Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Winner, Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Navin Chellaram, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Auri, J.P. Morgan

This solution is all about giving Cathay Pacific’s customers choice when paying for bookings in a currency other than Hong Kong dollars, being the airlines ‘home’ currency. This is a three-phase multi-year deliverables roadmap; the first phase involved a review of Cathay Pacific’s existing global payments processes, which resulted in the implementation of cheque outsourcing and lockbox solutions.

Photo of Navin Chellaram, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Auri, J.P. Morgan.

Barry Tse

Manager, Revenue Accounting

Cathay Pacific Airways Limited is a Hong Kong-based airline and a founder member of the oneworld global alliance, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to nearly 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa. The company is a member of the Swire Group and is a public company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

in partnership with

The challenge

With operational presence in 42 countries and territories, Cathay Pacific sought the deployment of a universal payment outsourcing solution. It identified the use of an online solution to offer air tickets, travel related packages and services in multiple currencies as an important and growing sales channel, as its online site had already attracted a high volume of transactions from customers who used payment cards that could be denominated in a currency other than Cathay Pacific’s home currency of the HKD.

Barry Tse, Manager, Revenue Accounting explains: “We needed a banking partner with relevant geographic coverage that could provide a multi-currency pricing (MCP) solution so that our customers could select which currency they would like to use for payment. By choosing to be billed in their payment card currency, customers would have the convenience of knowing exactly how much they would pay for the purchase and would not need to wait for their payment card statement reflecting the exchange rate used for the transaction. We also needed our partner to possess the experience and expertise to contribute to a smooth integration of our strategic deployment of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system across our global operations over the next several years.”

The solution

Cathay Pacific partnered with J.P. Morgan to develop a three-phase multi-year deliverables roadmap to prioritise the implementation of solutions for treasury management enhancements, payment outsourcing and online payment card needs.

The first phase involved a review of Cathay Pacific’s existing global payments processes, which resulted in the implementation of cheque outsourcing and lockbox solutions across suitable geographies. The innovative solution enabled Cathay Pacific to:

  • Derive immediate efficiencies to treasury management processes and costs.

  • Deliver a smooth transition of MCP from an incumbent service provider to a bespoke solution that enhanced Cathay Pacific’s online payment cards services.

J.P. Morgan drew upon its extensive experience and expertise to implement cheque outsourcing and lockbox solutions across suitable geographies.

The timely and successful execution of the first phase of deliverables for Cathay Pacific’s treasury and procurement transformation plan has ensured a seamless transition to an improved, tailor-made solution that automates the high volume of online currency conversions from its customers.

The leading-edge solution has put a high prioritisation on the implementation of lockbox and cheque outsourcing capabilities, which provided effective process and cost improvements, and delivered an immediate positive impact to Cathay Pacific.

Best practice and innovation

The implementation of the MCP solution strongly positions Cathay Pacific to move to the next phase of their treasury transformation process and further integrate their MCP solution to a liquidity solution to automatically fund payments across various currencies.

The global scale and complexity of the challenge demonstrates Cathay Pacific’s ability to successfully implement the MCP solution and derive immediate efficiencies to their treasury management processes and costs.

As Tse concludes, “Looking ahead, J.P. Morgan will also draw upon its extensive ERP implementation experience and deploy its ACCESS® Host-to-HostSM product solutions to facilitate the smooth transition and implementation of our new global ERP system, and integrate the MCP solution to a liquidity solution to automatically fund the payments across various currencies.”

Key benefits

  • Process efficiencies.

  • Reduced costs.

  • Improved customer experience.

  • Well positioned for next phase of treasury transformation project.

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