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Optimising Payments through a Payments-on-behalf of Model

by Gaetan Dumont, Senior Director, Group Treasury Operations, UCB

At UCB, we are committed to achieving the highest level of efficiency and control in our treasury activities, which included a centralised, harmonised approach to payments processing. We therefore made the decision to set up an innovative payment factory solution together with a streamlined banking structure that allows payments to be made on behalf of group companies. SunGard’s AvantGard Trax has played a pivotal role in automating our payment processes and standardising formats, both as part of the initial implementation in Europe and as the payment factory is rolled out globally. As a result, we have been able to achieve smarter operations around their payments processes as this article describes.

Centralising the payments process

In the past, we had in-country payment teams across UCB that were responsible for creating payment files from SAP in the relevant format and transmitting these to the bank, usually via a web-based electronic banking platform. Each team also retrieved MT940 messages (end of day bank statements) for reconciliation purposes. We recognised that maintaining payment teams in each country was not cost-effective, so we made the decision to outsource the payments process to a business process management company, with centralised teams in India and Romania.