Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” This focus on simplicity and ease of use is coming to corporate treasury systems and services as fintechs present their new products to the market. A new example of this is the Cobase multi-banking platform which does much more than just multi-banking. It also features payment hub, cash management and treasury modules. Cobase has plans to do so much more, all driven by their focus on simplicity and ease of use.
Cobase was founded in 2017 as the result of a successful R&D collaboration in ING’s Wholesale Bank Accelerator Programme. Alongside ING as a shareholder, it has recently just announced two other new investors, Nordea, and Crédit Agricole CIB. These two new strategic partners allow further synergies and enable future continuity. The investment made by the two large banks will be used to develop new modules and further develop its network of connected banks around the world.
The current cloud-based platform offers a single point of access to bank accounts and other financial products and services from many banks and other financial service providers. The core modules are:
Account reporting, which offers a full view of your cash balances, statements, and transaction data
Payments, which allows you to directly upload from your ERP or manually enter individual payment transactions
Cash management, which includes In-House Banking for managing zero balance cash pools and intercompany bookings, as well as cash pooling functionality, netting and settlement
Treasury, which offers FX trading and Risk Exposure management where you can directly trade with your FX provider and also track your hedged exposure and execute new hedges all directly from the platform, as the figure below shows:
Source & Copyright©2020 - Cobase
Cobase’s dashboard has an extensive range of functionality, with many different widgets that can be personalised to the user’s preference, as the example below shows:
The dashboard gives an overview to the end-user while other modules show details of balances and transactions.
The combination of many bank connections (currently 120+ banks and soon to be 200) via one integrated platform and a secure FTP link to your internal ERP systems provides corporates with significant financial and operational efficiency, especially for medium and large size companies, for example, current users include:
- €2.1bn global commodity trader with 7 subsidiaries in 12 countries with 12 banks
- €1.8bn international food producer with 30 subsidiaries in 8 countries with 20 banks
- €850m international financial software company with 10 subsidiaries in 25 countries with 70 banks
- €620m national insurance company with 9 subsidiaries, and 5 banks
- €150m national financial service provider with 10 banks.
Corporates pay a monthly subscription fee based on actual usage, meaning the number of connected banks and bank accounts, modules in use and transaction volume processed. Because it’s a cloud-based solution, the total cost of ownership for the corporate is low.
Today Cobase is typically used by:
- mid-sized corporates with €100-250 million annual turnover, mostly having little corporate treasury other than excel spreadsheets and electronic banking systems and starting to professionalise or looking for a replacement of their outdated solution
- large corporates €250m+ turnover, mostly having an established treasury solution looking to replace or enhance further and optimise functionality.
Cobase are in process of implementing an extensive expansion of their functionality with the following developments planned:
- FX (spot/forward/swap) in pilot – Q3/4 2020
- FX (risk & hedge management) – Q3/4 2020
- Liquidity Forecasting – Q4 2020
- Cash Pooling – Q1 2021
- Under development:
- POBO/COBO payments which will be part of In-house banking
- Loan portfolio management
- KYC module
- Account opening.
Also, they will be continuing to extend their bank connections numbers aiming for around 200 by end 2020, as the figure below shows:
Cobase states “Our mission is to make working with multiple banks more efficient. This process is never finished, every day we make it easier”.
- The most impressive features of Cobase the company and its product functionality are the clarity of purpose and design simplicity
- Cobase infrastructure is not just about multi-banking, it is also about internal corporate treasury efficiency and managing financial and operational risk
- A major player in corporate treasury systems could be emerging.
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