• A turning of the technology tide?

    Recent conferences show signs of a healthy shift from technology hype to pragmatic solution focus. Blockchain hype is giving way to practical implementation. Terminator style AI is giving way to more modest but still world-changing machine learning (ML). Fast payments and open banking are spawning bank connectivity APIs but standards are conspicuously missing.

  • Virtual accounts

    Evolution of different types of virtual accounts has created a potentially confusing array of solutions of different levels of sophistication and serving different corporate needs. This article looks at the different types of virtual accounts and clarifies where they should fit in the treasurer’s toolkit.

  • The end of banking?

    The recent vote on fractional reserve banking in Switzerland made me reconsider last year’s article on the role of banks (see Treasury Today Asia March/April 2017). Although the Swiss voted not to change their banking system, one of the effects would have been that the Swiss National Bank directly banks all citizens. This provides an interesting opportunity to consider the role of banks in the transfer and storage of value across the economy.

  • Big Data, machine learning, and the challenge of scale

    After decades in the doldrums, AI has graduated from Hollywood to the headlines. It has even entered our daily lives and may be poised to threaten our jobs. But before we get too excited about early retirement, it is probably worth looking in more detail at the substance and the hype.

  • Capital structure: the cash conundrum

    In the last edition of Treasury Today Asia, I wrote about how efficient cash management leaves open the question of what treasurers should do with the cash concentrated through their balance management efforts. Recently there has been more press about whether corporates’ excess cash means working capital and cash efficiency no longer matters. Efficiency emphatically still matters – here’s why.

  • Small jar full of coins, saving money concept

    Good cash management = less banking

    The most effective route to efficient cash management is to minimise banking – balances at banks and flows through banks – because such third-party interactions inevitably increase both risks and costs.

  • David Blair, Acarate

    Conference learnings

    I have had the pleasure of chairing and moderating a few conferences recently. This gives me the opportunity to hear lots of insights. Here are some of my favourite ones.

  • David Blair, Acarate

    Agile treasury

    David Blair has had the privilege and pleasure of working on an Agile software development project this year. He says there were many similarities between this and his time working in small treasury teams. Here are some of his further observations on how Agile relates to treasury.

  • David Blair, Acarate

    Ripple vs SWIFT: payment (r)evolution

    Cross-border payments are currently slow, expensive and opaque. Ripple offers sub second efficiently priced payments using a variant of blockchain technology. In response, SWIFT has launched GPII, same day credit of funds, up front pricing and payment tracking. This article explores the two solutions, and what they mean for treasurers.

  • David Blair, Acarate

    In-house banks without expensive software

    The current popularity of in-house banks (IHB) combined with the regulatory uncertainty surrounding notional pooling makes the case for multicurrency virtual accounts (MCVA) very attractive to a wide range of treasurers.