Time to Sleep, Perchance to Dream? Not in the World of Payments…

Published  3 MIN READ

The pace of change in the payments space is not conducive to restful slumber. Standard Chartered’s Regulatory Readiness Series for Corporates aims to soothe the fevered treasury brow with some well-aimed explorations of its key themes.

They say that a change is as good as a rest. Whoever ‘they’ are clearly never had to work through a period of economic and political turmoil, amplified by the effects of a global pandemic and a period of technological advancement that defies even the expectations of Moore’s Law.

Of course, in the world of treasury, a state of readiness to tackle financial ‘events’ as they arise is part of the job. But current circumstances are far from business as usual. And restful they are not.

Even those working in the usually glacially paced world of payments seem to have taken on a boundless enthusiasm for change, with previously still regulatory waters being stirred into a technologically driven transformative turbulence.

The bottom line is that change cannot be ignored. The price of inactivity right now for any business could be very heavy indeed. Many commercial entities that have steadfastly clung on to ‘the way we’ve always done it’ have paid that price already.

But responding to events need not just be about survival; pursued well, it can lead to impressive progress. It’s a cliché, but meeting change head-on, while hardly restful, is an opportunity to move in front of a rapidly steepening curve.

What’s not obvious is how to embrace change when the ways we work, where we work and how we communicate are all in a state of flux. Often it requires stepping back from the fray briefly, to take stock. This is what Standard Chartered’s Regulatory Readiness Series for Corporates is all about.

This new online publication offers the treasury community not just a moment to reflect upon where we are, but also insight into the ways and means of leveraging opportunity.

Each edition will cover a number of connected, regulator-inspired themes, drawing out and unpacking the most important elements. Here’s a quick rundown of the inaugural edition.

Payments transparency: a clear advantage highlights the main regulatory efforts to try to bring financial crime under control, and the role corporate treasury has in implementing these efforts. By demonstrating some of the steps that can be taken, this section serves as a reminder that best practice in this space is not just about compliance, it is also about leveraging information and banking partnerships to achieve commercial advantage.

Instant payments: fast track to opportunities covers the rapid evolution of this sector. With more than 50 schemes operating or under development around the world, it highlights how treasurers can meet the needs of their own organisation’s changing business models as e-commerce gains ground over bricks and mortar, while driving cash flow and liquidity management improvements. With a well-timed look at the scope, scale, and structure of instant payments, it presents the key conditions and steps for treasurers seeking success in this space.

The transition from interbank offered rates (IBORs) to risk-free rates (RFRs) is an exploration of what’s required now to switch to the new RFRs, looking at the impact the change will have on financial products, pricing and positions, and how in turn these will affect different corporate functions, including legal, IT, taxation, accounting, and risk management.

As part of this edition, Standard Chartered also delivers a graphical summary of How to thrive in the fast-changing payments landscape. Based on the equation ‘technology + standards = speed + safety’, it brings together the different strands of the seemingly hyperactive payments space in one simple image.

It also serves as a timely reminder that although it’s important for treasurers to understand local nuances of instant payments schemes, and to implement new processes and ways of doing business, help is at hand.

Indeed, as Lisa Robins, Global Head, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered, says: “This is something that corporate treasurers do not have to do alone – at Standard Chartered we have the global footprint, network and experience to help clients transform treasuries for a new era.”

Sleep is still not an option.