In 2015, the appreciation of the Swiss franc led this Geneva-headquartered company to review their hedging and collection policy, and the card acquiring business was one of key components included in the scope of the project. Hear how they appointed a pan European banking partner to deliver a card acquiring and cash management solution.
Photo of Olivier Danière, Chopard and Marco Marchi, BNP Paribas.
Manager – Corporate Internal Audit
Watchmaker founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, La Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values – expertise, tradition, innovation and commitment to philanthropy – whilst working hard to pass on knowhow and skills to future generations.
in partnership with
Historically, Chopard has built card acquiring services with local banks all over the world, which created all sorts of material and tariff conditions, or prevented any global overview on the process. In 2015, the appreciation of the Swiss franc led the company to review their hedging and collection policy. The card acquiring business was identified as a major improvement opportunity.
The key objectives of the project were:
Implement secure and efficient card payment services in Europe, the US and Asia.
Centralise all card acquiring solutions in Europe with one partner.
Benefit from harmonised tariffs and conditions for all cards in Europe.
Build a structure to improve cost optimisation.
Propose end-to-end card acquiring payment in different currencies.
Improve visibility and timeliness of cash balance reporting.
Implement a harmonised cash management structure.
Chopard selected BNP Paribas as their partner bank because of their understanding of the company’s objectives and challenges and its ability to provide an innovative card acquiring solution that met the full expectations of the company.
In order to meet these expectations and deliver card acquiring, cash collection and account servicing, BNP Paribas has built a combined proposition to deliver a streamlined and centralised collections service. Phase one of this solution was rolled out across: Spain, France, Monaco, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.
“Receiving this award for the “Best Card Solution” is truly an honour for Chopard Subsidiaries Finance teams, and Chopard Group as a whole. It brings the acknowledgment by a reference body of all the work, talent and ingenuity put in the project, showing we stand among best-in-class. Especially considering we are benchmarking against the best companies: most of Treasury Today Adam Smith participants are well-established and desirables leaders in their field.”
The scope has since been broadened and today the BNP Paribas Card Acquiring platform is processing both Visa and Mastercard card transactions across 13 European countries and in seven currencies.
As Olivier Danière, Manager – Corporate Internal Audit explains: “Co-badged Visa cards and Mastercards, representing the largest market share of our card holders, are processed through this platform. Other international or local card schemes (Amex, CUP, Girocard and ELV), contracted directly through their respective payment service providers are accepted on our point of service (POS) terminals, are processed through BNP Paribas accounts.”
As value added services, Chopard also implemented with BNP Paribas a wide range of options for their boutiques: cash, cheque collection and deposits.
“While staying humble, we are very proud of this achievement at Chopard: it witnesses the pursuit of excellence of our supporting functions, which are able to identify, develop, tailor and deploy the most advanced and effective solutions to serve our customers and operations, whilst involving reasonable resources.”
Overall, the solution enables Chopard to obtain and manage a centralised approach of their card operations, across multiple countries and currencies.
Best practice and innovation
The card acquiring and cash management solution established by Chopard is both innovative and evolutionary in several aspects:
From a technical point of view, the pan-European card acquiring solution allows Chopard to drastically save time by streamlining the processes with all Visa and Mastercard transactions processed through the same technical protocol, reducing the need for additional technical developments.
From a cost saving perspective, the pan-European acquiring platform enables Chopard to bill the clients in their own currency, avoiding foreign exchange commissions while collecting on multi-currency accounts.
Overall, a significant cost reduction has been achieved through the centralisation of flows, technical rationalisation, improvements in internal processing, simplified administrative procedures and enhanced reconciliation via improved reporting.