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.