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5 steps for optimizing payment transactions

| 13-09-2018 | TIStreasuryXL |

They are one of the most important economic transactions and since all times have provided us with order and structure, but at the same time they have been a nuisance, because they are equally complex and essential. They come in the form of cash payments, semi-cash payments and non-cash payments, with the latter definitely at the forefront. But in order to organize payment transactions optimally, there are a few things that need attention.

In this article you will find out everything on how to renew your payment transactions, making them more transparent, simpler and more secure. At the same time, you can keep up with digital transformation.

Step 1: Getting an Overview

Regarding innovations in payment transactions, there are many items that require attention. For this reason, it is important to get an initial overview of the current payment transactions situation and a breakdown of the complexity of the factors contained in this term. You should be able to answer questions regarding current payment formats, including abroad, bank communication and possible bank connections before you start making any changes. You should also take into consideration your own payment transactions, in order to recognize weaknesses and potential improvements. Only then will you know if there is still potential for optimization and where the innovation process needs to start.

Step 2: Setting Goals

As is the case with successfully mastering any task, it is important to first set goals in advance and to monitor the results to be achieved. In this way, you prevent inaccurate or unwanted results and a lengthy change process. In order to define your goals, you should compare and consider the potential connections to the bank, systems and formats which are to be used in the future. Moreover, an initial conceptional model of the potential new banking landscape should be developed.

Once the first two steps have been carefully considered, it is down to the nitty gritty: making better decisions.

You can read the full article on the website of Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH.

 

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Five points to consider when choosing your payment system

| 05-10-2016 | TIS | Sponsored content |

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Transparency, reduced risks – and a one million euro saving per year

The payment processes in corporations and internationally active companies are more complex than you might think at first glance – and they are unclear and non-transparent virtually everywhere. This complexity results from the branched company structure and the consequent variety of banking arrangements maintained at central HQ and out in the branch offices and subsidiaries. Various currencies, formats and security keys present an obstacle to unitary, standardized payment processes and an overall view of bank transactions.

Intelligent payment systems in the cloud can remedy this situation: they improve transparency over payment processes, reduce costs and risks and form the basis for better company decision-making. In the typical scenario of an internationally active company they easily contribute annual savings of one million euros.

Download the executive briefing.

 

How can Cash Management influence the Cash Conversion Cycle?

| 27-06-2016 | Olivier Werlingshoff |

credit-card-851502_960_720How can the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) be optimized? The CCC measures the time the money is tied up in the sales and the production process before it’s converted into a cash in from customers. When translated in a formula this will be the DSO + DIO – DPO (Day’s Sales Outstanding + Day’s Inventory Outstanding – Day’s Payables Outstanding).

In this article I will focus on the DSO. Strictly, the DSO is the time it takes for invoices to be paid. I prefer to enlarge this, to the moment you received the order from the customer till the moment the money is on your main bank account.

How can the “enlarged” DSO be shortened with cash management products?

Let’s look at the customer first, how would he prefer to pay?

Card payments:

In the retail sector 50% of the transactions are made by card (credit & debit cards). The other 50% of the transactions are still done by cash. Card transactions are a fast and easy way to receive the money on your bank account. With contactless cards you can even minimize the transaction time, if there is a bottle neck, you can increase your sales by accepting those cards!

The process with cash transactions is more extensive and expensive. You have to save and collect the cash before dropping it at your bank. After a few days the money will appear on your bank account.

Be aware that there are reasons why customers still prefer to make cash payments. Last year I set up a test of 6 weeks of not accepting cash in one retail shop. The total sales dropped with 15%!

Mail with payment link:

When you have the mail addresses from you customers you could consider to send the invoice the same day by mail with a link to the Ideal website. This will encourage your client to choose the payment method you prefer. Furthermore you will save postal costs and paper costs by not sending paper invoices.

Foreign countries:

If you have customers in foreign countries, be aware of the local habits. For example in the US, most of the payments are done by cheques. In the UK and in France cheques are still used as payment instrument. The problem with cheques is that when receiving them, they have to be send back to the original bank before the money will be transferred to your account.

To fasten this process you could consider the possibilities of a local cheque lockbox. With a lockbox your client can send his cheque directly to a local address at a bank and the transactions can be processed immediately. The time that will be saved is the “post time” and the “process time” of the cheque.

International transfer:

If you prefer your customer to make an international transfer, it can be an option to open a local bank account. Depending on the number and the amount of transactions this could save you a lot of transfer costs. To get the money from your local bank account on your main account in The Netherlands there are a lot of cash pool instruments you can use. Jan Meulendijks has written an article last week about how to include foreign bank accounts into your cash pool.

SEPA:

In de SEPA region there are no differences in transfer costs between a national transfer and a transfer between SEPA countries. It is seen as one SEPA region without borders. You can mention your main IBAN number on your invoices and ask your customers to transfer the money direct to your main account.

But even with SEPA it could be an idea to hold a local bank account. In some countries customers still prefer to make transfers to a “national” bank account instead of an IBAN in another country. Some local governments even still oblige you to hold a local bank account for tax payment purposes!

As you can read,besides a good credit management system, there are a lot of cash management instruments that can be used to fasten the payments of your customers.

Olivier Werlingshoff - editor treasuryXLOlivier Werlingshoff

Owner of WERFIAD

 

Options are for wimps

26-04-2016 | by Rob Soentken |

bankingDoes it make sense to use options for hedging? The following little story is about a senior person who I respect a lot, and who didn’t like using options.

One day he asked me to execute some call options for his investment book. He never used options, so I asked him if he had changed his mind about the product. He just laughed and said he hadn’t.

“Why would I buy an option if I know the prices are going up? Any option premium I pay is lost money.” 

Somehow I’m convinced he held the same opinion about selling options.

Value of a USD and Call option on a USD

Options are for wimps - diagram 1Diagram 1 explains his feelings. I assume he was considering only the left half of the payoff diagram. After an appreciation of the USD, a USD is always worth more than a call option on a USD, the difference being the option premium.

There is no downside if you ‘know’ where the market is going, if there is no uncertainty. Using options implies you are not sure about the direction. In a way he was saying ‘options are for wimps’.

The future of the USD is leading

For a company importing goods from outside the EUR zone the choice could be very similar: to buy the foreign currency outright or buy a call option on that currency. Possible actions are driven by the views on 2 dimensions of the USD future:

  1. Where will USD go? Down or Up?Where will USD go?
  2. How will USD go there? Steadily or Uncertainly?

These 2 dimensions lead to 4 possible actions for hedging currency risk, as depicted in Diagram 2.

If the view on USD is Up, in a Steadily way the choice to ‘buy USD or buy an option’ is straightforward: Buy 100% of the required USD, because any option premium would be wasted money.

If the view on USD is Up but in an Uncertain manner, it could be recommendable to buy 100% At-The-Money options. Obviously the premium is an expense, but considering the expected Uncertain price action the price of USD could also be going down, meaning the USD can be purchased against cheaper than expected prices. This would represent a gain possibly offsetting and exceeding the loss of the premium.

If the view on USD is Down and in an Uncertain manner, it could be recommendable to buy 100% Out-Of-The-Money options. Like my manager in the beginning of this article, this call would be a back-stop against unexpected outcomes. Obviously the premium is an expense, but considering the strike being Out-Of-The-Money, it’s a relatively small one.

Finally, if the view on the USD is Down, and in a Steadily way it could be an interesting approach to hedge a certain percentage and to add to that position in a dynamic way, until the full 100% of the required USD amount has been purchased. In a way this position is a replication of buying a Call option, without incurring the expense of the premium. Obviously there could and would be cost involved if additional USD purchases would be above the initial purchase. But if the Down view materialises, there would be gains in the form of cheaper USD purchases.

Above article reflects the personal views of the writer. It should not be used as a guidance to the use of derivatives in the context of investments or risk management. Any investor or risk manager should develop and determine their own independent views and actions.

Rob SoentkenRob Soentken

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