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Industry roundup: 24 August 2020

NetSuite enhances transaction management for remote operations

Oracle's cloud-based ERP system NetSuite has introduced features to provide better visibility and control over invoicing and transaction data for financial professionals that are working remotely. In order to solve the problem of having to send numerous invoices for customers placing multiple orders within a single billing period, NetSuite developed a new invoice grouping feature to consolidate these invoices into one. When the payment comes in, it is applied to each order. As the customer only pays a single invoice, this should ultimately reduce days sales outstanding (DSO).

On the bank reconciliation, the system provides the ability to automate transaction creation from the bank transactions. This is designed to help users create and post transactions automatically from imported bank data, which should save time and improve accuracy.   

For intercompany transactions, financial professionals can automatically post, match and reconcile transactions based on cross-subsidiary fulfilment events and record it all in NetSuite. This means fewer people are needed to verify intercompany financial statements, and accounting periods can be closed faster and with less chance of human error. The solution also eliminates the manual settlement of intercompany receivables and payables. While it is common to keep intercompany transactions open (not settled) for several accounting periods, new intercompany AP/AR netting allows users to combine their mutual balances through a netting statement. Settlements are then created for the selected transactions for both subsidiaries. NetSuite says that companies will save time by reducing the number of open intercompany transactions, which eliminates the need for multiple wires and subsequent bank charges.


U.S. Bank targets payments growth in Europe

Just as the COVID-19 lockdowns began to shut much of Europe, on March 11, U.S. Bancorp payments subsidiary Elavon finalised its acquisition of Sage Pay. Two days later, employees were sent to work from home amid global efforts to curtail the spread of the pandemic. 

What followed, said Sean Wilson, Managing Director, Opayo (formerly Sage Pay), was a focus on three things, “Employee health and safety, supporting our customers and integrating our business with U.S. Bancorp were vital.” That integration included renaming and rebranding the company to separate it from the FTSE-listed Sage Group.

In 2019, the payments gateway of Sage Pay, now named Opayo, processed £40bn worth of card payments for over 50,000 merchants, including both online and in-store. Now, the integration into Elavon and U.S. Bancorp gives the company a strong infrastructure for continued growth in Europe. U.S. Bancorp, parent company of the fifth-largest commercial bank in the US, expanded into Europe two decades ago when it acquired technology company EuroConnex, ultimately renaming the global merchant acquiring business Elavon. Today, Elavon has 2,400 employees across six countries and is the fourth-largest merchant acquirer on the continent, processing more than €100 billion worth of payments last year for many of the best-known retailers, restaurants, hotels, and small- and medium-sized businesses in Europe. 

Elavon had recently commissioned research with Ipsos Mori in the UK and Ireland. In this, it found that 68% of people in the UK and 59% in Ireland actively seek to pay with cards or contactless payments. That trend has only been accelerated by the pandemic, as in-store has not been an option for many retailers. As a result, Opayo saw an increase of 30% in May and 52% in June in the number of e-commerce inquiries from small businesses.


Finverity and Ebury partner on global supply chain finance solution

Finverity, a cross-border supply chain finance platform and Ebury, an FCA regulated foreign exchange (FX) payments provider, have partnered to provide a global supply chain finance solution. 

The partnership is designed to enable investors in developed markets to access supply chain finance deals in emerging markets that offer an risk-adjusted yield without the downside of the FX exposure as they can manage their currency risk seamlessly through the Finverity platform. Finverity offers institutional investors a fully segregated and API-enabled payment infrastructure to facilitate the investments on the platform. The company says this offers a low-cost alternative to traditional structured finance infrastructure while providing the same level of security.

The partnership should also make it easier for buyers in emerging markets to launch their own supply chain finance programmes without having to worry about the robustness of their payment infrastructure or access to working capital. Buyers will have the ability to hedge alternative currency payments to international suppliers and earn interest on any extra cash flow through Finverity's dynamic discounting solution. Suppliers, on the other hand, will be able to access affordable working capital by selling their outstanding invoices in exchange for early payment in the currency of their choice.

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