How SMEs should select a BAAS platform?

| 08-06-2020 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL

In my last blog BAAS and SMEs: New Opportunities I explained what Blockchain-as-a-Service is, where it could be used for and what the benefits are for SMEs. But another question is: how should SMEs select BAAS providers and their offerings. What are the various issues they should look at to get the most out of it. In other words: how should SMEs deal with this?

Why many SMEs move to BAAS?

But first, why this growing interest by SMEs for Blockchain-as-a-Service (BAAS)? There are various reasons for that. Such a the promised benefits in terms of efficiency, simplicity, transparency, speed, costs etc.

BAAS has some interesting use cases ranging from smart contracts, document origin tracking, resource sharing, single window, contract execution and spend rationalisation.

And BAAS could be used in various business activities like food safety tracking, international transactions, retailer industry, supply chain management, and trading.

What issues for SMEs to consider?

But before a company decides to start integrating BAAS services in their existing infrastructure it is important for them to consider a number of key issues. They should ask themselves a number of key questions.

Such as, does the company really need BAAS (or blockchain)? If so, for what purposes? And what are the specific (basic) requirements to look for at the “ideal” BAAS provider? What other factors to be considered? And finally, which BAAS provider offers the right and best type of solutions for the company?

Do you need BAAS or Not?

One of the first questions a company should ask themselves is do they really need BAAS. Whether or not BAAS matters to a company will depend on a number of issues.

Does the company already works efficiently from a cost and processing point of view? There may be hurdles in the company in the form of managing varied database, browsers, firewalls, application servers, and hardware, that could make it very difficult to integrate BAAS offerings into the legacy network of the company.

And does the company have the team skills that are comfortable and confident (or not) in using BAAS? Do they already use (one or more) cloud providers? And if so, do they have enough experience with these. This question is especially relevant because BAAS offerings are evolving quickly.

Other questions that may determine all or not choosing BAAS will be the tools available, choice of operating systems, ease of use, and pricing, thus costs.

So many things to think about, investigate and discuss.

Some broad guidelines for Selecting a BAAS Partner

Given the lack of readily available guidelines and best practices a lot of discussions and evaluations are needed into the process of selecting a BAAS provider or solution. Here are some broad guidelines a company should consider.

BAAS provider experience
First of all the company should ask themselves has the BAAS provider prior experience in setting up blockchain infrastructure? A company should ensure that the BAAS provider has proven experience in developing and deploying Blockchain technology. Companies should be ensured that the implementer department of the BAAS provider has professional staff that could easily attain the complex solutions for the enterprises. Companies should also ensure that the BAAS provider disposes of a good developer community, thereby guaranteeing “excellent output”.

BAAS provider’s commitment
There is also the question of BAAS provider’s commitment? Delivering quality is of great importance when choosing the right BAAS provider. A company should therefore probe their commitment to quality, process and standards of BAAS offerings.

Security assurance
Another critical issue that a company should investigate is can the BAAS provider deliver security assurance? In the first place they hey should ensure that –  for privacy and security reasons – BAAS offerings are built on permissioned blockchains. Given the variety of security issues ranging from application level to server level, it is important to look for potential gaps in security assurance in the proposed BAAS implementation plan.

Seamless deploying
A company should also look if the BAAS provider has enough experience in deploying. A company should evaluate the BAAS provider’s experience in deploying cloud-based solutions for operating systems similar to that of their organization. SMEs should  thereby look for BAAS providers that offer quick and economic deployment, testing, staging, and good production line. Companies also need to ensure that the new Blockchain infrastructure integrates seamlessly with their legacy systems.

User-friendly
A company should make sure that the proposed BAAS systems and processes are user-friendly and easily to adopt. After all, they look for  a system that their employees do not find difficult to use or navigate.

BAAS innovation
SMEs should also ask how innovative BAAS providers are. As BAAS solutions may vary from provider to provider, innovations might be a real trigger in case of any blockchain deployment. Innovations in the BAAS marketplace can create a more different type of BAAS architecture for a company’s organization.

Cost control
But also in terms of costing control the company should be aware of the real costs. Can a company be assured that they just pay for the value proposition delivered by the BAAS provider? Companies should therefore carefully analyse the pricing options and post-deployment support options and modalities. They should investigate if there are hidden costs linked to the BAAS contract.

Other features of BAAS offerings to look at

But next to these issues there are other basic features of BAAS offerings a company should look for. These include, amongst others, things such as offering good backend or backup solutions, quickly add up new additions to the platform, offer technical support in case of self-deployment etc.

Need for backend services
One key issue that should be investigated thoroughly by SMEs is how BAAS could deliver a company’s unique need for backend services such as integration of popular features and mainstream technologies. A BAAS provider should at least provide some key deliveries including data security, process control, costing control and integration. These backend services should support a wide range of applications without changing the legacy network, often characterised by multiple layers of the data sources, processes and workflows.

Companies should also know  the ins and outs of the blockchain platform in order to avoid risks. This asks for adopting proper monitoring and managing tools to manage the BAAS solution network effectively. For security reasons it should be made sure that the application data and user data “should stay within the boundaries of the platform” .

There are also a number of process control requirements for the application. SMEs should be guaranteed that the new BAAS environment needs to keep maintaining the original performance all the time. Some performance checking tools could let companies know how much capable their blockchain solution really is. It also needs to have protection mechanism from hackers, controlling data flow, computer resources, active monitoring tools etc.

Smart contract offering
When considering BAAS a company should make sure that the BAAS provider offers the smart contract integration with the deployment. As you have read in my former blog smart contracts are an important part of any BAAS solution. These allow the companies to electronically measure and encode all terms of the contract so there can be no dispute. Though they are not (yet) legal contracts, they allow the enforcement of an agreement between parties under pre-agreed rules, but also enforces the penalties in case of any rule breaking situation.

Access management
And there is the issue of who and who may not have access to certain information within the organisation. Companies should look for identity based consensus solutions as all the enterprise will operate with known identities. Not everyone in the company should have access to internal securitised information.

It is therefore also important to look for secure Identity and Access framework integration with the BAAS solution. It will enable companies to control the user access from critical information in the organisation, helping the administrator to regulate and control access all over the network.

Flexible deployment
And there is the issue of flexibility in deploying BAAS solutions. BAAS providers should offer versatility when it comes to BAAS frameworks. This asks for the availability of a variety of toolsets for companies. Companies need to have a choice in case of choosing the perfect framework. They should choose a BAAS operator that offers optimal support.

What else to consider?

A final, and may be the best way to select a BAAS architecture is the existing customer ecosystem. In many cases BAAS companies that can offer the most advanced and trouble-free BAAS have a large customer base. So, a BAAS provider with good and positive customer base could be a sign of good quality services.

After having answered all these many questions a company may (or may not) be able to select their favourite BAAS provider. On Google you may find various oversight lists of BAAS providers with many ins and outs.

Enjoy your BAAS journey!

 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

 

 

Source

How to Build a FX Risk Management Policy for Your Business

04-06-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog over the past few weeks, then you should be all caught up on foreign exchange risk. You know that your organization likely has some degree of FX risk, that you should make it a priority to assess your risk level and exposures, and that foregoing FX risk management is one of the most costly mistakes your business could make.

This brings us to our next point: crafting a foreign exchange risk management policy. Having a policy in place is one of the most important steps your organization can take to address foreign exchange risk and volatility in the global currency markets. But if you don’t have a policy in place, or you don’t think your current policy addresses the full scope of your organization’s FX risk, it’s time for an upgrade.

Not sure what to do or where to start? Let us take you through the steps of developing your organization’s foreign exchange risk management policy.

Why do you need a foreign exchange risk management policy?

Here’s the simple answer. If your organization doesn’t have a policy in place to deal with foreign exchange risk, you’ll only be able to respond to situations after they’ve already happened. Instead of acting to reduce your FX risk exposure, you’ll only be able to react to damage that’s already been done.

The markets are constantly moving, and volatility can have a real impact on your business’s bottom line without any warning. Without an FX risk management plan, you’ll only be able to jump into action once the damage has been done, and some of your initial response time will likely be taken up by strategizing over how to properly respond. In that time, the impacts to your business could easily increase.

A comprehensive FX risk management plan will not only give your organization a plan to jump into action in the event that market volatility has an impact on your business, but will also include long-term, ongoing measures to manage currency risk in your business’s day-to-day operations, even in times of muted volatility. By taking steps to reduce your risk exposures now, you can minimize the effects of volatility in the future.

What should your policy cover?

There’s no singular answer to this question, because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all foreign exchange risk management policy. Every policy is different, because an effective policy will address your organization’s FX risks, based on your day-to-day operations and exposures.

There are, however, a few basic elements that every policy should make a point to include.

  • How much foreign exchange risk your business can handle, and over what time periods.
  • The tools your company will use to mitigate said risks.
  • Who in the business is authorized to make decisions about FX risk.
  • A robust process to manage currency risk on an ongoing basis (rather than ad hoc reactions).
  • Long-term strategic planning decisions (as opposed to just day-by-day developments).
  • Measures and action items that can be shared with a group of people, so FX risk management does not fall solely on one key person.

Once the policy has been created, it’s also important that you have a process in place to share it with the company at large, in order for the company to be able to apply risk reduction measures at all times (even if a key decision-maker is out sick or leaves the company).

How often should you update your policy?

At the very least, you should revisit your FX risk management plans once a year. But it might not be a bad idea to reassess more frequently, particularly if your business undergoes changes that could impact its foreign exchange risk.

The following changes would be good opportunities to readjust your FX risk management strategy:

  • An increase or decrease in exposure to particular overseas markets
  • Exposure to new overseas markets or currencies
  • Changes in the outlook for relevant currency markets.

How to get started

If you aren’t sure how to create or develop a risk management policy, we encourage you to discuss this with a foreign exchange specialist. A knowledgeable specialist can assess your FX risk, discuss your options, and help you to formulate the risk management policy that your organization needs for its specific risk profile.

For over 25 years, Xe has been a knowledgeable authority in the global currency markets. They understand foreign exchange risk, they help over 13,000 businesses each year with their foreign exchange and risk management needs.

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 multibillion-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

 

 

 

 

Source

Live Demo: Ready for fraud prevention? – TIS shows you how!

| 29-05-2020 | TIS |

 

“Due to unforeseen circumstances this live demo session had to be cancelled. We will inform you once registration for the next session is open”.

 

Live Demo: Ready for fraud prevention? – TIS shows you how!

Friday June 5, 2020 from 2.00 pm to 2.30 pm CEST | 30-minute demo |

See different fraud scenarios in the TIS fraud case study and learn how TIS can help you preventing such cases. They will present different TIS functionalities and will take your high level questions at the end of the session.

  • Free of charge and no further obligations
  • No need for any demo account setup on your system
  • They will show directly how it works
  • On every Friday at 14:00 CET

Date, time and registration

Date: 5 June, 2020

Start: 2:00-2:30 PM CEST

 

 

 

treasuryXL announces partnership with SpendLab Recovery

| 28-5-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab Recovery |

VENLO, The Netherlands, May 28, 2020 – treasuryXL, the independent community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, and SpendLab Recovery, the Dutch market leader in spend justification that is currently in the process of expanding internationally, today announced the signature of a premium partnership.

As a marketplace, treasuryXL will offer SpendLab Recovery 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. SpendLab Recovery will have a prominent role in the Treasury Topic environment with coverage in Operational Risk, Liquidity, Treasury Software and Fraud & Cybersecurity.

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.

treasuryXL and SpendLab Recovery 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 news and events in their field, benefit from a comprehensive range of innovative solutions, services and experts.

According to Iris Lopes, Managing Director at SpendLab “Nowadays, there is more and more demand for concrete and useful data, especially data that can be used to empower financial decision-makers. We as SpendLab focus specifically on the accounts payable of organisations and can contribute to generating liquidity, providing complete insights into accounts payable data, and reducing any related risk. Our goal of this partnership with treasuryXL is to share our profound accounts payable knowledge to the Treasury community and to gain a better understanding of the processes and difficulties that financial decision-makers have to deal with.”

“SpendLab Recovery is a great addition to our treasury community and offers unique services. In these COVID-19 times businesses have an even stronger focus on liquidity than before. SpendLab Recovery creates transparent insights in accounts payable. These can be the basis for recovering unjustified spendings and will create the control of future risks. Especially in times where treasurers are expected to connect their specialty with that of their colleagues, the solution of Spendlab enables very visible results of cooperation”. says Kendra Keydeniers, Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL.

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 SpendLab Recovery

SpendLab Recovery is the Dutch market leader in spend justification. The company is a former spin-off from the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. It currently specialises in generating liquidity for clients by analysing -and identifying anomalies in accounts payable data.

In terms of certification, SpendLab is GPR compliant and is ISO-certified for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015).

By having insights in the accounts payable and being able to recover unjustified liquidity, treasurers will be able to identify and control (liquidity) risks in their vendor data.

For more information visit SpendLab.com

Why FX Risk Management is Crucial for Your Organization

28-05-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

If your organization deals at all with international currencies, then it will have some degree of foreign exchange risk. Volatility in the currency markets and global events can lead to drastic changes in currency values from day to day, and these shifts can in turn have substantial business impacts.

Some organizations may not have the expertise and resources to formulate foreign exchange policies and risk management strategies, while other organizations might have measures in place that haven’t been updated to reflect their current risk profile. Or maybe a business is under the impression that their foreign exchange risk isn’t as serious as it is, and that other aspects of the business should be of higher priority.

Any organization that works with international currencies in any capacity will face foreign exchange risk, but there’s no one-size-fits all solution: your organization’s risks will be unique to your operation, and an effective risk management strategy will need to be tailored to address your risk profile.

Keep an eye on this blog: we’ll go into further detail about assessing your organization’s foreign exchange risks and developing your own plan in the coming weeks. Today, we wanted to start off the conversation with a look at some of your business’s potential foreign exchange risk factors.

Is your organization making these risk management mistakes?

Whether your business lacks a foreign exchange risk management plan altogether or you’re looking to enhance your existing procedures, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Below are some of the most common—and costly—foreign exchange mistakes that businesses make. Take a moment to read through them, and consider where your organization falls.

  1. Not understanding your foreign exchange risk level. Do you know if your organization faces any foreign exchange risk? How much? What are your risk factors? What are the potential impacts to your business? Many businesses (particularly smaller ones) don’t know the answers to these questions. Without a proper, thorough risk assessment, your organization could be exposed to risks you haven’t even considered.
  2. Not having a foreign exchange risk management policy. After the risk assessment, the next step for your organization is crafting a comprehensive risk management policy that addresses your potential foreign exchange risk factors. Without a policy, your organization would only be able to react to problems after they’ve already happened and potentially caused damage.
  3. Focusing just on the rates, at the expense of other factors. Exchange rates are one of the most important aspects of foreign exchange, but they aren’t the only important thing. When assessing foreign exchange providers, don’t just look at the rates they offer. Look at the other services they offer and whether they can benefit your business. And be discerning: if something sounds too good to be true, it’s possible that it is.
  4. Not taking advantage of all of the risk management products available. As we said above, every organization is different. A strategy or solution that works for one business might not be the best one for you. Take your time when speaking with foreign exchange providers and make an effort to discuss all of their product offerings.
  5. Getting overwhelmed by complex administration. If your organization is responsible for handling a high number of transactions, the day-to-day processes could be distracting from the bigger picture (and potentially, bigger issues). A foreign exchange provider can help your business to reassess your processes to better suit your business’s needs.
  6. Not having a handle on compliance. Strict regulatory compliance is absolutely necessary for any business that deals with foreign exchange. But from varying national requirements to potentially time-consuming processes, compliance can be difficult for businesses that don’t have the right expertise or resources, and can lead to regulatory delay.
  7. Poor internal communication. If your team members aren’t communicating well with one another, it will be very difficult for your business to make decisions that are best for the business as a whole, and could even lead to conflicting decisions being made by out-of-sync managers.
  8. Working with a foreign exchange provider stuck in rigid processes. Just working with a foreign exchange provider won’t guarantee good results for your business. You should work with a foreign exchange provider that understands your business’s needs and offers variety and flexibility in its solutions. A provider with limited, inflexible offerings may not be able to offer your business what it needs to reduce its risks.
  9. Not shopping around for the right foreign exchange provider. Continuing from our last point, we’d like to emphasize that the right foreign exchange provider will understand your needs and have the expertise and resources to help your business achieve its goals. Don’t settle for the first provider you meet with. Take some time to explore your options and find the one that is best-equipped to aid your business with its foreign exchange risk.

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 multibillion-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

 

 

 

 

Source

Press Release: TIS Raises $20m as Demand Grows for its Leading SaaS B2B Payment Platform

| 27-05-2020 | TIS |

Our Partner TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions), a leading cloud platform for managing corporate payments and cash flows, announced it has raised $20 million in additional financing led by Aquiline Technology Growth, an early- and growth-stage fund managed by Aquiline Capital Partners. The round also included participation from existing investor 83North. Aquiline joins previous investors 83North, Target Partners and Zobito. Investment from Aquiline and 83North will be used to continue rapid global expansion.

The company plans to use the new funding to further accelerate product development and to scale operations in Europe and in the US, in order to meet growing international demand. Many globally recognized organizations, including Adecco Group, Bertelsmann, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, ManpowerGroup, OSRAM and QIAGEN, already use TIS to standardize and analyze payment flows and to obtain liquidity overview throughout their organizations.

Click on the banner to read full press release.

 

 

TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), founded in Walldorf, Germany in 2010, is a global leader in managing corporate payments. The Financial Times named TIS as one of “Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for 2019 and 2020. Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management. The TIS solution has been successfully used for many years in both large and medium-sized companies, including Adecco Group, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, OSRAM and QIAGEN. More than 25% of DAX companies are already TIS customers.

Your world of Payments. ONE Login.

www.tis.biz

 

 

Webinar Alert: Treasury Management in the COVID19 crisis

| 26-05-2020 | Francois De Witte

On June 15th, our Expert Francois de Witte will present a Webinar in collaboration with Febelfin-Academy, regarding Treasury Management in the COVID19 Crisis. The Webinar is in Dutch

Omschrijving

Ten gevolge van de COVID19 zijn veel ondernemingen geconfronteerd met cash & liquiditeits problemen. Hoe ga je hiermee om? Welke tools heb je ter beschikking om dit te beheren? Hoe benader je de stakeholders incluis de banken voor bijkomende kredieten.

Deze opleiding heeft als doelstelling om inzicht te geven in:

  • de tools voor het cash & liquidity management en hoe ze te gebruiken;
  • hoe creëer je bijkomende financiële ademruimte: beheer van werkkapitaal – uitstel van kosten;
  • hoe benader je de banken voor uitstel van aflossingen en/of bijkomende kredieten;
  • de inschatting van de risico’s en opportuniteiten van deze nieuwe situatie;
  • het opstellen van een concreet actieplan.

Vereiste voorkennis

Advanced level: biedt praktijkgerichte toepassingen op de reeds verworven theoretische kennis van de “basic level” opleidingen (uitdieping).

Voor wie is deze opleiding bestemd?

De opleiding kan gevolgd worden door verschillende doelgroepen:

  • KMO relatiegelastigden van banken;
  • Financiëel verantwoordelijken van KMO’s en non profit organisaties;
  • Corporate Treasurers.

Programma

Inleiding: Belang van cash & liquidity management

Deel 1: Tools voor het beheer van cash & liquidity management van je onderneming:

  • Wat is mijn cash positie vandaag?
  • Cash forecast voor de komende dagen, of zelfs weken?
  • Beheer van werkkapitaal
  • Cash Burn Rate – Cash runway
  • Dagelijkse stuurgroep Cash Positie
  • Beheer van financiële risico’s

Deel 2: Tips voor het verbeteren van je cash positie:  

  • Beheer van de klantenpost
  • Beheer van de voorraden
  • Beheer van je leveranciers
  • Uitstel van bepaalde uitgaven

Deel 3: Onderhandeling van uitstel vervaldagen of nieuwe kredieten bij de banken:

  • Kredietbeoordeling door banken: aandachtspunten
  • Wat is momenteel voorzien door de overheid, Febelfin en de bank community?
  • Hoe benadert je best de banken: tips en tricks voor je kredietdossier

Deel 4: Risico’s en opportuniteiten – Actieplan:

  • Risico’s en opportuniteiten
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Actieplan

Q & A – Coaching

Pracktische Informatie

  • Duurtijd: 2u30
  • Uren: 10u – 12u30
  • Plaats: Inloggen op online platform
  • Kosten: Leden €160 / Niet-leden: €180

Schrijf je hier in voor de training

 

Currency Xe-Perts Webinar: Covid-19 Recovery – Where to next?

| 25-05-2020 | XE.com

Webinar and Q&A | COVID-19 Recovery: Where to next?  | Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 5.00 pm – 5.45 pm CET

As the number of reported Covid-19 cases declines, attention has shifted to recovery and how this might play out.

The Xe team provides thoughts on the current market outlook, and are joined by Jason Schenker, financial market futurist and economist. Our panel of experts will share insights into how businesses that have a commercial exposure to the currency markets can look to protect their bottom line from further impacts.

Register Now and and submit your questions, and the XE experts will look to answer the common challenges during the live session. XE may not have all of the answers, but they can look to provide some support to issues regarding currency exposure.

Date, time and registration

Date: May 27, 2020

Start time: 5.00 pm – 5.45 pm CET

Register here

 

Do you a question that you’d like one of the XE Experts to answer during the session? Please provide details and XE will endeavour to respond during the session. You can submit your question at the registration page.

 

 

 

The Most Common Questions About Money Transfer

22-05-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

If you’ve never made an online money transfer before, the process can get a little confusing. From where your money’s actually going to what you’ll need to make the transfer, it may seem like there’s no shortage of complicated processes or details to remember. And if you’ve tried doing some online research, you might have felt buried by all of the information.

Planning on making a transfer soon? Let us make it simple for you. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions our customers have about the transfer process, so that when it comes time for your transfer, you won’t be held up by any last-minute concerns.

What is money transfer?

The term money transfer is a broad term that refers to any payment that doesn’t involve cash. It typically comes in two forms:

  1. Payments, such as direct deposit or swiping a debit card
  2. Transfer, such as wire transfer or online money transfer (which is what we’re talking about today)

Unlike traditional payment methods, money transfer doesn’t involve any physical exchange of money. Instead, it’s a secure exchange of information between two institutions (typically banks) that lets them know how much to take from your account and credit to the recipient’s account.

How do I make a transfer?

If you haven’t opened an account, that’s the first step. You can learn how to register in our blog here. Once you’ve signed up, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Let us know what currencies you want to transfer between and how much you want to transfer;
  2. Let us know the recipient’s name and bank account information so we’ll know where to send the transfer;
  3. Enter your own payment information so we’ll know where to deduct the money from;
  4. Double-check that all of the information is correct and that you’re happy with your rate, and then confirm your transfer.

Do I need to provide any documents?

On some occasions, we may require additional documentation to verify your identity. In that case, all you’d need to do is log in to your account and provide a copy of one of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • National ID

If you’re transferring a large amount of money, you may also be asked to provide verification of your source of funds. In that case, you would upload that document (typically a bank account statement or a property sale document).

The whole process will be quick and simple: if we need extra documentation, we’ll let you know by email within 24 hours of you confirming the transfer.

What countries and currencies can Xe help me transfer to?

We can transfer money to over 130 countries in every major global currency.

Will the transfer cost me anything?

Depending on the method you use to pay for your transfer, you may be charged a small service fee. However, there are no hidden fees in our transactions: everything will be clearly laid out when you initiate your transfer.

Where does my rate come from?

Our rates come from live data from the global foreign exchange markets. Since they’re updated in real time, the rate you quoted in the morning might not be the same rate you get if you try again later that evening. There are no added margins or hidden fees inside our exchange rates: you can trust you’re getting the true, honest rate.

Check out this previous blog for more information on what impacts exchange rates and how we get ours.

How do I provide money for the transfer?

There are three ways you can pay for your transfer:

  1. ACH direct debit
  2. Wire transfer
  3. Credit or debit card

Depending on which method you pick, there could be a slight difference in the cost of the transfer and how long it takes to complete. Take a look at this blog post for more information on the three payment methods.

How long will the transfer take?

Our transfers typically complete within 1-4 business days, though many of them reach their recipient sooner than that.

And you won’t be left to wonder when it’ll arrive. When you make the transfer, we’ll tell you when the transfer will be sent as well as the expected arrival date before you confirm the transaction, and receive email confirmations throughout the process.

Can I cancel or edit my transfer after I’ve confirmed it?

Yes, but the earlier the better. If you need to change or cancel your transfer, contact us by phone as soon as possible.

If you do need to cancel, there is a chance that you may incur an additional cost. This is because we purchase the currency at the time of your confirmation. Depending on how much time has passed, if the currency’s value has fluctuated, there could be a difference in the rate when we sell it back to the market. This is where the potential for extra cost comes in.

How does Xe keep my money and information safe?

We have been in the currency business for over 25 years, and keeping our customers’ money and information safe is one of our top priorities. We are owned by the multibillion dollar, NASDAQ listed company Euronet Worldwide and adhere to regulatory standards in every country that we operate in, along with having enterprise-grade security measures in place.

We hope this information has answered any lingering questions and given you what you need to move forward with your planned transfers. Ready to send your transfer?

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 multibillion-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

 

 

 

 

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Blockchain-as-a-service and SMEs: great opportunities

| 19-05-2020 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL

One of the recent promising blockchain trends is the growth of Blockchain-as-a Service (BAAS) platforms and software. This is highlighted by the recent release of the Second Annual Blockchain 50 list by Forbes. Several of the entrants on this year’s list offer blockchain-as-a-Service, including global players such as Microsoft, Amazon and IBM.

These third-party services are a relatively new development in the growing field of blockchain technology, mirroring the growing demand for hosting decentralised software services to boost market growth.

Fortune Business Insights recently revealed that the BAAS sector is set to reach a valuation of almost USD 25 billion (EUR 23,2 billion) by 2027, from USD 1.9 billion recorded in 2019, demonstrating an impressive so-called compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.5% during the forecast period (2020-2027). According to the same report especially the retail and e-commerce segment is expected to adopt BAAS solutions and are expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period.

What is BAAS?

In my first blog on BAAS I wrote last year I already explained what it is. Here follows a short resume.

BAAS is a cloud-based service that enables users to develop their own digital products by working with blockchain. It is in fact the distributed ledger equivalent of Software-as-a-Service or SAAS, the means by which businesses subscribe to and access cloud-based software.

These digital products may be smart contracts, decentralized applications (Dapps), or even other services that can work without any setup requirements of the complete blockchain-based infrastructure.

How does BAAS work?

BAAS describes the process by which a third party installs, hosts and maintains blockchain networks on behalf of other organizations. The external service provider thereby offers to set up all the necessary blockchain technology and infrastructure for a fee. They thereby take care of the infrastructure and maintenance issues.

In fact, a BAAS’ provider’s role is similar to that of a web hosting provider. It allows customers to leverage cloud-based solutions. BAAS helps businesses develop and host blockchain apps and smart contracts in a blockchain ecosystem that is managed and administered by cloud-based service providers.

The BAAS operator typically offers support activities like bandwidth management, suitable allocation of resources, hosting requirements, and data security features. As a result enterprises can focus on their core business without worrying about the day-to-day complexities of operating a blockchain.

Why is BAAS needed?

Consumers and businesses are increasingly willing to adapt to blockchain technology. However, the technical complexities and operational overhead involved in creating, configuring, and operating a blockchain and maintaining its infrastructure often act as a barrier.

Blockchain requires huge investment when it comes to setting up infrastructure and maintaining it. It is much more resource intensive, as compared to traditional databases. It also consumes a huge amount of energy and requires huge bandwidth.

What may BAAS bring?

BAAS is gaining significant traction recently, and that for various reasons. For many companies, pairing cloud services with BAAS could be very valuable. The personalized flexibility of BAAS technology allows businesses to combat pain points by tailoring integrations. BAAS can resolve complex issues around transparency, efficiency and cost in a simplistic and straightforward manner, thereby firmly reducing the barriers to entry for enterprise blockchain applications.

By favouring this BAAS model, companies can take advantage of the many often-mentioned benefits of blockchain technology – improved transparency and accountability, data security and trust minimization – without having to develop their own blockchain ecosystem or invest in expensive in-house computing resources.

They may give diverse businesses the opportunity to experiment with blockchain apps and smart contracts while letting service providers manage the network itself.

Is BAAS valuable for SMEs?

By organization-size, BAAS market is still dominated by large enterprises especially in the financial sector. The SMEs segment however is expected to grow at a higher rate, given the above mentioned opportunities of BAAS for these enterprises.

BAAS is ideal for such organizations that outsource their technological aspects, and are not involved in understanding the working mechanism of the blockchain. It allows these firms and other organizations to quickly get to grips with the technology without having to develop their own proprietary blockchain. It lets these enterprises focus on their core jobs and not waste time in setting up of infrastructure facilities.

BAAS is firmly growing across a variety of industries for issues such as supply chain management, identity management, payments. Blockchain technology is emerging as an optimal solution to many of the challenges faced by SMEs such as access to various financing sources. SMEs looking to expand their businesses in foreign countries can gain wider access to trade financing sources using BAAS as this technology is decentralized and cuts out the middlemen from the process.

BAAS service providers 

BAAS has become so popular, that some of the largest tech companies in the world all have divisions dedicated to the integration and promotion of BAAS. But also some of the most successful cloud service providers have started offering Blockchain-as-a-Service.

Main companies or platforms that are operating in the BAAS market include the names like Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Corda, IBM, SAP, Accenture, NTT Data, Stratis, Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba, Infosys, consequently shaping the future of blockchain applications.

But there are also the many smaller innovative BAAS companies – mostly based in the US – that integrate these game-changing ledgers into everyday technology such as Altoros, Blockstream, Bloq, Dragonchain, Factom, Innominds, PayStand, Skuchain, Symbiont,  tZERO, VironIt etc.  

Some major players in the BAAS market

Let’s take a look at some of the key BAAS service providers helping enterprises realize their blockchain ambitions.

Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a Service

Alibaba’s BAAS offering, is under the umbrella of its cloud computing arm. Utilizing Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric and the Ant Blockchain, the platform integrates Alibaba Cloud’s Internet of Things (IoT) and anti-counterfeiting technologies to create blockchain solutions for product traceability, among other things. At present, Alibaba’s BAAS offering encompasses enterprise-level BAAS services, an agile BAAS platform that supports private deployment, and specific blockchain solutions for container services.

Amazon Web Services
Amazon provides various blockchain tools to both large and small companies via its cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS).  AWS is a BAAS leader in many industries. The company integrates blockchain-based networks and business processes for some of the largest companies in the world (including T-Mobile and PwC) to improve IT infrastructure, business processes, human resources, financial transactions and supply chains.

Amazon, which has introduced Amazon Managed Blockchain, a BAAS service that “makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks” using open source frameworks including Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. Amazon has attracted a steady stream of high-profile clients including  Nestlé, BMW, Accenture, Sony Music Japan, and the Singapore Exchange.

Huawei Blockchain Service
Huawei unveiled its novel BAAS solution, called Blockchain Service, based on Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. The solution is devised to help companies design smart contracts focusing on supply chain, securitized assets, and public services, on top of a distributed ledger network.

IBM Blockchain Platform
Another key BAAS provider is IBM. Its Blockchain Platform allows organizations to “easily build and join a blockchain network on-premises, or on any private, public, or hybrid multicloud. Partnerships have been vital to IBM’s continuous BAAS expansion. IBM’s Blockchain-as-a-Service business deploys Hyperledger Fabric and has been used extensively in industries such as food supply, media, advertising and trade finance.

Microsoft Azure
And there is Microsoft’s Azure platform based on Ethereum. That BAAS offering enables clients to deploy blockchain networks, build apps with confidence and store data off-chain. Clients can choose to build on several networks, while three products are available: Azure Blockchain Service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, and Azure Blockchain Development Kit.

As Azure can be integrated with other Microsoft products such as Logic Apps and Flow, this makes it ‘a dependable choice’ for enterprises seeking to harness blockchain, such as General Electric and T-Mobile .

R3 – Corda
Corda, the open-source blockchain platform developed by global enterprise solutions provider R3, enables companies to transact directly and privately using smart contracts. The BAAS provider was recently used by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to simplify financial processes and enhance settlements. Interoperability, security and privacy are the foundations of the finance-focused Corda. The firm R3 developed solutions for over 300 clients.

Regional development

According to a recent BAAS Market Report North America – especially the US, Mexico and Canada – owns the largest share in the worldwide market for BAAS. One of the major reasons for the widespread development and adoption of BAAS tools in North America is the strong presence of small, medium, and large tech companies operating in the US. This, along with rising integration of BAAS solutions with public utilities services, will enable the region to dominate the BAAS market share in the foreseeable future.

Europe has been deemed as the second-leading market for BAAS. Apart from this, the region can note significant surge in adoption of blockchain technology in the forthcoming years, because of the strong support from the government across various countries. Increasing focus of well-established players on blockchain technology will propel the market in the near future.

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is believed to be the third-most lucrative market for BAAS. The BAAS Market Report states that Asia-Pacific will register the highest growth rate during the forecast period. The BAAS sector will be boosted by enormous blockchain investment by China, Japan, and South Korea governments.

Final remarks

BAAS may become the catalyst that leads to a widespread adoption of blockchain technology and to a deeper penetration across various sectors and businesses, especially by SMEs.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) blockchain technology could be instrumental in bridging the gap in trade financing around the world. Similar benefits can be reaped by SMEs in the context of supply chain processes as transparency, immutability, and traceability become inevitable. These potential advantages of blockchain for SMEs may provide a significant boost to the BAAS market growth in the coming years.

So, BAAS may be seen as a great opportunity for SMEs to take advantage of blockchain.

 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

 

 

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