The 5th Cash Management University, held in Paris, France in December 2011 included a variety of thought-provoking plenary sessions and in-depth workshops on key issues affecting corporate treasurers and cash managers. In the following editions of TMI, BNP Paribas will spotlight content and findings from some of these sessions. This edition focuses on one of the workshop sessions, which was on the topic of payment factories. Senior treasury representatives of two corporations, the first a senior treasury executive of a major technology firm and second, Maurizio Borelli, Director, Treasury & Risk Management of medical device company Sorin Group, presented their experiences of implementing centralised payments. The panel also included Filipe Simao, Head of Client Advisory and Jean-François Rallier, Senior Account Manager, Risk and Compliance, Fiserv, who shared their views and opinions on addressing common challenges and adopting best practices. The panel was chaired by Helen Sanders, Editor, TMI.
Case Study 1: A global approach to payment centralisation
The first panellist explained how his company has established a centre of excellence in Western Europe which manages treasury activities for the large majority of the group’s European business units, with a smaller centre in Eastern Europe. The latter centre was originally intended to be the regional treasury centre for Central and Eastern Europe, but its scope has subsequently increased to include other smaller countries of operation such as Portugal, Nordics, Middle East & Africa.
Until 2003, local finance staff conducted payments in each country, but this created issues in terms of segregation of duties and staff absence. In addition, payment processes were different in each country, which was sub-optimal due to the replication of systems and resources.