A discussion between corporate treasurers at the ACT Cash Management Conference “Smart Cash” on 8 & 9 February in the Barclays Cash-athon session showed exactly the pain points and what they really want when making and collecting payments.
1. Pain points:
- Our standard pain points should be solved, they have been around “for ever”:
- Variations of standard SWIFT messages, e.g. 940s, 942s, etc.
- Value dating and pre-advice not work
- Not enough accurate information on receivables
- Not know when a payment has arrived and is in payee’s account
- Etc. (There were no surprises, all the common pain points were listed.)
- Not only this, we have new pain points;
- Many new payment systems each with different ways of working
- Funds will be arriving at different times through different systems, we’ll never know what our cash position is.
2. What we want:
- Don’t have to think about it
- We should be able to send payment off and it is automatically send via the appropriate and most cost effective payment system, and similarly for collections
- Systems that just work
- The complexities of making and collecting payments should be invisible.
- They are so fed up with the lack of real standardisation by banks and other parties world-wide, one group proposed a Global Payments Directive from corporates which is binding and absolute (but then they backed off a little and felt that some flexibility is needed BUT NOT A LOT)
- A complete middleware platform, so the differences between payment systems disappear using artificial intelligence working like mobile phone so it is familiar and usable (a fintech company, B2BPay, at the conference was proposing a similar approach: a virtual layer between the banks and corporates)
- Full e-invoicing and receivables automation.
There was far less time given to considering the solutions, however the corporate treasurers were very clear as to what they want in making and collecting payments: cost-effective systems that just work where the complexity is invisible.
CTMfile take: Simple, by the end of 2017 please... This is clearly not possible, but the direction of travel and aims are vital.
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