non-Members (€610), Partner BZB (€510)

REGISTER HERE

What’s the difference between a neobank and a challenger bank?

19-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

The presence or absence of a banking license is the biggest difference between neobanks and challenger banks, but it’s not the only difference.

Most banks began looking into online services shortly after 9/11 brought air travel to a sudden and screeching halt. They wanted a way to move money which did not involve placing paper checks on airplanes. Internet-based banking, or mostly internet-based banking, was the next logical step. According to some recent market research, neobanks and challenger banks will be worth over $470 billion USD by 2027. Frequently, people use these terms interchangeably. However, there are some significant differences between neobanks and challenger banks. Challenger banks are mostly online, and neobanks are exclusively online.

But while the presence of physical locations (and lack thereof) is an important distinction between neobanks and challenger banks, it isn’t the only difference between the two bank types. There are several differences to note, as these differences often have a direct bearing on which one is best for your family or business.

Difference #1: physical presence

Think of it like this. Many retailers, like Walmart, have both a physical and an online presence. Other retailers, like Amazon, are exclusively online. Challenger banks and neobanks are basically the same. But the Walmart comparison only goes so far. Most challenger banks only have a handful of physical locations, as their online services are their main draw. Furthermore, most of these physical locations are in the UK. After the 2008 financial crisis, the government opened the market to new banks.

Neobanks, on the other hand, first appeared in 2017 as a way to fill the niche between traditional banks and FinTechs. Less than four years later, there are hundreds of these institutions in the UK, U.S., and worldwide.

Difference #2: accounts, products, and services

There are some other differences as well. Typically, challenger banks offer both personal and business accounts. Moreover, challenger banks streamline their products and services, so they can be more internet-friendly. Challenger banks are small institutions which “challenged” the Big Four UK banks (Barclay’s, Lloyd’s, HSBC, and RBS). Their technology-based services and commitment to markets traditionally under served by the Big Four quickly attracted legions of customers.

While neobanks do offer some personal accounts and services, they usually target small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and business startups. They present themselves not just as banks, but as online financial technology firms, and typically appeal to more tech-savvy customers.

Difference #3: banking license

What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? It’s not their sense of humor, or lack thereof. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and psychologists can only provide therapy.

That’s also the major difference between challenger banks and neobanks. Most challenger banks have such a limited physical presence that they are essentially 100 percent online. But challenger banks have banking licenses and neobanks do not. So, only challenger banks can offer a full range of financial services. That includes things like issuing credit cards and loaning money. Neobanks can offer these services as well, but only if they are tied to a licensed institution.

There is some overlap. Many neobanks essentially began as FinTechs. Then, once regulators approved their banking license requests, they became challenger banks.

Some examples of challenger banks and neobanks

Formed in 1995, Richard Branson’s Virgin Money is one of the oldest challenger banks in the UK. It also has locations in Australia and South Africa. Between 2007 and 2010, Virgin Money also operated in the U.S. A private equity group began Aldermore in 2009. The online institution bought Ruffler Bank a few months later, so the neobank became a challenger bank almost overnight. Aldermore is also the poster boy of this sector’s growth. South African financial conglomerate FirstRand recently bought Aldermore for a staggering £1.1 billion.

Durham, England’s Atom Bank was the UK’s first online financial institution to tailor its platform to tablets and smartphones, as opposed to PCs. It was also the first 100 percent digital bank to receive a banking license. Shortly thereafter, international banking giant BBVA acquired a large stake in Atom Bank. As a result, it expanded its financial services to include residential mortgages, competitive savings accounts, and secured business loans.

Founded in 1996, First Internet Bancorp was one of the first FDIC-insured, state-chartered financial institutions in the United States with a 100 percent online presence. It mostly offers retail services, like checking accounts, and securities investments. Customers also have access to installment loans, personal lines of credit, and other financial services. Chetwood Financial Services is an example of a limited challenger bank. It offers most financial services, with the exception of residential mortgages. Regulators do not allow CFS to issue any buy-to-let residential mortgages. Civilised Bank, which is now known as Allicia Bank, is in the same boat. It offers a single financial product, a twelve-month savings account, by virtue of a limited Part 4a UK license.

In 2010, General Motors Assurance Corporation, GM’s financing arm and a free-standing financial services company, became Ally Financial. Not surprisingly, Ally focuses on auto leasing and financing. It has close to five million such customers. In 2016 and again in 2019, the company significantly expanded its mortgage lending business. Ally is affiliated with Via, an online vehicle auction site.

San Francisco-based Good Money sends half its profits to social justice and environmental preservation groups. Accountholders cast ballots to decide where Good Money invests. The bank offers a range of FDIC-insured products, mostly DDA checking and savings accounts. As of January 2019, there was a waiting list to be a Good Money customer. All new customers also have the option of purchasing a stake in the company. Credit Suisse X is the online arm of the venerable Zurich-based investment bank. Its online banking services are targeted to individuals with high incomes. Online financial institutions are more able to go after specific market segments.

Use Xe to make international money transfers

Neobanks and challenger banks are good options for customers who want an all-online or mostly-online experience. But they are not a very good option for international money transfers. Traditionally, bank fees are rather high in this area, and you may not get the best exchange rates for your transfers.

Money transfer providers, such as XE, are neither neobanks nor challenger banks. Xe does not try to be all things to all people. Instead, we focus on electronic funds transfers in general, and international electronic funds transfers in particular. We have worked very hard to develop a platform that’s both convenient and secure. As a bonus, we are also able to offer fast money transfers (some taking just a few minutes) and competitive exchange rates.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Nomentia Webinar: Building the Bridge Between Treasury & Finance: Communication, Collaboration, Technology

| 18-11-2020 | treasuryXL | OpusCapita |

Finance & Treasury leaders are being challenged to become more engaged in driving results across the enterprise. This requires alignment across the Office of the CFO before these leaders can have success in impacting performance in HR, Operations, Marketing and Sales. How can treasury & finance leaders identify and mitigate barriers to effective communication and collaboration to maximize the value delivered by the Office of the CFO?

Join us to discover how to earn trust within and across departmental lines, and up and down the org chart at your company.

We will empower you to:

👉 Identify the skills you possess and/or need to develop to build deeper mutually beneficial relationships within and across departmental lines.

👉Leverage technology to communicate with impact in any business environment.

👉Raise your IQ relative to how and why treasury & finance work at your company.

👉Define opportunities to impact the performance of your colleagues in treasury & finance at your company.

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About Nomentia

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. We believe in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are. Our SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting and visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. We serve 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually. Cash is king!

Treasury Delta’s corporate treasury RFP platform: How does it work and why collaborate?

| 18-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Treasury Delta | Having a hard time dealing with complex and time-consuming RFP processes?

Partner Interview SpendLab | Leaders in Spend Justification

17-11-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab |

SpendLab Recovery generates liquidity for clients by using their Accounts Payable Recovery Analyzer (APRA). APRA is a technology platform that combines over 400 algorithms, Big Data, AI, and machine learning, and audits all the raw Accounts Payable data in any ERP system to identify anomalies. Several examples of anomalies include but are not limited to: undue payments, double invoices, overpayments, and overpaid VAT. Over the past years, SpendLab has analysed over 321 million invoices and has recovered more than €200 million EUR for its clients.

We asked the company 10 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. Can you tell something about SpendLab Recovery?

SpendLab is the Dutch market leader in spend justification and has grown significantly during the past years. The organization is a former spin-off of the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. SpendLab is specialized in generating liquidity for clients by analyzing- and identifying anomalies in raw Accounts Payable data. Besides the generation of liquidity as part of Treasury, we provide compliance reports that are used by our clients to achieve compliance objectives.

2. What was the main reason to start SpendLab Recovery?

During our analyses back in the day we identified that a significant number of invoices and payments were processed incorrectly in Accounts Payable departments of organizations. As a result of these incorrect processes, liquidity could be recovered over multiple historical years.

During the years we significantly invested in our technology in order to provide our clients with a value proposition that is comprehensible, covering all aspects of an Accounts Payable recovery audit. Despite the approval of financial years by Auditors and Accountants, we are able to recover liquidity from the Accounts Payable for our clients. Nowadays we provide liquidity, a 100% analysis of the administrative Accounts Payable processes, and compliance -and risk reports that can be used for compliance purposes.

3. What is, in your perception, the core issue that SpendLab Recovery solves?

Administrative departments within organizations consistently encompass irregularities that lead to the loss of liquidity, despite the level of automation that is adopted. There will always be a continuous flow of business operations inside an organization, and if there are any checks in place, then these checks are mostly reactive and are used as an add-on for a team or employee. SpendLab specifically focuses on the Accounts Payable and is able to identify any irregularity within the raw AP data. Thereupon, we recover rightful liquidity for clients that they can use for value-adding activities.

4. What are the biggest advantages of using SpendLab Recovery?

From our own perspective the generation of liquidity from the Accounts Payable of financial years that were audited and ‘’closed’’ is a great advantage for our clients. Specifically, we are remunerated for the amount of liquidity that we recover.

In terms of Procurement, the Procurement department is usually in the lead during the contracting phase. However, after this phase a lack of insights and active control exist in how suppliers perform in processing invoices. Through our approach and the methods that we use, you could say that we are educating the suppliers of our clients in processing invoices correctly. Besides, it creates awareness that our clients are performing Accounts Payable Recovery Audits on a structural basis.

5. How does the customer project phase looks like from start till actual results?

Our recovery analysis consists of six project phases and requires approximately four months to conduct. The first results will be visible after only eight weeks. Below the project planning can be found.

6. How fast can customers experience the impact of SpendLab Recovery after implementation?

The average lead time of a recovery project is four months. The first payments from suppliers, however, will be collected after just two months. SpendLab is only charged based on the payments that are received, on the basis of no cure no pay.

7. What is the biggest challenge you ever experienced with SpendLab Recovery?

In the very beginning of Account Payable recovery audits, research was done based on spreadsheets. In the past five years we have invested significantly in our IT-platform APRA®. Nowadays, we have a team of more than twenty employees in the Technology department that are continuously developing software for Recovery. The transformation from manual research to automated research in combination with Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence has been the biggest challenge within SpendLab, and could not have been possible without the team and the investments that had to be made.

It has been a challenging choice to completely focus on IT development. However, this choice has enormously helped our organization in optimizing our service, identifying anomalies in Accounts Payable data, and remaining thought leader in the field of Accounts Payable recovery.

8. What have been the latest successes around product development?

Remote and safe access to ERP systems. Whereas our Data Collections team used to literally fly all around the world to align data requirements and to safely collect the raw data of the Accounts Payable that we need for our recovery audit, we can now align and safely collect (ISO:27001; ISO:9001 certified) the data remotely with and from our clients. SpendLab is now able to conduct a complete Accounts Payable recovery audit on a remote and digital basis. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has only accelerated this level of digitization and the service that we provide for our clients.

Moreover, as an organization we have completely changed our way of working. We now work from our platform on a digital and remote basis. Just like every success, this could not have been achieved without challenges.

9. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments and tell us a bit more about your vision?

We have gone from subsequent recovery analyses over five financial years to periodical visualizations. Together with our clients we have developed a complete recovery service, which we can utilize several times a year over the current financial year. Instead of conducting subsequent recovery audits, we are now aiming to provide our clients with a subscription agreement in which some of our clients even take care of the recovery themselves.

Despite that organizations keep optimizing their internal -and external processes, there will always be errors in processes. Based on the collaboration with and input from our clients, we have invested in optimizing our compliance -and risk reports. We can now offer the visualization of these reports in Power BI, which allows our clients to have live and real-time insights in the Accounts Payable.

10. The world is always changing, how does SpendLab Recovery stays one step ahead of its competitors?

SpendLab has always chosen to conduct Accounts Payable recovery audits only, and we are now an absolute leader in spend justification. This leadership role allows us to partner up with top leading international organizations and to discuss the current and future capabilities that they require from our recovery service. By commencing structural dialogues with leading organizations and system suppliers we challenge tomorrow’s needs in Accounts Payable solutions.

 

Interested in a free SpendLab Recovery demo and see how your company can benefit?

Contact us!

 

Identity fraud, COVID-19 and the Pivotal role of Digital Identity

16-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Refinitiv |

Financial crime, including identity fraud, is growing as sophisticated criminals exploit the ever-expanding capabilities of emerging technology. The COVID-19 crisis has only served to increase opportunities for criminals to benefit from fear, uncertainty and desperation, but digital identity solutions offer banks and financial institutions (FIs) a chance to fight back.


Financial crime and identity fraud: fueled by the digital revolution

As digital connectivity continues to redefine every aspect of our lives, quick, seamless digital experiences have come to embody our new normal. This digital revolution is being driven by a host of interconnected factors, including a changing regulatory landscape and emerging technology that creates an environment with low barriers to entry. Other factors are also at play, including ever-increasing connectivity between entities, increased cross-border activity, and tech-savvy consumers who demand choice, fairness, flexibility, and an omnichannel experience across all areas of their lives. Consumers accustomed to digital retail experiences expect the same 24/7/365 digital experience in other areas of their lives, such as banking and wealth management. Moreover, they increasingly expect tailored, highly personalized experiences.

The result of enhanced connectivity, convenience and increased consumer engagement is a real need to protect against highly sophisticated financial criminals who are harnessing the same digital capabilities to defraud both organizations and individuals. Put simply, the technological advancements that make our lives easier can also benefit criminals, making it easier for them to commit financial crime. According to the World Economic Forum, fraud and financial crime constitute a trillion-dollar industry, and private companies spent approximately US$8.2 billion on anti-money laundering (AML) controls alone in 2017.

Refinitiv’s own research, presented in our 2019 report, Innovation and the fight against financial crime, confirms that financial crime is indeed pervasive and costly. Our findings were collated from a survey of more than 3000 managers with compliance-related responsibilities at large global organizations. We found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents were aware of financial crime taking place in their global operations during the 12 months preceding the survey, even though the same companies spent an average of 4% of turnover on customer and third-party due diligence checks. Looking specifically at identity fraud, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed that synthetic identity fraud – where criminals manufacture a new identity using both legitimate and false information – is the fastest growing crime in the U.S.2

COVID-19 has upped the ant

Following the rapid spread of the epidemic , financial crime has accelerated as criminals have found new opportunities to exploit fear, uncertainty and desperation. The FBI provides various innovative examples relating to how criminals are using COVID-19 to defraud individuals, including government impersonators who aim to extract personal information for illegal purposes. And work-from-home fraud, in which victims are asked to send or move money, effectively becoming money mules and enabling criminals.

Forward-thinking banks and FIs are already beginning to accelerate their existing digital transformation programs to mitigate the higher levels of risk anticipated during and after the pandemic. In particular, we expect a significant uptick in the use of digital onboarding and digital identity solutions as more consumers are forced to transact online as a result of lockdown and social distancing requirements; choose to do so for fear of contracting or spreading the virus; and/or are seeking better security when asked to prove their identity.

Even before the pandemic, many firms were increasingly using digital innovation to fight financial crime, including digital identity solutions in the client identification space. Digital identity solutions offer fast, reliable digital identity verification and screening; transcend geographies; boost operational efficiency; and remove the human error factor. Moreover, digital identity helps financial institutions optimize compliance models, improve risk mitigation and protect customers from identity fraud. As the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic, banks and FIs have a real and immediate opportunity to review their systems and controls, while simultaneously accelerating digital transformation and moving away from old-school manual Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

The far-reaching effects of identity theft

Organizations across the financial services industry are facing a range of common challenges, including rising competition, tightening margins, strict regulatory expectations, the need for greater operational efficiency, and pressure to reduce costs. There is the added fundamental requirement to ensure that the client experience is positive. Customer abandonment levels remain unacceptably high, with over half (56%) of consumers in the UK abandoning bank applications in 2018. Our research suggests that traditional KYC and due diligence processes – which can be time-consuming, inefficient and costly – have contributed to this.

While firms are increasingly aware of the need to ensure better experiences for clients, they also need to consider the ever-growing security threats such as large-scale data breaches, phishing and social engineering attacks. These crimes have made it easier for fraudsters to assume the identities of legitimate account owners via account takeover fraud. The impact of identity fraud is far-reaching, with victims experiencing both financial and psychological damage that can severely impact their behavior and future brand loyalty.

There is therefore an urgent need for banks and FIs to prioritize customer identity protection alongside the accepted need to ensure a positive experience. Many banks and FIs are not moving fast enough to address this issue – and need to become more aware of the wider social risks of identity fraud.

On a more positive note, a highly encouraging finding from our survey was that technology, including digital identity solutions, is increasingly able to help organizations fight back against financial crime while improving client relationships. A significant 94% of survey respondents agreed that the technology they use to detect financial crime is also enhancing customer engagement.

Digital identity: who can benefit?

Digital identity solutions continue to grow in popularity and offer numerous benefits to different industry participants, including retail banks and wealth managers.

Retail Banking

Retail banks, for example, can benefit from enhanced speed, efficiency and security when using digital onboarding and digital identity solutions during customer account opening, where it is necessary to verify and prove the identity of new customers who apply for new bank products and services. Digital identity is also invaluable for customer re-verification and authentication in instances where existing customers seek to make changes to their personal information.

Wealth management

Turning specifically to the wealth industry, the benefits are equally clear. The wealth arena is operating against a backdrop of unprecedented uncertainty as wealth transfer from baby boomers to millennials brings far-reaching changes to business models, in line with the expectation that a new generation requires new strategies and alternative data.

We commissioned research from global research and advisory firm Aite Group, which collated the findings from executive interviews with leading wealth management firms around the globe. The research found that 100% of respondents consider wealth transfer to be one of their top-three concerns. This report also revealed that financial advisors are becoming less product-focused and more relationship-oriented. As the wealth industry continues to shift away from products and towards services, the role of financial planning is taking center stage in the client/advisor relationship. Advisors are increasingly shifting focus from administrative duties and investment selection to client service. Digital identities can enable the shift of work from financial advisor to less expensive parts of the value chain, enabling them to concentrate on areas of added value.

A strong belief in technology

Our research shows that firms overwhelmingly believe in the power of technology in the fight against corruption: 97% of all respondents in our innovation survey said that technology can significantly help with financial crime prevention. There are of course still challenges in adopting digital solutions – nearly three-quarters (73%) reported concerns or obstacles when harnessing technological advancements to reduce risks and costs.

Respondents revealed that only about half (51%) of the data and legal documentation needed to carry out due diligence is obtained, but creating more difficulties, only 54% of this is in a digitized format. While remedies will take time, the digitization outlook is positive with 60% of organizations prioritizing automation and digitization for investment. Respondents indicated that spending on customer and third-party due diligence checks was expected to increase by 51% in the year following the survey, with technology being the biggest investment area. This data was gathered prior to the onset of COVID-19 and is expected to accelerate further as a result.

Digital identity solutions deliver diverse benefits

Digital identity solutions tick many boxes, including:

  • Faster turnaround times. Using digital identity accelerates the pace of business, benefits all stakeholders, and means that banks and FIs can onboard and service more customers, more efficiently.
  • Improved accuracy. Human error is unavoidable in manual identity procedures, but digital equivalents reduce manual keying errors, ultimately leading to better compliance.
  • Better security. Old school security features, including passwords and knowledge-based authentication (KBA), not only cause high levels of frustration among clients, but are also often unsecure.
  • More streamlined operational costs. Digital identity solutions boost efficiency levels, leading to more optimal deployment of resources and cost savings.
  • A more favorable customer experience. Faster turnaround times, fewer touch points and a seamless digital experience all contribute to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Refinitiv’s digital identification and verification solution, Qual-ID delivers in each of these areas. Built specifically for FIs, Qual-ID enables secure, digital identity verification and screening to boost compliance team efficiency. The solution focuses exclusively on consumer identity. Qual-ID helps with identity verification, document verification, enables anti-impersonation checks to be performed in a variety of robust yet consumer friendly ways.Qual-ID also leverages our market-leading World-Check Risk Intelligence Database to enable screening for financial crime risk within the same solution.

World-Check delivers accurate and reliable information compiled by hundreds of specialist researchers and analysts across the globe, adhering to the most stringent research guidelines as they collate information from reliable and reputable sources, including watch lists, government records and media searches. Incorporating World-Check capabilities into Qual-ID means that customers can verify identity against trusted sources, proof legal documents and screen for regulatory and financial risk – all in one transaction, via one API.
This unique combination of elements delivers a holistic digital identity and screening solution that assists our clients to comply with their legal and regulatory requirements at the time of onboarding.

Technology’s significant and tangible impact

Only 53% of respondents in our innovation survey confirmed that they conduct KYC checks on client identity during onboarding but worse still, only 46% of these checks are considered successful. While these figures are alarmingly low, our research did reveal that those organizations that use technology are almost twice as successful at performing KYC checks on client identity (47%) as their counterparts who don’t use technology (28%). These findings are a clear indication of the significant, tangible impact that the right technology can have in the client identity space, and ultimately in thwarting financial crime.

What is certain is that the digital transformation will continue to gather momentum – digital commerce is expected to grow globally at more than a 20% CAGR by 2022, reaching nearly US5.8 trillion in value. Alongside this growth, another certainty is that sophisticated criminals will continue to exploit emerging technology to advance their illicit activity, both now and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Forward-thinking banks and FIs must therefore harness the power of the best available technology and solutions to prevent financial crime and protect their customers – and digital identity solutions offer an immediate opportunity for success in this critical area.

Online Open Evening, 19 November: Treasury Management & Corporate Finance by VU Amsterdam

| 12-11-2020 | VU Amsterdam |

Are you up for the next step in your career? Would you like to further develop your knowledge, skills and professional view on this fast changing world?

That’s why we invite you to join our Online Information Session on Thursday, November 19th 2020 from 19.00 – 20.00 hrs. Get inspired by our teachers and programme director and ask your questions during a livestream Zoom session.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE ONLINE INFORMATION SESSION

or

REQUEST THE BROCHURE ON OUR WEBSITE

We are looking forward to welcoming you at Online Information Session.

 

 

 

When Dealing with Foreign Exchange, Don’t Forget About Compliance

12-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

What’s the most common problem in foreign exchange? It may not be glamorous, but one of the most common problems is regulatory delay—and it can have a major impact on your supply chain, cash flow, and relationships with suppliers and customers.

In the previous installments of our blog series on foreign exchange risk management, we’ve discussed several of the most common (and costly) mistakes that businesses make when making international payments and dealing with foreign currencies. Today, we want to take a closer look at regulatory compliance: what it is, what you need to do to be compliant, and what can happen to your business if you don’t take the necessary steps.

What do you need to know?

Financial institutions and other FX providers must comply with strict regulations while conducting foreign exchange transactions on behalf of their customers. Under know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules, they are required to verify the identities of all the parties they deal with, including the foreign parties with which your business may have contact. Additionally, there are overseas banking details to consider. While bank identifiers in the UK, for example, are standardised around account numbers and sort codes, the equivalents vary from country to country internationally. Depending on where you’re doing business, you may need to deal with data such as international bank account numbers (IBANs) and bank identifier codes (BICs).

The bottom line: your foreign exchange providers will legally require certain information so that they can transact on your behalf, and your business will need robust processes in place to generate said information and ensure that there aren’t any delays in business.

What happens if you don’t have the right policies in place?

Regulatory delay is one of the most common (and expensive) FX problems for businesses. If your business doesn’t know what it needs to do to be compliant and have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all business is up to regulatory standards, then you could see consequences. What’s the most likely outcome? Your payments won’t go through on time. Consider how that could impact your business, your cash flow, your supply chain, and your relationships.

What can an FX provider do?

If you’re not well-versed in everything you have to do to remain compliant while conducting business as usual, a specialist FX provider is the way to go. An FX provider can help you handle the various regulatory requirements and remain compliant in every country that you do business with.

For example, do you have online systems in place to automate data entry and quickly identify mistakes or missing information that may get in the way of your payments being made on time? Does your provider offer simple, easy-to-understand advice on the information you require from foreign counterparties and where to find it? Can you store payment details so you don’t have to keep re-entering them each time a transaction is due (and potentially leave room for human error)?

You don’t need to be an expert on regulatory compliance. However, if your business engages in any degree of foreign exchange, then you will need to pay special attention to regulatory compliance. If you don’t currently have the knowledge or resources to take care of compliance on your own, an FX provider is the way to go to ensure that your business won’t be disrupted by regulatory delay.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

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

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

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page