(Ed. Note: This article is from the forthcoming AFP/gtnews SWIFT Buyers’ Guide.)
NCR Corporation, a global leader in consumer transaction technologies, has been working for the last two years to transform its treasury operations into a scalable structure to accommodate its growth and acquisition strategy. NCR’s treasury team wanted to align with its key value chain imperative of delivering operational excellence by making every day easier for NCR’s treasury customers.
Managing corporate banking relationships is extremely complex and demanding. It is riddled with challenges, such as overseeing connectivity with multiple banks, handling payment types and formats, keeping up with changing and varied communications requirements, and dealing with increasing security standards.
For a treasurer, managing corporate banking relations gets even more complicated, the more banks you work with. Accessing multiple systems with their own logins and navigation quirks is one issue, but switching or adding new banks if circumstances change can be a massive challenge. As a result, it was increasingly challenging for NCR to manage payments, liquidity, regulatory compliance, and security aspects—not to mention meet the needs for improved productivity and efficiency.
A new model
NCR’s treasury department worked closely with consultants from Strategic Treasurer to help it design a new model that involved reimagining not only its treasury system but its processes as well. As all treasurers who operate without a treasury management system (TMS) will understand, NCR’s processes were very manual, relying on electronic banking terminals from a multitude of banks, manual accounting processes, sporadic global reporting, and low central visibility into daily liquidity around the world.
NCR’s requirements were global in nature. It needed its system to be available anywhere in the world and needed support for its regional treasury centers. The treasury department selected Kyriba for several reasons, including how it most closely matched its global needs and their commitment and track record of enhancing and developing the product.
NCR selected Fides Treasury Services AG as its primary treasury aggregator for consolidating statement information and delivering payment files to the proper bank. Fides, a corporate service bureau, acts as the overall connectivity center with banks. Its hybrid model, combined with a wide range of conversion, validation and security services provide a one-stop shop for NCR.
NCR was able to consolidate the many steps and processes associated with financial messaging for both inbound activities, such as bank balance and transaction reporting, and outbound activities, including payments. Fides enables NCR to streamline processes and connectivity, as well as normalize formats to create a more efficient payment and cash management environment.
NCR chose Fides due to its specialization in establishing and maintaining global connections for both bank information reporting and funds transfers. Fides’ value was not only bringing banks up quickly but also its ongoing ability to manage, control and monitor these connections, as well as using its SWIFT connectivity to enhance NCR’s process.
Fides’ error detection and validation program allows NCR to be sure of complete and high-quality bank data coming into the TMS. Its filtering of outbound payments helps NCR to fully meet the growing compliance needs in the current regulatory landscape. In NCR’s specific case, Fides connects to many banks directly and many more through SWIFT. Fides also manages connections to two of NCR’s larger relationship banks and brings in files from those banks that contain aggregated data from many other banks from a range of mostly smaller countries.
To sum up, NCR sees Fides’ unique service bureau model as an ideal approach for companies of its size and complexity, as the cost is low and treasury can feel comfortable about bringing on new banks quickly. In addition, the treasury team is collaboratively developing new reports with Fides that will help it to identify other bank reporting issues by region as quickly as possible.
John Boudreau is treasurer for NCR, and Andreas Lutz is chief marketing officer for Fides Treasury Services.