As a leading communications provider to multinational companies on six continents, AT&T was faced with the challenge of providing an easy, convenient way for customers to pay for services provided by AT&T entities around the world without having to issue multiple payments in multiple currencies.
Photo of Mark Tweedie, Citi and Kathy Yates from AT&T accepting on behalf of Elaine Lou.
Director of International Cash Management
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T|DIRECTV brands.
in partnership with
AT&T’s treasury department recognised that its end-to-end process was highly inefficient and customer service was made less flexible. Treasury’s objective in implementing the Citi Consolidated Statement solution was to provide customers the flexibility to pay for their services in a single currency, whether they do business with AT&T in one country or in dozens. Customers can choose to pay bills in a given currency, whether Japanese yen, Canadian dollars, Danish krone, etc. AT&T’s Consolidated Statement department converts all of the customer’s invoices from various AT&T entities into a single statement in the currency of choice.
This highly innovative solution has delivered an improved Consolidated Statement process for AT&T which reduces FX transaction costs, enables better liquidity management, and eliminates substantial costs. AT&T now has improved control over, and visibility into, funds on a daily basis. Manual procedures and large volumes of FX transactions – and associated fees – have been eliminated. In addition, even though the process was brought in-house, all of the benefits, including cost efficiency and liquidity optimisation, were achieved without increasing the workload for AT&T’s cash management personnel.
The solution’s multi-currency notional pool provides a cost-effective means of moving and deploying funds and makes it easier for AT&T to manage liquidity on a day-to-day basis. Equally important, the solution frees up funds to pay down commercial paper or be put to use for other corporate uses. Access to the CitiDirect® Online Banking system allows AT&T’s cash management team to gain a clearer picture of incoming funds, as well as the amount of funds that will be needed from their US account to cover pool needs. One of the benefits for AT&T customers is the easy transition to the new payment process, which only requires a single set of new payment instructions (a single IBAN). Regardless of the payment currency of choice, all customers wire funds to the same bank account, Citi then automatically redirects those payments to the proper underlying accounts.
“AT&T is worthy of recognition by the Adam Smith Awards for its innovative approach to solving the challenges faced by customers who want to pay for services provided by the company around the world without having to issue multiple payments in multiple currencies.”
Elaine Lou explains, “Using Citi’s solution, AT&T can now take advantage of a Single-IBAN account redirection structure, which until this implementation had only been used by financial institutions and kingdoms. This integrated receivables and liquidity management solution delivers cost efficiency and liquidity optimisation.”
Other noteworthy components of the solution include the linking of sub-accounts to a Citi multi-currency notional pool and a unique cross-border ‘drain the pool’ feature that automatically sweeps the net pool position. As a result, AT&T now has full control of liquidity in the pool until funds are needed to cover payment to entities.
Additional innovative features of this unique solution include the implementation of automation that supports AT&T’s end-of-month process for settling net transactions with subsidiaries, and with any required FX transactions conveniently executed on-line. To simplify cash positioning and account reconciliation, BAI files are sent from Citi into AT&T’s treasury workstation.
Elaine Lou concludes, “AT&T is worthy of recognition by the Adam Smith Awards for its innovative approach to solving the challenges faced by customers who want to pay for services provided by the company around the world without having to issue multiple payments in multiple currencies.”