Cash & Liquidity Management
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The Treasurer’s Voice: Centralising and Optimising Payments

by Helen Sanders, Editor

Making payments efficiently, securely and cost-effectively is a priority for every company, but this becomes particularly complex for multinationals with a diverse global supplier base. When reviewing regional and global payment practices, centralising payments into a shared services centre (SSC) or payments factory is a common way of standardising processes, internal technology and banking channels, ensuring a consistent approach to security and control, and achieving economies of scale. Centralisation is not, however, a magic wand for payments efficiency, and the right processes, technology, payment models, banking relationships and account structures are also essential elements. As payments centralisation has been a trend for a number of years, there is often a misconception that all large companies have already embarked on this route. As this survey demonstrates, however, this is not the case.

This month’s ‘Treasurer’s Voice’ was conducted in association with SunGard Corporate Liquidity, and we are pleased to feature comments from Andrew Owens, Managing Director, Global Payments, SunGard Corporate Liquidity. Two hundred responses were received from individuals located in all major regions, including Asia and Latin America. Over 59% of respondent companies had an annual turnover exceeding $1bn. Where the results vary substantially across companies of different sizes, and/or located in different regions, this is indicated accordingly.

1. Degree of payments centralisation