By Gautier Mouzelard, Head of Transformation Programs – BNP Paribas Cash Management
Treasury departments today, in any corporation, are constantly striving to improve payment processes and procedures. By automating their payment processes to ensure timely and accurate delivery of payments is achieved, banks and their corporate clients can significantly improve the management of cash and the integrity of cash and payment reporting. Today banks and treasury departments are further impacted by constant and ever-changing regulatory and compliance requirements which in turn cause delays and increase the burden of operational administrative overheads when it comes to payments processing. It is further complicated when companies expand beyond their existing countries of operation into new jurisdictions and thus need to comply with additional, often very diverse, regulatory requirements placed on cross-border payments.
The reality is that for every change or new regulatory requirement there is an impact on the payment flow. Banks and their clients are experiencing an increasing number of compliance alerts for suspended payments, and the consequence is that it takes extra valuable time to resolve any issues using the manual processes. The impact on the organisational efficiency should not be underestimated: an increasing number of suspended payments has the potential to cause an escalation in the manual effort required to manage the payments which equates to operational cost increases and reduction in efficiency.
In response to the noticeable increase in the number of payment enquiries and time taken to resolve the payment delays attributable to these compliance issues, BNP Paribas resolved to identify and deliver a technology solution that would help overcome the problem. This has resulted in the creation of INQUIRO, a web-based enquiry app, now live with a number of BNP Paribas Cash Management clients. Working closely with a group of pilot clients, BNP Paribas developed this app (live in 15 countries) to facilitate digital compliance enquiries between the bank and its clients. After successful testing it went live in March 2017, and received positive feedback from more than 95% of clients who are now live or currently on-boarding INQUIRO. Since Q3 of 2017 the product has been rolled out across BNP Paribas Tier 1 clients.