Banking

Journeys to Treasury report

Published: Dec 2019

Old compass on an old vintage map

BNP Paribas

The fourth edition of the Journeys to Treasury Report has now been published. BNP Paribas’ Jan Dirk van Beusekom, Head of Strategic Marketing Cash Management & Trade Solutions, and Mahesh Kini, Head of Cash Management Asia Pacific explore the main findings, challenges, and ways to future-proof treasury operations.

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With technology evolving at a rapid pace, businesses and treasurers need to know how best to keep up. The fourth edition of the Journeys to Treasury report explores exactly that.

Keeping pace with change is not easy so when it comes to future-proofing treasury, Jan Dirk van Beusekom, Head of Strategic Engagement Cash Management and Trade Solutions at BNP Paribas, believes that it’s essential to find the right partners.

This is the spirit in which BNP Paribas, PwC, SAP and the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT), come together to create the fourth edition of Journeys to Treasury. This online report aims to deliver “rich insights on the trends, challenges and priorities that are shaping best practices in treasury both today and in the future”.

As the result of discussions between the partners on the topics currently most relevant to treasurers, he feels that it delivers a genuine reflection of the needs of today’s treasury practitioner.

The four main sections of this year’s edition are: payments and collections, FX and risk management, technology enablers and the future treasury. Van Beusekom dives straight in.

“It all starts with good cash flow forecasting and knowing your exposures,” he says, outlining the main challenges when automating the FX workforce. Of course, once treasury knows its exposures, it can begin to hedge them. For many corporates this can be a very manual process, “so it’s about the accuracy of the data and then making sure that you can do the right hedge to reduce your FX exposure,” he explains.

The solutions to this and other pressing treasury challenges are very much in the remit of the latest ‘Journeys to Treasury report’. Indeed, Mahesh Kini, Head of Cash Management Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas, notes that for Asia Pacific (APAC), there are two sections that should particularly appeal to treasurers:

Payments and collections – as one of the fastest changing and developing systems in APAC – and FX management, where the wide range of currencies in the region make it one of the most important parts of a treasurer’s role here.

For APAC treasuries, Kini identifies three main drivers for digitisation of payments:

  • The regulators: “Eight out of 12 regulators in Asia are driving real-time payments,” he says, noting too that many are making it mandatory.

  • A proliferation and emergence of payment service providers (PSPs): PSPs and the systems provided by the central banks are providing a ‘growth environment’ for alternate payment channels in APAC.

  • Consumer behaviour: The adaptability of new technology, such as mobile phones, is driving consumers to adopt new technology and new payments models. “I think that’s the most important one,” comments Kini.

Underscoring several reasons why the Journeys to Treasury report is so integral for treasurers, Kini sees it as a truly global publication, covering all regions. It’s also a neutral report, the broad spread of partners involved in its production ensuring no bias. Furthermore, it represents views from all areas of the finance industry, not just banks but also accounting and technology firms.

In keeping with this view, van Beusekom urges treasurers to work with organisations that encourage collaboration, such as national associations of corporate treasurers. His most essential piece of advice though, given the speed of technological evolution, is to hire a tech-savvy payments specialist. After all, he adds, “it’s all about collaboration”, a positive notion upon which Journeys to Treasury is founded upon.

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