by Mark Flawn, Assistant Treasurer, National Grid plc
National Grid was looking to improve security and process efficiency for its high value payments whilst providing a scalable foundation for future treasury projects such as introducing a new treasury management system (TMS). To achieve this, we needed to introduce a more flexible and resilient treasury infrastructure that was capable of providing greater visibility over account balances to enhance cash management and enable us to further leverage straight-through processing opportunities.
Our treasury department manages a £20bn debt book and is responsible for managing a large number of banking relationships. In the past, this has involved using different ebanking platforms, terminals and security devices. Making payments and receiving balance and transaction information that could be consolidated into an accurate picture of our true cash position was a highly manual and complex process.
Although cash is predominantly held in GBP and USD, we also operate in a number of other currencies. Treasury payment volumes are low but are typically high in value. Security, efficient payment processing, reporting and greater visibility over account balances, wherever they are in the organisation, is therefore vital to our ability to manage cash effectively.