Treasurers the world over rely on their transaction banks to provide robust services that cater to their daily financial needs – but the space has long been seen as somewhat ‘vanilla’. Now, however, technological developments and solution-driven innovations are starting to push traditional boundaries. TMI’s Executive Interview sees Daniel Verbruggen, BNY Mellon’s Head of Relationship Management Europe, Treasury Services, revealing his vision for the future of transaction banking and explaining the potential benefits for corporate treasurers.
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Correspondent banking is evolving. Once a predominantly payments network, it is now developing into a ‘relationships network’ – with banks looking to facilitate seamless interactions between clients by connecting them on purpose-built digital platforms.
Corporate-to-corporate trading platform we.trade is already live and improving the way businesses trade with one another, and there is potential to take this further by combining we.trade with a corporate-to-bank initiative, such as the Trade Information Network – enriching interactions between buyers and suppliers through proactive support from a broad network of banks.
This could offer the best of both worlds. Corporates would achieve greater transparency when it comes to securing contracts, while banks would have the opportunity to introduce value-added services throughout the transaction process.
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The first such transaction involving a large German company, Commerzbank’s €500,000 deal was covered by Reuters, Banking Technology, The Trade, IBS Intelligence, coindesk, 4-traders, Blockchain News, The Blockchain, CoinShot, Blockshapers, The Paypers, Cypto Currency News, RTT News, coinzdaily, Econotimes Blockchain Revolution, Cryptocy News, Bitnews Today, Coin Telegraph, cryptovest, Finextra and Profit & Loss.
Compliance costs in emerging markets are rising, as are fears of protectionism in developed markets. But Michael Duval, Chief Business Officer at Bank Leumi (UK), notes that Israel provides importers and exporters with sustained opportunities in an article for The Global Treasurer.
The recent completion of SWIFT’s ground-breaking proof of concept (PoC), which tested the application and potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for nostro reconcilitation, has given the 34 financial institutions involved, amongst them being Deutsche Bank, much to consider. The blockchain technology was tested in a sandbox environment throughout 2017 and proved it can, as expected, help to deliver real-time liquidity monitoring and reconciliation. This said, the effective application of the technology is largely dependent on, and thus limited by, a bank’s existing system infrastructure and business models.
Reflecting on the results of the PoC in discussion with Banking Technology, Andreas Hauser, Senior Business Product Manager for Intraday Liquidity Management, Cash Management, Deutsche Bank, assesses that “DLT shows promise [but] unanswered questions remain”, particularly regarding the “considerable prerequisites” involved in adopting the program.
Hauser also points out that “what really drives value for nostro real-time liquidity monitoring and reconciliation isn’t the blockchain technology itself”: similar results could be achieved by connecting the pre-existing systems of the provider and user via APIs. Hauser concludes that “the clearest benefits are expected for financial institutions – typically medium-sized, regional banks of investment firms – with a higher dependency on nostro services”.
Read the full article at Banking Technology here.
Corporate treasurers have already taken significant steps to fortify their cybercrime defences however, chinks in the armour of many treasury departments still remain – mainly in the form of third parties.
Indeed, according to research undertaken by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), whom surveyed more than 300 corporate treasury executives on their existing cybersecurity defence mechanisms, 19% of companies still do not check whether their suppliers use the same methods for identity authentication as they do. They have not, for example, asked whether suppliers have secure email systems to protect confidential information, or whether they offer the ability to check the IP addresses of log-ins to match them with preassigned, or “white-listed” addresses.
Writing in Treasury and Risk, Dave Watson, Deutsche Bank’s Global Head of Digital Cash Products, and Americas Head of Cash Management for Deutsche Bank GTB business, explains how such gaps leave the door open for imposter fraud in which hackers attempt to manipulate payment instructions, either by posing as a supplier and sending fraudulent invoices or by altering the payment instructions of legitimate invoices in order to redirect funds to a different account.
For Watson, avoiding falling victim to such incidents is a matter of working with supply chain partners to jointly tighten security protocols. “Basic steps include ensuring third parties use a secure email system, including two-factor authentication (or equivalent) to verify that employees of the supplier are who they say they are. In addition, companies should check whether their suppliers track the IP addresses of those entering their treasury management or email systems.”
After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
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With instant payments going live across Europe in November 2017, UniCredit’s Global Head of Cash Management, Cédric Derras, discusses in The Paypers’ new B2B Fintech: Payments, Supply Chain Finance & E-invoicing Guide the lessons learned from the first six months of operation.
Derras explains how results have already exceeded expectations – with instant payments proving popular both in corporate and retail settings, while coverage has already extended to 20 banks from eleven countries.
And although there is still work to be done to ensure a seamless integration with corporate systems and manage issues such as exception handling and reporting, Derras is confident that the stage is set for instant payments to become the norm across Europe and beyond.
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With significant developments such as SWIFT gpi, instant payments, and the Second Payment Services Directive all either coming into play or entering full maturation in the European payments market, Cédric Derras, Global Head of Cash Management at UniCredit, explains in Treasury Management International how these initiatives add up for corporates, who stand to benefit from faster, more efficient, and more tailored services.
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Commerzbank has won the magazine’s award for the third year running.
Klaus Josef Mueller, Head of Product Management Trade Finance & Cash Management, comments: “It’s a real honour to be included, yet again, among such a prestigious list of winners, and even more so in the home market. This award reflects our dedication to helping our growing corporate customers in Germany reach their operational potential. Making good on this commitment requires us to be at the cutting edge of treasury and cash management. Clients now expect high-end products and services from their banks to be cloud-based, driven by apps, and digitally secure – and here, we’re the ones raising the bar.”