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

07-02-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

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

Do you need help in your DNB License application process?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Prepare the file and make the necessary organisational changes

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

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

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

4. Submit the application to De Nederlandsche Bank

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

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

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

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

Experience

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

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

Geert Blom
Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

License application for payment services in 5 steps

| 27-9-2019 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting

License applications from DNB: Enigma knows what is required!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Prepare the file and make the necessary organisational changes

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

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

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

4. Submit the application to De Nederlandsche Bank

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

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

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

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

Experience

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

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

Geert Blom
Senior Consultant at Enigma Consulting

Can you still see your banker as a trusted advisor?

| 22-08-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Is your banker a trusted advisor or just another sales representative?

The times that you, entrepreneur or CFO, could just accept the advice of your banker is over. Understand that your banker expects you to have more knowledge than before. Do know there are alternatives. And do not forget that your banker has a target (hard or soft), just like others selling products or services.

When I accompanied my father to meet his doctor, it was clear we are of different generations. He listened and accepted, I was looking for dialogue and had questions. The attitude my father showed towards his doctor, I often see with CFOs and owners of smaller businesses. Is this a problem? Where does it stem from? Should relations change?

Your relationship with your banker has changed

Decades ago there was a knowledge gap between what bankers and entrepreneurs knew about financial markets and products. The number of local banks was limited as were funding sources. The interest was higher than it is nowadays (not too hard with current rates). All this led to a power imbalance between banks and their clients. You had to listen to your banker and accept. In those days bankers showed a different attitude than they did later. I often hear remarks about the former ABN boss Jan Kalff, he apparently was trusted like a medical doctor. I am afraid the bankers’ oath does not make current bankers a similar Jan Kalff.

Over time bankers and their clients have, together, changed their relationship. Starting with the one between banks and large corporates with treasury teams. These increasingly bigger teams gained knowledge and opened relations with alternative banking partners. On top of this, banks started rewarding their employees increasingly in an Anglo-Saxon way with an aggressive connection between performance and bonus. Treating your banker like a doctor was not appropriate anymore. Between large corporates and banks a new equilibrium was reached.

Between smaller organisations and banks a lot went well, regretfully not everything. One of many examples is that in The Netherlands sales of derivatives was done wrong in two obvious ways. First, clients bought products without understanding what they bought (and did all bankers really understand?). Second, bankers did not sell these products because their clients needed them to increase their bonus. A lot has been written about this.

Regretfully, a lot of entrepreneurs and also their auditors think they have full understanding of banking products and costs. I have seen too many treasury experts prove them very wrong. This new equilibrium has not yet been set.

An important extra development that has an impact on this topic is that banking services substitutes are being offered. Facebook can facilitate your payments, you can buy currencies cheap from Privalgo and there is a wide variety of extra funding sources coming up. All these solutions do not (yet) have an established market presence.

New banking relationship management

This is not a call for bank bashing. We do not bash the car sales guy for trying to sell a car. I do want to invite you to consider threating your banker as you would like any other supplier. Always remember he has a sales target. Understand that bankers have to balance their oath with this target. On top of this they see many of their colleagues being let go. For them these are no easy times.

Find out if you have the expertise to have a balanced meeting with your banker. Can you oversee your risks, do you understand the products and do you really know what you pay your bank? I have had more than one meeting with a banker in which I learned that banks themselves often do not know what they make on their clients. The amount mentioned on your bank statement about their costs does not cover everything your bank earns on you. Do you know the spread they take on your FX deals, the margin on insurance products? They and you often do not know the product alternatives and their rates. You can get low threshold expertise or send your employees to get relevant education or have them visit events. The expertise is available.

Times are changing

Changing relationships with your bank are only a problem if you ignore the change. The banks did not ignore and have changed. In my opinion these changes are good. Bear in mind that corporate treasury is not rocket science. Spend the time on this topic it deserves. Times are changing, so keep an eye on what is happening. It will save you cost, create opportunities and help you avoid risk. Good luck and drop me an email if you have questions.

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

How to explain what treasury is to family and friends?

| 09-08-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Your mortgage, credit card, holiday money and current account have business equivalents. They are managed by corporate treasurers. The title question, or variations, is one I have to answer quite often. Even more around the holidays, when I always meet my relatives. I am tweaking the answer constantly. Connecting private and business is my current strategy. Perhaps you (expert in the field or layman) can let me know if this explanation works for you.

You have a current, savings and perhaps other account. You pay the rent, groceries and a beer. You use a debit or credit card, cash, a cheque, paypal or other channel. You take care only you and the people you trust have access to your money. Corporate treasurers build and maintain a banking infrastructure that allows payments. They think about who is allowed to make payments (often they are), who can authorize (not a payment person), what bank to use and potential other payment channels.

You have a mortgage or personal loan so you could buy a house or pay for groceries when at the end of your paycheque the month did not come to an end yet. Corporate treasurers find funds necessary for their company and have a wider set of products available like bank credit facilities, bonds or new equity.

You feel fluctuations in interest and currencies when you cross the border to another currency country. Your mortgage, current account and credit card come with an interest. Both currencies and interest change over time: financial markets are not stable. Many of us just accept these changes. Corporate treasurers think and manage these risks: they think about the currencies in commercial contracts, about the length & price of various funding products and about mitigating the risks, for instance using derivatives.

Of course the above description is an oversimplification of the position. Treasurers have many other tasks and the complexity in a corporate environment is higher than a standard household situation. Furthermore I want to stress is that treasurers are not bookkeepers or controllers: they do not send or receive invoices and do not write the annual report. They manage actual money flows.

 

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit

Owner Treasurer Search

 

BELLIN Launches SWIFT g4C Product Offering

| 30-07-2019 | BELLIN |

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

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

SWIFT g4C from pilot to live

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

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

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

About BELLIN

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

Corporate Treasury have a problem and this is why…

| 23-07-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Cost savings created by good treasurers easily exceed the sum of salaries of their team. They can help open doors that otherwise stay closed for their business colleagues and they can help avoid risks. Then why do they have this modest seat at the table of CFOs and are they often not considered for succession of her/him? Why are SMEs complaining about the lack of funding opportunities, when treasurers have them available? Why are Basel regulations made by bankers and politicians, where are the corporate treasurers? Why does treasury education not have a more prominent place in education? Why do bankers earn the bigger bucks? Corporate treasury has a PROBLEM!

The non-treasurers (CFOs and business owners) often do not know, so they do not consider this a problem. I think they should, given my introduction. The treasurers I meet often experience the problem: they want to be educated, make career progression, be involved in business and have better salaries. Why do controllers or non-financials not encounter this issue, or at least in a lesser degree?

Based upon my many interview notes and the first results of the dataset of the Treasurer Test I have a first hypothesis (there will be more): the personality of people working in treasury. A Big5 personality assessment has been done in a treasury population of 100. What I see is that treasurers, on average, are easily as driven as the general population. That should be a proper foundation. Where they score substantially different is in two aspects:

  1. They do not make contact quickly
  2. They are not focused on convincing other people.

The two obvious solutions are bringing people with a different personality into the treasury field and stimulating the current population to speak up. As recruiters we hope to contribute by bringing (for example) bankers into corporate treasury. Bankers often show a different personality profile. Furthermore I think we should not try to change the personality of the current population, but skills training will most definitely help.

Do you see the problem and want to step up? I hope so.

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

How to Solve the 4 Main Payments Challenges

| 18-07-2019 | BELLIN |

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

#1 payments challenge: a complex set-up

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

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

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

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

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

#2 payments challenge: fraud and cyber crime

How important is payment fraud?

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

How can companies best protect themselves against payment fraud?

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

#3 payments challenge: cost

How can companies save money in their payment process?

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

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

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

#4 payments challenge: new banking partners

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

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

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

All in all:

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

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

Sascha Kopp author picture

Sascha Kopp
Consulting Director at BELLIN

 

Does your payment land in the correct currency account?

| 16-07-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Recently I received signals from a treasurer working in a mid-sized company about payments in various currencies landing on the wrong account. In a payment of USD 1 million, this could lead to extra cost of about USD 9,000! This results in extra cost and should be avoided…

In most SMEs in Europe a payment from US clients will be transferred in US dollars and lands in EURO’s. Banks facilitate this process and their fees consist of two parts:

  1. a transaction fee that is often a fixed fee or maximized percentage of the amount transferred
  2. a price to make Euro’s out of US dollars, following a conversion rate (the price you pay for buying dollars is different from the sell price, the difference is called “the spread”).

If you receive payments in US dollars regularly, you can consider opening a US dollar bank account. Therefore, you will avoid constant payment of the conversion rate. This is most relevant when you also make payments from this account. All big banks offer bank accounts in various currencies as a paid service.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the signals that I received: A foreign client made a payment in dollars with his dollar account. He transferred the dollars to the Euro account of my contact. This was all documented. Nevertheless, the bank charged transaction and conversion fees. Luckily this was discovered by my contact. After informing the bank about this issue, the bank repaired it all.

There could be various reasons why this happened. We all know that the global IT landscape in traditional banks consists of many different systems of a different age. A network problem could be a possible issue. The likelihood of this happening again is high, so be aware! Also, although we do not like this, it could be that this payment was handled manually. A mistake is easily made, hopefully not too frequent. It would be the worst case scenario when banks manipulate payments in order to claim fees. Let’s assume this is not the case.

The point I want to make: check if payments land on the proper currency account or it will cost you!

Any of you encountered misrouted payments?

PS From my own experience: in your ebanking environment, the default currency is not necessarily the currency the account is in. My GBP account had EURO as default currency…

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

Duplicate Payments: Instability with Multiple Platforms

| 24-06-2019 | BELLIN |

It is an arduous request for your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) payment platforms or IT department to provide ample protection against duplicate payments and cyber-fraud.  Though it can be tempting to assume administrative controls can provide protection, the facts can show otherwise. Supplier invoice payments are typically the largest annual payments and consequently, represent the highest amount of risk.

According to an Acculytic’s report on duplicate payments, “industry studies have shown that the rate of duplicate payments can be as high as 3%. In fact, 20% of the best performing companies, responding to the 2013 ePayables survey performed by Ardent Partners, had an average duplicate payment rate over 1%.”

Acculytic’s report also stated that “the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM) concluded that a quarter of the respondents reported duplicate payment rates between 0.1% and 0.5%. Applying these rates to different purchase volumes suggests the following rate of duplicate payments may be generally applied across all organizations.”

Rate of Duplicate Payments ($)
Purchase Volume 0.1% 0.5% 1.0%
$10,000,000 10,000 50,000 100,000
$50,000,000 50,000 250,000 500,000
$100,000,000 100,000 500,000 1,000,000

How duplicate payments and payment fraud can bypass controls

Even the most sophisticated controls still have their pain points. Here are 5 ways that duplicate payments and fraud can unhinge even the best administrative controls:

1) Human error transcends even the most secure systems.

Regardless of how technologically-sound and secure an ERP or IT infrastructure is, mistakes can always occur. Such systems can typically alert when duplicate payments occur by executing matching runs. However, matching runs are incapable of determining if there was an error earlier in the submission phase.

2) Multiple systems leading to inefficiency

The presence of multiple systems is not rare with large multinational organizations. Payment processing becomes more complex in terms of ensuring ample security is present. The seamless connectivity between all systems is a paramount function to be able to detect duplicate payments.

3) Platform migration limbo period presents payment risk

When migrating from one platform to another, there is often a period in which one platform is introduced before the initial is removed. That period before the legacy platform is removed causes a risk for duplicate payments.

4) Administrative controls: biggest strength is a potential weakness

Automation comes with pros and cons and is effective with routine tasks but your integrated controls systems can hamper the speed and efficiency of your productivity. Duplicate payments are detected based on the parameters set and if there are too many parameters, a majority of payments will be flagged. With too few parameters, duplicate payments will slip through the cracks.

5) Accounts Payable are susceptible to internal fraud

Automated detection is a first line of defense but cannot factor in employees that are extremely familiar with the parameters and know how to evade detection. Invoices under certain amounts tend to not require secondary approval, leading to undetected invoices being processed.

3 essential ways a centralized platform can prevent duplicate payments

  1. Seamless data extraction for routine analysis that will not slow operations.
  2. Ability to consolidate and analyze data from any subsidiary or location.
  3. Digestible data that is concise with the system providing relevant alerts for fraud or issues in payment processing.

Bonus function: the ability to analyze historical payments and check for duplicate payments, tax or currency problems, contractual compliance, etc.

Eliminate duplicate payments with a centralized platform

For comprehensive protection, BELLIN’s treasury management system, tm5, will seamlessly connect all of your banks and enable you to process payments and view master vendor information. The centralized platform allows you to connect any system to any bank giving you a true, single-window view of your worldwide banking data.

With company-wide visibility as a core competency of tm5, users can monitor payment and vendor information through the entire workflow. Consequently reducing the chance for duplicate payments that originate from external or internal sources.

Treasury management systems are both innovative and extremely helpful. Knowing this, treasurers are tasked with realizing and dealing with the limitations of having multiple systems. Centralizing payment processes with automation that ensures security is an extremely efficient way to maximize controls and minimize the chance for duplicate payments to occur.


Martin Bellin

Founder & CEO at BELLIN

Webinar: Interested in how to minimize costs for FX payments?

| 20-6-2019 | TIS |

Does your firm have a global payment landscape? Are all FX payments globally and their associated costs visible to you?

If the answers are Yes and No, you don’t want to miss this 30-minute webinar chaired by Ebury, one of Europe’s fastest growing FinTechs and TIS, a global leader in corporate payment solutions.

For corporate treasurers and cash managers, FX risk management is part of the daily tasks. In this joint webinar presented by Ebury, a global finance specialist in foreign exchange, and TIS, a global leader in cloud-based corporate payment SaaS solution, the experts Thomas Fakhouri, Head of Technology Partnerships at Ebury and Nikola Hristov, Product Owner at TIS, will discuss how a fully integrated and automated payment process with add-on FX service generates enormous saving opportunities for corporates.

Register today


Wed, Jun 26, 2019
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM CEST