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News roundup 2: 1 November

Digital transformation of real-time cash flow information continues to evolve at a rapid pace

For decades, technology models have served single-based solutions to meet single-based business problems. With the dramatic evolution of cloud-based systems, such as SaaS, customers are able to lower costs and predict cash flow more accurately and efficiently.

Today, ION, a global provider of treasury and risk management solutions for corporations, financial institutions, and central banks, launched a new cash management SaaS solution, TreasuraSpark. This solution will enable organizations to automate their outdated systems use of spreadsheets and provide a more visible, real-time view of cash flow information. In addition, organizations will not only be able to automate their collection and reconciliation processes, but will also be able to reduce costs such as correcting manual errors, overdraft costs, and opportunity costs of excess cash by having a clearer picture of their daily cash position. Furthermore, TreasuraSpark is flexible, working well for organizations with frequent cash and balance information needs.

Similar to Oracle’s latest cloud-based solution, Suite Banking, one of the key elements of TreasuraSpark is the ability to automate cash flow information and connect with financial institutions via one single point of entry in a secured environment. What’s more, many companies’ finance teams are looking to reduce IT resource expenditures along with implementation costs while reaping the benefits of an efficient, automated, simple-to-use cash management solution.

For more information, visit https://iongroup.com/treasury/

 

Innovative supply chain finance solutions reach the Asia Pacific region

As organizations and suppliers continue to prioritize their working capital positions, supply chain finance (SCF) programs also advance to meet those needs efficiently.

The first sustainability-linked supply chain finance (SSCF) program in Asia Pacific, launched by Citi today, supports organizations in cash flow management requirements while strengthening their supply chains and supporting their environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.

Citi provided a thorough example of how their supply chain finance program works: “the bank would provide financing to a client’s suppliers from the date of collection of specific goods/provision of services to the date on which payment is owed to these suppliers.” The suppliers would absorb the cost of financing at a lower rate and would benefit from the faster cash flow, payment acceleration and reduced financing costs.

Henkel, a German chemical and consumer goods company, is the first company to implement Citi’s SSCF program and initially launched with suppliers in Australia. Henkel’s target audience is focused on suppliers who aim to improve sustainability performance. Once suppliers are qualified, they will benefit from preferential rates on a tiered basis offered by Citi’s supply chain financing. Additionally, as the supplier’s sustainability score improves, their rate improves respectively.

Christoph Wenner, Henkel Regional Head of Finance, Asia Pacific, said they “are convinced that sustainability-linked supply chain financing can help improve sustainability across Henkel’s large supplier ecosystem in Asia Pacific.” Both Henkel and Citi are committed to help meet the goals toward a global low-carbon economy. In addition, Citi is committed, as reflected by their commitment of US$1 trillion in sustainable finance by 2030, to continue to develop innovative ESG-linked solutions and the use of their SSCF solution throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com

 

Proactive ways to protect against cyber threats

A panel of experts from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Cyber Security Advisory recently discussed how banks can protect themselves against cyber threats, specifically in IT supply chain, block chains and digital currencies. In order to accomplish this, they support the “zero-trust” security principles and structure.

There were four key proactive areas noted from the meeting to incorporate cyber security measures. In order to combat cyber attacks within IT supply chains, the panel stressed the importance of implementing security standards with system monitoring and log reviews regularly throughout the IT supply chains and the system life cycle. With these parameters in place, MAS indicated this would help detect any type of malicious cyber activity in the IT supply chain space.

Utilizing only a username and password is not enough to remain defensive in the online banking world. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a tool to help with securing key data by incorporating an additional factor to verify the user’s access to the financial system. However, as much as this may deter hackers, there is still the potential for the system to be compromised. It was recommended to add notifications of transactions and data analytics to the financial institution’s current MFA structure to be ahead of cyber threat activities.

According to the panel, the “need for an ecosystem approach to forge closer cross-border collaboration and public-private partnerships” is important to counter ransomware attacks. Furthermore, it was recommended to protect critical backup data and implement a well established data storage technology system. More should be done by developers to build additional tools in the lifecycle of software development. Becoming well-versed in the blockchain and digital currencies space will also help mitigate the risks against cyber threats.

“MAS is paying close attention to the rising occurrences and severity of ransomware and IT supply chain attacks globally”, said Mr. Ravi Menon, MAS’ Managing Director. Furthermore, staying steps ahead of fast-paced cyber risks will help minimize the losses and interruptions experienced by financial institutions.

For more information on MAS’ CSAP, please refer to: https://www.mas.gov.sg/who-we-are/MAS-Advisory-Panels-and-Committees/Cyber-Security-Advisory-Panel

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