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Industry roundup: 8 June

HSBC launches cash flow forecasting tool

HSBC has launched a cash flow forecasting tool that is designed to make it quicker and easier for businesses to build an accurate picture of their future finances. HSBC Cash Flow Forecasting can be accessed using the bank’s digital banking platform, HSBCnet. The tool is fully integrated - automatically loading data from a client’s accounts - and can also work with a client’s own systems, allowing details of pending invoices or future-dated events to be added automatically. This should reduce manual intervention and cut the time taken to prepare a forecast.

Based on the data, HSBC Cash Flow Forecasting produces cash forecasts out to a three-year horizon. Modelling and scenario testing means clients can enable bespoke forecasts, and detailed variance analysis highlights any differences between forecasts and actual performance, allowing clients to spot differences and take appropriate action.

The bank says that the tool provides a more accessible solution to clients who may use treasury work stations, or spend weeks producing spreadsheet-based predictions by manually retrieving data from their internal and bank systems. The tool complements HSBC’s other liquidity management products, including the Liquidity Management Portal - a digital platform that enables treasurers to more effectively self-manage their liquidity, supporting improved funding and investing decisions. The Liquidity Management Portal can also be accessed via HSBCnet.


BNP Paribas Securities Services using NLG on client reports

BNP Paribas Securities Services has shared on its website insight into how it uses natural language generation (NLG) in generating client reports. NLGis a technology that transforms structured data into natural language. It is part of the natural language processing (NLP) domain, which encompasses software that interprets or produces human language, in either spoken or written form.

BNP Paribas Securities Services says it believes that NLG provides an innovative means to better engage with clients, particularly where large sources of data are concerned. The implication by creating data driven reporting systems is greater comprehension, not just for the client but also for the employee. The bank says it anticipates developing more applications where machines produce easy-to-consume natural narratives at a volume and scale that can better respond to client expectations.

At BNP Paribas Securities Services, two client reports are currently produced using NLG. One such example is the Executive Summary of the Management Information Services (MIS) Report. Essentially, the creation of a customisable summary of the MIS client booklet (100+ pages), being the comprehensive data of their global custody activity with information about assets under custody, settlement, corporate actions and income.

The original document is produced as an Excel booklet providing clients with a year’s history of activity. Using NLG, the Executive Summary offers a succinct synopsis of the client’s activity at a glance, covering key alerts and data trends with the option to dive into the detail at any point to gain further insight. The summary includes text commentary and analysis tailored to each client’s activities. Using well-defined rules, the bank says that NLG engines transform structured data (key statistics, AuC, settlement data, STP rate, CA volumes, etc.) into meaningful narratives for the client.


Amadeus and Troovo partner on automated B2B travel payments

Amadeus and Toovo have announced an integration that is designed to enhance the B2B travel payments process for corporates. The integration of Troovo’s robotic process automation (RPA) engine with Amadeus’ B2B Wallet enables the entire virtual payment flow to be automated, helping the travel industry digitally transform B2B supplier payments.

The way travel agencies pay travel providers, such as airlines, is changing as virtual payments replace traditional methods and legacy payment processes. This move to virtual cards is designed to help to reduce fraud, mitigate risks associated with supplier default, increase efficiency, and help to improve travel agency margins. While there are many advantages to virtual card payments, significant systems integration work has been necessary, until now.

The introduction of RPA means key data relating to each payment and booking can be moved between the booking system and the airline Passenger Service System (PSS) or the hotel Property Management System (PMS) automatically by a software robot. Software robots are a light-weight tool that can quickly be configured to complete basic business processes, such as entering a 16-digit virtual card number, or travel booking details, from a travel agency system into an airline or hotel system to complete a payment. This automation avoids error-prone human processes or traditional systems integration work, which can take longer. The data transferred includes virtual card information that is written back to the booking system as well as transaction data provided to the travel supplier and the card-issuing bank.

When combined with Amadeus’ B2B Wallet solution, it offers the travel industry a combination of technologies that enables agencies to pay suppliers using the right virtual card for that specific booking scenario, whether pre-paid, credit or debit, in the most efficient way. The partnership sees Troovo benefit from Amadeus’ global reach in travel as well as helping to deliver on specific customer requirements in the Asia-Pacific region.  The partnership also provides operational and finance teams at organisations using Amadeus’ B2B Wallet with a single point of processing and management of all virtual payments, delivering increased transparency and control.

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