There are two accelerators driving payments innovation today: transparency and speed. Consequently, these two factors are also top-of-mind for today’s corporate treasurers when it comes to sending and receiving payments, said Anis Rahal, CEO of treasury management company TreasuryXpress.
Speed and transparency are the two factors behind TreasuryXpress’ latest update to its treasury management solution, C2Treasury. The updates, revealed last week, focus on helping the treasurer gain visibility into the status of company payments; Rahal told PYMNTS that this was a direct response to one of the most common points of friction treasurers face today.
“Ninety percent, I would say, of the [support inquiries] we receive from our clients are, in fact, linked to one single issue,” he said. “When they launch a payment, it travels via the ERP system, and our system delivers it to the bank. During this process, we have a lot of issues coming from the ERP itself, or from the bank, and the client wants to know what is happening, why the payment was rejected from the bank.”
This kind of need for troubleshooting demonstrates something critical about the state of corporate payments today: Digital solutions can’t necessarily avoid all issues or errors when it comes to sending and receiving payment. But what digital solutions can do, as Rahal explained, is offer the transparency treasurers need to be able to identify where the problem is coming from — whether it be an issue at the bank, inaccurate information from an ERP system or something else.
TreasuryXpress has also targeted the speed at which corporate treasures conduct business, and part of that, Rahal said, is being able to actually deploy TMS tools at a faster rate.
“To give a treasurer a system that can go live quickly is the most important thing,” he said, noting that many solutions take several months to deploy.
But today’s treasurers’ focus on speed and transparency introduces a paradox into the corporate cash management sphere: Why are manual processes and paper checks still so present in the enterprise?
“Because the solutions to the checks, to manual solutions, they’re expensive,” Rahal explained. “And it takes time. And the treasurers don’t like this.”
That means treasury management solution providers have an uphill battle to shift the way corporate treasurers approach their positions. According to the CEO, electronic payments are “definitely” a way to help companies and their treasury departments achieve the kind of transparency and speed they’re looking for.
“Sometimes, people get confused. They think that they are much more in control when the payments are being done on paper,” he stated. “They can be right, in a way, but most of the time, it’s wrong.”
To demonstrate the problem, Rahal highlighted the issue of payments errors and fraud. A digital solution that boosts transparency for a company can enable a treasurer to identify exactly where and why something has gone wrong in the payment process and do that quickly. When paper is the medium on which payments are conducted, that identification process is more difficult and takes far more time, he said.
“When payments are being processed electronically, it’s transparent, and you can always detect the issue much more quickly than when payments are being conducted on paper,” he explained. “That’s the main value you can get from electronic payments. If you have an issue, fraud, a breach, you can detect it quickly. If it’s on paper, it will take days.”
Electronic payments aren’t the end-all of corporate payments problems like errors and fraud, but boosted transparency offers treasurers the opportunity to identify and remedy those issues much more quickly at a time when payments are becoming faster.