Why treasury should consider independent bank connectivity

Banking & Finance
| The European | 7 April 2021

Whether independently or with a TMS or ERP, Fides gives you the efficiency, scalability, and flexibility you need to streamline treasury operations

The demand for real-time transactions, speedy reconciliation, better cash visibility and increased efficiencies is at an all-time high. To reach these goals, accurate, usable bank data and communications are a must. However, what many treasurers don’t know is that bank connectivity isn’t a core competency of most TMS (treasury management system) providers.

Bank connectivity challenges

In setting up multibank communications, ease of connectivity and time-to-market are the first two challenges that corporates face. And the challenges only become more complex from there.

Establishing connections with many large, global banks is slowly getting easier with the advent of APIs – but that is still the exception rather than the norm. For organisations that need to onboard smaller banks, banks in emerging countries, or banks that have decentralised branches, it can take a lot of paperwork, specifications, and instructions exchanged. There’s also no guarantee that the message format for transactions and reconciliation will be compatible with the standard formatting set by the TMS provider.

Another challenge is choosing the type of connectivity that’s right for you. Want to stick with SWIFT? Would it be more cost-effective to use EBICS in Germany? Are there banks where you still need a host-to-host connection? What about APIs? Does your TMS offer these options?

Getting started with multibank connectivity 

A multibank connectivity provider like Fides can deliver the process automation you need to save time and reduce risk. The modular Fides Multibanking Suite gives you complete visibility into, and control over your banking connections and transactions, with secure access from any location. Administration and approvals are controlled through a single tool, with a single sign-on, saving time and effort while providing visibility into all aspects of workflows. This one-stop-shop approach makes the Fides Multibanking Suite a great entry-level corporate treasury solution.

Even for corporates that already have a TMS or ERP (enterprise resource planning) in place, engaging a third-party bank connectivity provider can be a smart move. By doing so, you expand your options for connection channels, messaging formats, conversions, sanction screening, and validation. Solutions like the Fides Multibanking Suite also are scalable, enabling you to add more banks, accounts, and payment providers as needed. And, they can integrate directly with your TMS, giving you straight-through-processing and real-time cash visibility, or close to it.

You also gain the benefits of flexibility and portability: if you choose to change TMS or ERP vendors in future, you will not lose any of your bank connections or have to rebuild them from scratch. During a migration, a multibank connectivity provider can run connections to your banks in parallel, ensuring business continuity.

Choosing Fides specifically offers additional benefits. Clients can choose from a growing selection of complementary financial solutions available through the Fides Multibanking Suite. From FX to money markets and beyond, the Fides multibanking ecosystem offers easy access to innovative solutions from trusted partners.

Improving cash management and cash positioning

Swedish bed manufacturer Hästens put Fides into place to receive bank statements via SWIFT, and centralise all its bank data to streamline reconciliation, reporting, and cash visibility. Hästens had a TMS in place, but it did not automatically aggregate all of bank information the company needed. Treasury staff had to manually download the data from each bank and then import it into the TMS, which was time-consuming and opened up greater risk of error.

After implementing Fides for daily cash reporting – onboarding all of its banks within a single month – Hästens decommissioned its TMS. With the Fides Multibanking Suite, Hästens’ treasury team members can access the bank data from wherever they may be located. They can see all bank balances, including the day’s opening balance and the prior day’s main movements across all accounts, and use the information for accurate cashflow forecasting. In future, Hästens plans to implement a new TMS and connect it with Fides for straight-through-processing.

Reflecting on the outcome, Christian Azzopardi, Group Treasurer and Commercial Finance Manager at Hästens said: “Having a TMS doesn’t necessarily mean you have connectivity to all your banks. And even when you do have connectivity, the information contained in bank transmissions, and the language used for transmissions is not always the same. That is where a provider like Fides adds so much value.”

Streamlining processes

Real estate investment firm Paramount Group also experienced challenges with efficiency. Its small treasury team was spending excessive amounts of time in individual bank portals and Excel spreadsheets. To streamline processes, Paramount Group opted to implement the City Financials TMS and Fides.

Fides established secure connections for SWIFT payments within eight banks for Paramount Group. All transactions flow through City Financials to Fides. Fides makes any necessary conversions and executes the transfers. The same process happens in reverse for any inbound messaging. And the Fides portion of the implementation was completed in just three months.

The result? Greater overall business efficiency, reduced risk, and more time for treasury staff to focus on critical business needs.

Manny Foutoulis, Treasury Manager of the Paramount Group said of the streamlining: “Fides already has all the bank formats in place, and the relationship with City Financials. It’s simpler and faster for them to connect versus having IT connect directly with a bank.”

Independent connectivity, the Fides way

With Fides, it’s easy to send messages and payments of any format at any time, to any financial institution anywhere in the world. Need to connect with a new bank? Fides will figure out the best way to make it happen and work together with you every step of the way.

Need to be able to process transactions and access your banking data and reports from multiple locations? With the Fides Multibanking Suite, you get web-based access to the Fides solutions, as well as the ability to reap additional benefits from our extensive network of partners, such as access to complementary financial solutions through the Fides Multibanking Ecosystem.

Need to connect to a TMS or ERP? No problem — it’s what Fides do. Many of the most popular treasury management solutions on the market today incorporate Fides software directly into their platform, making integration a breeze. The Fides Multibanking Suite can even connect to multiple treasury management and enterprise resource planning systems at the same time – which can be a great benefit for mergers, acquisitions, or centralisation initiatives.

Whether you choose to use Fides solutions independently or with a TMS or ERP, you get the efficiency, scalability, and flexibility you need to streamline treasury operations.

Further information 

fides-treasury.com

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