2021 Treasury Technology Survey Report from GTreasury Shows Key Trends Affecting Treasury Modernization Across Organizations

22-07-2021 | Gtreasury |

The first-of-its-kind, in-depth global report details how far along treasury and finance teams are in digital transformation, the technologies they are most excited about, and where resistance remains.

CHICAGO – July 22, 2021 – GTreasury, a treasury and risk management platform provider, and Strategic Treasurer, which delivers consulting services for treasury management, security, technology, and compliance, today announced the release of the 2021 Treasury Technology Survey Report.


The comprehensive 50-question survey across myriad facets of treasury technology deployment, opinion, and planning drew responses from hundreds of treasurers, treasury analysts, and other treasury and finance professionals from around the world and across industries.

Highlights from the 2021 Treasury Technology Survey Report include:

  • Significant growth anticipated. Payment factories, treasury aggregators, and TMS solutions are expected to realize 35-45 percent growth over the next two years.
  • APIs are becoming must-have capabilities. Seventy-three percent of corporate treasury groups indicated that APIs are critical to their current processes. Machine learning capabilities are also drawing outsized focus from treasurers further along in their modernization initiatives.
  • The gap between cash forecasting importance and reality is high. While cash forecasting is very important to 84% of treasurers, only 38% indicate they are performing at a high rate of accuracy.
  • Fraud prevention gains a heightened focus. Thwarting fraud is a top focus for 77% when considering the application of new technology in product development. Treasurers also report high demand for incorporating automation into fraud prevention processes.
  • Resistance to formats remains. Comparing legacy formats to newer and more enriched formats like XML, treasurers showed surprisingly high levels of resistance to adoption.

“Across continents and industries, treasurers are grappling with how best to transform their treasury technology stack to make processes more efficient and effective, and to drive visible value within their organizations,” said Pete Srejovic, Chief Technology Officer, GTreasury. “This survey provides a unique window into what excites and frustrates treasurers right now, and how the industry is approaching transformation in a quickly-moving ecosystem. This is a must-read report for treasury and finance professionals.”

The 2021 Treasury Technology Survey Report collected responses from March through April 2021, with 50+ questions and 250+ respondents. The full survey with all results and data is available for free download here.

Additionally, a webinar offering analysis of the report’s findings and featuring Srejovic and Craig Jeffery of Strategic Treasurer is available here.

About GTreasury

For more than 30 years, GTreasury has delivered the leading digital Treasury and Risk Management System (TRMS) to corporate treasurers across industries. With its continually innovating Software-as-a-Service platform, GTreasury provides customers with a single source of truth for all their cash, payments, and risk activities. The TRMS solution offers any combination of Cash Management, Payments, Financial Instruments, Risk Management, Accounting, Banking, and Hedge Accounting – seamlessly integrated, on-demand worldwide and fully secured. Headquartered in Chicago with offices serving EMEA (London) and APAC (Sydney and Manila), GTreasury’s global community includes more than 800 customers and 30+ industries reaching 160+ countries worldwide.

About Strategic Treasurer

Strategic Treasurer provides consulting services for treasury management, security, technology and compliance. Corporate clients, banks and fintech providers throughout the world rely on their advisory services and industry-leading research. Strategic Treasurer is headquartered in Atlanta, with consultants based out of Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Washington D.C. To learn more, visit strategictreasurer.com.

 

 

Front Office Financial Resource and Capital Optimisation | September 9-10, 2021

20-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Kendra Keydeniers | Marcus Evens

Optimising margin and capital consumption for derivative portfolios under margin rules, FRTB and SA-CCR through effective risk and trading strategy.

London, UK or Virtual

9th – 10th September, 2021 | 08:30 BST

Financial Resource Optimisation has become of paramount importance for trading businesses after a decade of increased regulation and diminishing margins. Banks are required to hold enough capital to absorb losses and in recent times the minimum requirement for capital in derivatives trading has increased due to the push towards central clearing, margin reforms, XVA and Basel regulations.

The increasing capital requirements, increases the cost of the derivatives business which makes it even more important for banks to allocate capital for optimal return. With smarter portfolio and day to day trading along with utilisation of technology to help identify opportunities and improve trading decisions, banks can manage to create a capital efficient product mix that meets regulatory demands and leads to optimisation of capital and resources in the front desk.

The marcus evansFront Office Financial Resource and Capital Optimisation’ conference will bring you one step closer to creating the optimal capital focused business model in the current climate. Attend in London on 9-10 September, 2021 or join virtually, and hear insights from industry experts on how to optimise margin and capital consumption for derivative portfolios under margin rules, FRTB and SA-CCR through effective risk and trading decisions.

Attending This Premier marcus evans Conference Will Enable You to:

  • Assess the impact of regulation such as UMR, SACCR, leverage ratio and FRTB on capital.
  • Establish a dynamic portfolio that can take advantage of opportunities for optimising margin and capital.
  • Consider the day-to-day trading decisions and how this impacts P&L and capital.
  • Exploit methods for financial resource optimisation such as technological opportunities, compression, innovation, etc.

Practical Insights and Case Studies from Industry Experts, some of which include:

  • Guillaume Dechambre, Director, XVA Strategy, BMO Capital Markets
  • Jesper Thye-Oestergaard, Head of Liquidity and Capital Analytics, Nordea Markets, Corporates and Institutions
  • Sandeep Shukla, Head of USD Swaps Trading, Natixis CIB Americas
  • Jean Jacques Kamdem, Global Head of Traded Credit Analytics, HSBC Global Banking and Markets
  • Thomas Rohold, Head of Financial Resource Management, Senior Vice President, Danske Bank
  • Matteo Angeloni, Director, XVA Trader, National Australia Bank
  • Andrew Green, Managing Director and XVA Lead Quant, Scotiabank

For more information please contact: Ms Ria Kiayia, Digital Media and PR Marketing Executive at riak@marcusevanscy.com or visit: https://bit.ly/3r5lA8p

I wish you a great event!

Kendra Keydeniers

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

11th Annual Funds Transfer Pricing and Balance Sheet Management | September 2-3, 2021

19-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Kendra Keydeniers | Marcus Evens

Manage and steer excess liquidity in the current climate through effective FTP strategy in order to achieve balance sheet optimisation.

London, UK or Virtual Attendance

2nd – 3rd September, 2021 | 08:30 BST

The COVID-19 crisis has shifted the banking industry’s focus to balance sheet management, due to the volatility it has caused in the balance sheet. The impact of the move to a risk free rate, measures taken by authorities to incentivise lending throughout COVID-19 and the sustained low interest rate environment have posed a large amount of challenges for those in Asset Liability Management (ALM) and Funds Transfer Pricing (FTP). Banks should ensure FTP is not treated as a cost centre but as a tool to drive excess liquidity, grow assets to offset liabilities and ultimately target P&L volatility caused by COVID-19.

The marcus evans11th Annual Funds Transfer Pricing and Balance Sheet Management’ conference will provide banks with a platform to learn from practical case studies how to develop an efficient FTP model that achieves optimal balance sheet structure in the COVID era, as well as offer a glimpse into future developments surrounding liquidity risk to be able to anticipate demands and improve funding plans. Attend the conference in London on 2-3 September, 2021 or join virtually, and enjoy two days of practical case studies, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Attending This Premier marcus evans Conference Will Enable You to:

  • Evaluate the cost of funding in relation to excess liquidity driven by customer deposits and regulatory support.
  • Steer liquidity and capital to manage the excess liquidity and prepare for potential absorption of this excess.
  • Achieve balance sheet optimisation to navigate through constraints and stress prompted by the COVID era.
  • Evolve FTP strategy alongside market developments such as customer behaviour and sustainability metrics.

Practical Insights and Case Studies from Industry Experts, some of which include:

  • Maros Hrnciar, Head of Financial Analysis and Budgeting, Raiffeisenbank
  • Dr. Thomas Ribarits, Director, Financial Risk Management, European Investment Bank
  • Anton Fuchs, Senior Risk Control, Landesbank Berlin AG
  • Heikki Koskinen, Head of ALM Analytics, Group Treasury, Luminor
  • Gerwin Scharmann, Head of Treasury, Santander Consumer Bank AG
  • Fitzarnaz Drummond, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs
  • Davide Vella, Head of Balance Sheet Management, Mediobanca

For more information please contact: Ms Ria Kiayia, Digital Media and PR Marketing Executive at riak@marcusevanscy.com or visit: https://bit.ly/3hz5jp3

I wish you a great event!

Kendra Keydeniers

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

E-Book: ERP Migration | How to Simplify and Accelerate Bank Integration

14-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

ERP cloud migration is a costly and time-consuming undertaking, particularly where IT is concerned – and for many corporations, the bank integration exercise can be among the most daunting aspects of the project.

The good news is that companies can simplify and accelerate the bank integration component of ERP migration, and reduce payment connectivity and format costs by up to 80%.

In this latest ebook, you will learn about the IT challenges involved in the bank integration element of ERP cloud migration, including:

  • Following banks’ schedules
  • Navigating geographical variations
  • SWIFT certification
  • Resourcing challenges

You’ll also find out how you can reduce the need for IT resources while minimizing costs, reducing complexity and accelerating the bank integration project.

Fill out this form to get your copy of the comprehensive eBook.

 

 

Are you leaving Money on the Table with your Checkout and Payment Solution?

12-07-2021 | treasuryXL | EcomStream |

Benchmarking your checkout and Payment solution is worth the effort. There are often areas for improvement that are relatively easy to execute or implement.

In 2018, EcomStream has assisted a number of online entrepreneurs, large and small, by benchmarking and optimizing their payment solution and checkout. This results in an improved customer experience and lower costs, sometimes up to 50% cheaper.

In optimization processes the checkout and payment solution is often seen as a functionality with little or no conversion uplift opportunity. Wrongly!

Studies from Baymard Institute show why in this final phase of your sales funnel, where visitors should just go through checkout and payment, they are leaving your site. It also shows what you can do about it.

The Payment solution is often overlooked in optimization projects. “Don’t fix if it ain’t broken” you sometimes hear. Many entrepreneurs are therefore already happy when their online payment solution functions properly and provides basic functionalities. There have been many developments in this area in recent years that make it easier to migrate from a payment service provider and there are considerable savings opportunities thanks to increased competition. You can compare the payments market with the market of energy suppliers but it is far less transparent. Competition is fierce and it is worthwhile to compare, renegotiate or migrate.

Let EcomStream do a benchmark assessment of your checkout and payment solution. You will be amazed by the findings. In the area of customer experience but also with regards to contractual terms and rates. A meaningful agenda item for your next optimization meeting or contact EcomStream now

Refinitiv Corporate Treasury Data Insights | June 2021

06-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Refinitiv |

Andrew Hollins, Director of Corporate Treasury Proposition at Refinitiv, brings you the June 2021 round-up of the latest Corporate Treasury Data Insights.


  1. Issuance of non-U.S corporate USD denominated debt has increased, and is most pronounced in Japan and driven by M&A.
  2. Sign-up to learn more about the rise of digital treasury in India and watch a video to observe how crypto trends are evolving.
  3. Are we witnessing the start of a commodities supercycle? And watch a webinar to learn more about the impact of LIBOR on the need for USD cash market to have fallback rates.

Corporate Treasury Chart of the Month

M&A drives demand for the dollar

We are seeing a continued rise in non-U.S. corporates issuing US$ denominated debt this year, with Japanese companies in particular taking advantage of strong investor demand, favourable interest rates and healthy US$ liquidity (see chart below) to deliver an M&A-driven issuance boom.

For example, we recently saw 7-Eleven raising $10.9 billion to fund its $21 billion acquisition of Speedway, the U.S. convenience store operator.

Being a safe haven currency, 2020 was a period of JPY strength against the USD. However optimism of a strong post-pandemic recovery has seen the JPY give back most of these gains since Q1 2021. Corporates with USD liabilities can monitor market expectations of further JPY weakness using apps like FX Polls and the FX probability feature in Refinitiv Eikon.

USDJPY currency basis spreads narrowed during COVID-19 in response to decisive Federal Reserve monetary support and liquidity provision. You can view these spreads using the Refinitiv Eikon Chart app (CHT).

Get these issuance insights in Refinitiv Eikon

  1. Search for the ‘deals screener’ app ‘DSCREEN’
  2. Select ‘USD’ under the ‘currency’ dropdown
  3. Select ‘bonds’ under the ‘asset class’ dropdown
  4. Add ‘date’, ‘target market’, ‘principal amount’ and ‘industry’ filters

Secure your spot: the rise of digital treasury in India

As treasury evolves into a strategic centre for companies, the adoption of technology becomes pivotal to strengthen resilience and insight. Secure your spot at an event we are co-hosting on 24 June 2021 with our partner, leading TMS company IBSFINtech, and hear from a leading panel of experts, including the Country Head of SoftBank and the Head of Global Corporate Treasury at Wipro Enterprises.

Crypto trends

The world of crypto and decentralised finance is starting to broaden in terms of products and coin offerings. And many of the biggest crypto moves have been preceded by shifts in sentiment that can be picked up from social media sources. Watch this seven-minute video to see evolving cryptocurrency trends and how they can be tracked by analysing social media.

Watch the video: Tracking the Biggest Trends in Crypto – Data on the Data

The start of a commodities supercycle?

You can see the rebound of the Refinitiv/CoreCommodities CRB Index is gaining steam in a directional move comparable with the beginning of the last commodities supercycle in the 2000s.

However, the overlay of several cyclical upswings of different raw materials and the transition towards a low-carbon economy suggests something more complex is happening.

Access FX liquidity in Russia

Discover how Refinitiv is helping local and offshore traders maximise access to a broad range of FX liquidity providers in Russia.

LIBOR transition webinar: why does USD cash market need fallback rates?

Join us on Wednesday 14 July to discuss the USD cash market and the need for fallback rates with the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA), Wells Fargo and The U.S. Federal Reserve. Sign-up today.

On-demand event: COVID-19 recovery in U.S. power and gas markets

As more countries and markets open up after COVID-19 lockdowns, how will U.S. power and natural gas markets be impacted? Hear what our panel of experts from Refinitiv, IIR Energy and Yes Energy think.

 

For many CFOs, the time is now to embrace AI for Cash Forecasting

05-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Gtreasury |

The chief financial officer (CFO) has never been under as much pressure to deliver more accurate Cash Forecasts – the anticipated revenue, spending, and Liquidity data that acts as the rudder for all corporate decision-making. More precise foresight is essential not only to driving profitability under normal business conditions, but has now become even more crucial as companies try to navigate the continuing wake created by COVID-19.

Read the full Article


About GTreasury

For more than 30 years, GTreasury has delivered the leading digital Treasury and Risk Management System (TRMS) to corporate treasurers across industries. With its continually innovating Software-as-a-Service platform, GTreasury provides customers with a single source of truth for all their cash, payments, and risk activities. The TRMS solution offers any combination of Cash Management, Payments, Financial Instruments, Risk Management, Accounting, Banking, and Hedge Accounting – seamlessly integrated, on-demand worldwide and fully secured. Headquartered in Chicago with offices serving EMEA (London) and APAC (Sydney and Manila), GTreasury’s global community includes more than 800 customers and 30+ industries reaching 160+ countries worldwide.

 

 

How a Treasurer can really add Value

28-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

”The pandemic has boosted automation in treasury departments and led to big increases in productivity. But that is only the start. The big prize is the value that treasury teams can generate with the man-hours that automation frees up”, says Bob Stark, Head of Marketing Strategy at Kyriba.

The Post-Pandemic Treasurer

The post-pandemic world will not be a return to the previous status quo. In treasury we can look at this in three ways – people, process and technology.

In terms of people, a recent survey showed that 61% of CFOs expect their teams to be working out of the office at least a day a week in future (source: fortune.com 2020). In some ways the combination of working from home and in the office will pose its own problems, with different opportunities for fraud and mistakes. At least working from home all the time provided some consistency! Furthermore, many of the changes that treasury teams had to make suddenly last year will now become permanent.

Now let’s look at processes. Fully 78% of CFOs have changed inefficient workflows during the pandemic, and 82% intend to keep the changes that they have made in terms of automation and digitisation (source: MasterCard 2020). These changes involve the standardisation, automation and streamlining of multiple processes.

Thirdly, treasurers need to digitise and have an enterprise-wide cloud platform; to leverage analytics to assess and improve decision-making; and then to innovate through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to make treasury a better business partner.

There has also been a change in the role of treasury within companies over the past 15 months. During the pandemic, treasury’s involvement in other areas of the business has increased. A treasurer’s objectives often now include more strategic aims, and the remit is likely to expand still further. In many cases this will involve increased shared responsibilities, for example reverse factoring.

Treasurers are progressing from a simple focus on productivity to making liquidity visible and then participating in strategic decisions that really add value. All of which in turn elevates the value of treasurers within their organisations.

How Treasury can add Value

We can all agree that treasurers have the ability to add value. We regularly see our clients make significant productivity gains in terms of man-hours as they automate residual manual functions. In many cases, automating processes can save over 80% of the man-hours involved (source: Hackett Group).

But that is only part of the story. The real value comes from what the treasury team can do with all those freed-up hours. The extra time gained through improvements in productivity allows them to analyse risks (such as counterparty, liquidity and FX risk) and make better, informed decisions, based on real insight and business intelligence. Or perhaps the extra time that automation has made available can reduce the opportunity for fraud. The common aim is to leverage liquidity to drive business growth and turn treasury into a strategic business partner.

Digitisation plays a big role here, especially in areas like payments, which have remained partially manual, for example in sanctions screening. Smart contracts are also increasing, which makes for other savings.

Measuring the impact

In any such analysis it is essential to be able to measure what you are achieving. That starts with liquidity itself: how much do we have? How far forward can I forecast liquidity? How confident can I be in the accuracy of those forecasts? After all, you can only use the “excess” liquidity within your company when you are confident that you aren’t going to need it!

Digitisation is the way to improve the visibility of your liquidity. You can then test the accuracy of your information and decide how to use that asset. You can do this with a scorecard to measure your company against industry peers and assess your level of maturity, from Ad hoc, through Emerging and Standardising to Strategic. You can then highlight the opportunities for improvement

Many of our clients have done just that. For one client, an 88% improvement in cash management and forecasting – thanks to automation – saved over £1m in net interest by unlocking cash that had been lying idle. It also helped the same client to save over £100K in bank fees.

Another client reduced costs by 85% and used the newly spare man-hours to avoid £1.2m in fraud-related costs. They also accelerated ERP migration by 80%. Other savings might include generating free cashflow or protecting the business against financial loss. But all these achievements start with productivity gains that free up treasury staff to do something more valuable within their organisations.

I will leave you with three thoughts: automation and digitisation are here to stay; productivity is an opportunity, not just a saving; and if you are going to add value as a treasurer, you need to be able to measure that saving.

 

 

GTreasury Webinar | Essential Treasury Management Dashboards & Reports

24-6-2021 | treasuryXL | Gtreasury |

Join our Partner Gtreasury‘s virtual events and learn more about Essential Treasury Management Dashboards & Reports. With a large array of available reports and dashboards available to help you gain visibility into your organization’s market risk, how do you know which ones are best for helping you achieve your strategic goals?

Learn how critical TMS dashboards and reports can help you achieve your strategic goals

Join us June 29 to explore the value of strategic dashboards and reporting. During this one-hour webinar, we will discuss specific dashboards that provide deep insights to help you facilitate foreign exchange decision-making and execution. We will dig into reports that give you the ability to:

  • Analyze complex data, design superior risk mitigation strategies, and make informed decisions.
  • Gain visibility into foreign exchange exposure and hedge positions in multiple currencies at any given point in time.
  • Centrally manage complex limits scenarios and provide a real-time view of compliance over the full suite of limits throughout your organization.
  • And a whole lot more!
June 29 | 3 pm EDT; 2 pm CDT; 12 pm PDT; 8 pm BST
Complete your registration to join us here!

Is Digital Cash now King? Enigma tells……

23-06-2021 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Get inspired by the extensive and catchy interview with Robert-Jan Wekking about Enigma Consulting. Robert-Jan takes you into the warm corporate culture, mission, expertise, innovation and their continues investment in knowledge with great examples.

Enigma Consulting is a revolutionary knowledge hub in the field of Payments, Digitisation, Risk & Compliance and Treasury. They are a connecting factor in the financial sector thanks to our consultants’ engagement with their clients, both banks and companies and solution providers.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

Robert-Jan has more than 25 years of experience in payment transactions and he advises corporate clients in the areas of treasury, risk management and bank connectivity.He understands the solutions in the market, both from the B2B and B2C perspective.

Robert-Jan switches easily between executive and operational level within companies and the banking sector, as he easily combines his strategic vision with substantive process and product knowledge. He has a wide network with contacts at all (international) banks, which can speed up the implementation of corporates connectivity with their banks.

We asked him 11 questions. Let’s go!

 

INTERVIEW

1. Tell us more about Enigma Consulting and its mission

Enigma Consulting has in-depth knowledge of all ecosystems that are relevant in payments, transaction value chains and financial markets. Transactional connectivity and digitization increase the prosperity and well-being of consumers, companies and the public sector and thus serve a social interest. Our mission is to contribute to the development of efficient digital transaction traffic and to ensure that this is done in an innovative, sustainable, honest and effective manner with controlled business operations. Combined with a correct attitude and behaviour, this contributes to the translation of legislation and regulations into ethical business operations and a better market position. We follow developments closely, research, analyse and make connections. Our consultants reflect, structure and help organisations to achieve their goals.

2. What is the core topic Enigma Consulting aims to address and how does it differentiate it from the other players in the market?

Digitalization is all about the exchange of data, whether these are payments, information, identities, contracts, signatures or any other regular consumer or business transactions. The complexity of exchanging transactions is constantly increasing; regulations, fraud and data protection are just three of the factors impacting this complexity.  On the other hand, innovative technology is continuously providing easier interaction between data, leading to better and integrated business propositions and making client journeys faster, more friction less and safer.  This is exactly in this domain where Enigma operates.  We leverage our in-depth knowledge of payments and transactions to advise and implement.

We distinguish ourselves from other players by looking at the end-to-end value chain, not only from the viewpoint of efficiency but also with a perspective on regulations and compliance. We understand the guiding laws and regulations and can translate them into practical advice to make sure that our clients remain compliant. We recognize that laws and regulations applying to financial institutions are becoming stricter and that attention is now also shifting towards corporates.

Our legal consultants are specialised in transaction and data related legislation, and we have strong connection with for example DNB and AFM in relation to our guidance of our clients.

Our consultancy practice focuses on the  financial-,  corporate- and retail sectors, hence we understand the complexities affecting those areas. With our knowledge of the ecosystems and  vendor solutions we play the matchmaking role between individual client wishes and the solutions available in the market.

This combination of end-to-end view, legislation and compliancy, working in different sectors, and the matchmaker role gives us a unique position. The fact that we not only advise but also take responsibility for  implementations during the past 20 years, makes us a trusted and recognized partner for our clients.

3. Why choose customers for Enigma Consulting?

Our knowledge of payments and other transaction processes is often the starting point for customers to reach out to us. Our capability to advise and implement solutions from an end-to-end perspective is the basis for our interaction with our customers.  Additionally, customers also appreciate the fact that we are able to advise at a strategic level, but at the same time are pragmatic enough to look for feasible and not theoretical answers.

We have strong relationships with a number of our clients, some even stretching back over more than 20 years. This is something we foster, not only by delivering more than what is expected, but also by working closely together. For instance, our Treasury Barometer is an example where we cooperate with the Rabobank, whilst at the same time we are participating in a number of their projects.

At the end, it all comes together with trust, in the quality of delivery, in our people and in the overall relation. This is how we ensure that we will be shortlisted again the next time.

4. What has been the biggest challenge for Enigma Consulting regarding customer projects so far?

The most challenging projects are when we are asked to take end-to-end responsibility for delivering a complete project. Quite often, this means that we have a team onboard and the client is looking at us as lead consultant to get the job done. A good example is the setup of a complete bank payments infrastructure. Apart from the fact that these assignments are exciting and demanding, it is always challenging to make it happen in an environment with its own complexities.

For our individual consultants, stepping into a new assignment always has its own challenges.

Customers ask for us for different reasons, and our consultants have to quickly adapt to start advising the client. This means not only understanding the clients’ business, but primarily building trust relations with the client and their stakeholders. Hence for every consultant the adaptability towards the new environment is always an important challenge.

For myself personally, I am proud to have led a number of strategic programs, like SEPA, Instant Payments and iDIN.  Besides building completely new products, the key challenge is always to work and build bridges between internal and external parties (Banks, DNB, governmental bodies) with sometimes opposing objectives. Working with all these parties and ultimately developing a new product is what makes me happy and proud of my role as consultant.

5. Can you tell us in what sector you see the most innovative developments regarding payments and how does Enigma Consulting react to these?

One of the most exciting aspects of payments is the continuous innovation in the field. However, it is never a revolution but more an evolution. An example are the digital currencies. I believe that in the long run, these might become as important as, or even replace, the current way of paying. But it will take many years to get there. Where it started with the cryptos and Facebook’s Libra, the central banks are now seriously embracing it.

Additionally, the technical transitions to APIs and SaaS, Open Banking and Instant are ingredients for completely new business innovation. Through API and SaaS, corporates can select best in class software modules and integrate them, rather than select single platforms that will still sub-optimise their process. The introduction of Instant Payments in Europe will ultimately change the way the treasurer needs to forecast and manage their accounts.

In the B2C or C2C world, the client journey will continuously improve, seamlessly and friction less, with data integration as a key element.

Through our assignments, we are constantly in the middle of this innovation. For example, we are the leading consultancy firm in the Netherlands for supporting FinTechs, cryptos and payment software companies with their PSD2 application. Our role in digital identity and Mobility as a Service provides us with insights in yet other areas of innovation.

In order to keep all our consultants informed, we have a weekly meeting with our consultants to discuss the latest trends.

We also leverage this knowledge to assist our clients with their questions around innovation. For this purpose, we have initiated the Enigma Innovation Lab, an accelerator environment to answer client specific questions around innovation, vision building or technical solutions by injecting are our own knowledge combined with our ecosystem of solution providers and subject matter specialists, all facilitated by various methodologies like Design Thinking.

6. Do you experience differences in the world of payments before COVID19 and the time we live in now? What are the differences?

The differences are not that when you look at the regular payment products themselves. But we do see COVID as a steppingstone for digitalization. E-commerce and e-commerce payments have shown significant growth and people are spending increasing amounts of time online. The volumes of payments facilitated by Payment Service Providers are going through the roof.

Also “Cash is King” is the phrase that everybody uses, but this should now be “Digital Cash is King”. Volume of physical cash is dropping significantly, being taken over by contactless payments.

I believe these are just indicators for a bigger change, which is the acceptance of the consumer to step into a full mobile journey.

Customers are now more familiar with working with a cashless wallet and seem also to be willing to adapt faster to other contactless, digital processes. Examples are registration, ordering food and payments in restaurants (for example via QR). But also using mobile apps to order your groceries. Clearly, this has already been taking place for many years, but I believe that COVID has accelerated this transformation through necessity.  People are therefore more willing to change their attitude. What is interesting is whether this transformation will continue, or whether people will step backwards to the old normal or step forward to a new normal.

For the retail sector and corporates, before COVID they already had to understand how to become more relevant in the mobile cashless digital world.  COVID is demanding corporates to speed up this thought process.

7. How does the future of payments look like in your perspective? And how will it change the world?

Digital currencies will be an important element in our future, adopted stepwise, and will be overlooked by market systems and regulators. There will be a continuous drive for integrating payments in the client journey, seamless, frictionless and supporting the Internet of Things. Hence payments will be a key enabler of future growth towards the digital world. Digitization is also very attractive for fraudsters, money laundering etc, as your counterpart is not always visible anymore. The need for trustworthy digital identities will be an important building block for this roadmap.

At the same time, the pressure of fraud, regulations and compliance will shift from banks to other parties (corporates) in the end-to-end value chain. Where banks are currently the gatekeeper, corporates will have to integrate this responsibility in their own business processes.

Hence the roadmap to digital, whether it is digital payments, or any other data transaction, will demand continuous change from all parties in the value chain. This will be a stepwise change, but fast enough to need to keep an eye on it.

8. What has been the biggest success for Enigma Consulting?

The biggest success for Enigma is that we have made a transformation from payments “only” to understanding the full transaction, risk and data value chain. For example, we have made a transition from bank payments to treasury payments and risk processes, but also from payments to compliance, and to integrated transactions and data models.

During this period, we have also changed our internal organisation.  We have been running a number of Young Professional Programs. These next generation talents bring us a more diverse view of the world, which makes our proposition to the market stronger and our internal culture more diverse. As a result, we believe that we have the foundation for supporting our clients, now and in the future, with a passion for payments and transactions.

9. How does Enigma Consulting keep on innovating and stay one step ahead of its competitors?

Our ambition is to be recognised as a though leader in the domain of payment and transactions. Investing in knowledge is the basis for our current and future advisory services.

This means that we continuously invest in gaining and sharing knowledge with our consultants and clients. We have organised this in a number of ways.

We have introduced the so-called Theme Lifecycle within Enigma. When we expect a theme becomes relevant for our business, now or the future, we start a workgroup to progress this theme from idea through different stages. It starts with writing a one pager based on study and analysis, called the exploring stage. We validate the readiness for every next stage (exploring, campaigning, harvesting) so that we invest time in those subjects that also become relevant for the market. All our consultants participate in one or more themes, which helps keep them engaged with innovation and market developments.

Every week we organise meetings to discuss news and articles. On turn, every consultant is responsible to select a number of articles to be discussed during this half hour meeting.

For our clients, we have regular Breakfast and Brains meetings to share our insights and to have open discussions on a specific subject. The success is that clients that even might compete in a certain sector, are always willing to learn and share from our and other clients’ experiences.

Finally, we also participate in and cooperate with FinTechs. We support them by leveraging our network of solutions, whilst their innovative ideas are a good source for future improvements, leading to a broader ecosystem that benefits our clients.

10. We are heading to the end of 2020, can you give us an outlook on the scheduled developments for the upcoming year?

The best outlook would be that we leave COVID-19 behind us, however I think that COVID will strongly influence the developments and investments in 2021. There are a number of scheduled developments which will impact corporate clients. Corporates will have to put their capacity in the IBOR Migration.  Also, the transition to XML messages will impact the operating architecture and bank connectivity of corporates.  In parallel, the transition to instant payments including batches will have to be put on the calendar of the finance function.

And in parallel, it is recommended to continue to look at the potential of open banking and further integration of payments data in the corporate business processes. An example is how payment data can improve the risk profiles of insurance companies.

In summary, enough subjects to keep an eye on. Sitting still and waiting is not an option.

11. A great initiative is that Enigma Consulting supports charity projects, what kind of charity projects does Enigma Consulting support, why and how?

The why should never be a discussion, the real discussion is what you can do. One of our activities is the ZEPA challenge.  Our consultants do like sports, and a lot of them love to cycle. When the transition to SEPA was going on, some of our consultants took the initiative for this challenge: cycling from Zeist to Paris in 24 hours. We have done this now 3 times, and a number of our clients’ employees have also participated.  This year’s event was cancelled, but we are already “ready” for the next challenge. There is not a fixed charity goal, the last charity was support for the education of young refugees.

Apart from the above, we have a warm partnership with “Goede Doelen” charity organisations in Netherlands and facilitate a free payments helpdesk for them.

It is of crucial importance to us to participate in an open and honest society, in which diversity and inclusion are critical. This is important for our own culture, as as an organisation we benefit from our consultants and they, in turn, foster these values in their personal lives.