Best Card/e-Cash Solution Highly Commended: Royal Palace Furniture

Published: Aug 2021


Photo of Sreelakshmi Arun, Treasury Executive, Suman Ghosh, CFO and Deependra Kushwaha, Finance Manager.

Suman Ghosh


Royal Palace Furniture is a well-known furniture manufacturer and retailer in UAE. Headquartered in Ajman, the company has been offering a diverse portfolio of high-end furniture designs for three decades. Its four manufacturing facilities in Ajman supply 18 retail stores and three smaller outlets in the UAE.

Fast reaction to global pandemic positions Royal Palace to leverage hybrid card solution

The challenge

During 2020, Royal Palace Furniture successfully converted one line of its fifth production facility, which manufactures non-woven fabric, to address COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) needs by supplying fabric to make face masks. It is this type of business management insight that also led the company to take a step forward, away from the manual cheque processes that are still prevalent in the region.

As a highly liquid business with a wide variety of transactions, both cash-based at the local level as well as card-based for larger ticket items by its headquarters, Royal Palace Furniture faced several issues in monitoring and reconciling cash company-wide. When a new treasury team came on board in 2018, they realised that for the company to manage cash more effectively and efficiently, they would need to find a better way to manage collections.

Traditionally processed via transfer and manual cheques, the company’s primary goal was to convert head office payments, such as insurance, marketing, HR, IT, administrative, accounting and utilities, to an online process in a secure and cost-effective way. In addition to this, the company’s factories, sales offices and showrooms managed a significant amount of cash transactions.

Specifically, Royal Palace Furniture was looking to:

  • Streamline existing payments into a single payment solution.
  • Reduce transfer fees and time/expenses associated with manual handling.
  • Improve control over departmental spending to establish budgets.
  • Gain visibility into surplus cash for better overall liquidity management.

The solution

After discussions with its key banking partner, the company implemented a hybrid, virtual and plastic debit card solution designed to support both online payments as well as cash transactions.

Best practice and innovation

Royal Palace Furniture was the first in the market to implement this hybrid approach to debit cards.

For online payments, the company is using a virtual debit card to structure a workflow that includes maker/checker functionality. This allows payments made from different departments to be centralised by the treasury team, who serve as checker at the final level of approval. The virtual debit card also allows for budget limits to be set, which can be fully monitored and adjusted in real-time as needed. Royal Palace Furniture also opted to open sub-accounts for each department, which provide an even greater level of security in terms of funding its virtual debit card proposition.

For cash transactions, factory, showroom and sales staff were provided with physical plastic debit cards for each of their different merchant spend types. This has eliminated the need for petty cash to be held in these locations.

Key benefits

  • Enhanced visibility into departmental payments.
  • Greater control over transaction and payment types.
  • Ability to set various controls from merchant to transaction value.
  • Improved security and control over cash transactions for each of the factories and showrooms.
  • Simplified reconciliation with enhanced data capture, which can be integrated into its existing ERP system.
  • Reduced the need for internal float.

For added security, Royal Palace Furniture can also easily generate single-use virtual card numbers.

This agility to pivot quickly, as the company did in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a testament to its business management acumen. Not only was the company able to provide a much-needed product, it also diversified its business, making sufficient profit to fund a major acquisition in 2021.

“The combined vision of management and our new treasury team has effectively positioned us for future growth, including opening a subsidiary in Spain for further expansion into Europe,” explains Suman Ghosh, CFO.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2021 Awards attracted a record-breaking 309 nominations spanning 40 countries. To find out more please visit: https://treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

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