Accounts receivables management can be a daunting task, and a recent collaboration between BNY Mellon and enterprise content management firm Top Image Systems aims to simplify the process.
Paul Simons, who is managing director of supply chain product management at BNY Mellon (BNY), explained the decision to link up with TIS in a recent interview with PYMNTS. The executive said that the bank had been considering a technological upgrade to its archives “for some time,” and noted that one key initiative was to bring the internal systems to a cloud-based platform – and, hence, the integration with TIS, after the bank’s technical teams had vetted the system and executives at BNY had in fact talked with some of their banking competitors who had adopted TIS and found positive experiences.
BNY will use TIS’s iRemit cloud-based remittance solution in order to offer up archiving and reporting services to BNY receivables clients across all transaction types, ranging from ACH to wire payments, in addition to card payments into a central repository.
Through the first half of 2016, BNY will be bringing billions of client records into the cloud and onto the TIS platform, with progress to be made through stages, starting with documentation related to retail first, and then wholesale. With a nod to the fact that “roughly 90 percent” of BNY’s clients use imaging functionality for document tracking – “across all segments, large and small,” said Simons — the goal even as the archiving gets rolled out is to have integration between both disparate segments of the bank’s Treasury Services business.
The receivables solutions and the TIS upgrade will remain domestic in focus, according to Simons. And with such an undertaking across billions of documents, Simons stated that there is “significant investment” in place, across time, people and money, though he declined to give a dollar amount in the case of the latter’s investment into TIS.
As with any discussion of the cloud, it seems, security remains top of mind, and in this case, said Simons, several layers of data protection exist. Among the key elements of safeguarding data are: encryption during anytime AR data is either in transit or at rest; real-time alerts of any instances of host system intrusions; and separate, independent servers dedicated to BNY data and images that are not co-mingled with other client data at the bank.
For BNY’s clients, the move to the cloud will hold some tangible benefits out of the gate, said Simons. The immediate benefit, he said, comes through greater efficiency as clients interface with a single workscreen rather than multiple modules, and any upgrades via the cloud are system-wide and automatic. In addition, analytics help identify payments trends, and also push tasks into defined work queues.
And in reference to the perennial debate within AR management that centers on paper vs. digital receivables, the fact remains that BNY’s AR clients cannot do much to change the behavior of their own clients – which means that paper-based or electronic AR management depends largely on what might be thought of as the “end link” of this chain. But regardless, said Simons, the aim of the BNY/TIS transition is “not to change the mix, but optimize it.”