The relationship between bank and corporate customer is one that, for treasury managers, is a crucial one. In a world of cross-border transactions, geopolitical upheaval and currency volatility, corporates traditionally forge relationships with several banks. And with several accounts to track, information flow and decision-making can become difficult to manage.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Andreas Lutz, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse unit Fides Treasury Services, which provides banking connectivity to corporates (across SWIFT and other channels), said that corporate treasurers must manage liquidity and payments with deep knowledge of fund flows and the flow of data with their banks.
And headed into a new year, he told PYMNTS, issues that remain among what he called “hot topics” for treasury professionals, and especially among smaller firms, include “looking at costs or visibility.”
“And visibility is crucial for centralized decision-making,” he said. Treasury executives are “also concerned about compliance and regulatory issues,” and so, the aim of enlisting treasury bank connectivity services (such as those offered by Fides) is to “reduce the touchpoints between corporates and banks,” as they manage liquidity to decrease payments fraud and risk. Fraud, he said, also remains top of mind for organizations.
Through automation, in each step in processing payments, should there be compliance issues or manual errors in processing, there will be a “hit” that will prevent further actions.
Through web portal-based and multi-banking solutions (and outsourced relationships to Fides), Lutz explained, corporates are able to “reduce errors … and for audits (which can be external or internal) … track who did what through an overview of multiple points of activity.” This is especially useful, said the executive, in an environment where many regions globally are moving to embrace faster payments initiatives.