From Banking Chaos to Order: Using TIS To Streamline Payments

By April 24, 2024No Comments

How one global logistics company transformed its bank connectivity through the implementation of the TIS cloud platform.

When the director of treasury solutions at a multinational corporate was tasked with leading a migration to a cloud-based ERP, he seized the opportunity to also implement TIS, which acts as a hub that centralizes bank connectivity and payment file generation. Previously, the company relied on a tangled web of bank accounts and users connecting to them mostly through bank portals and a few host-to-host connections, with treasury team members spending dozens of hours formatting payment files. “It was just a mess,” he said.

  • At a recent NeuGroup summit meeting for assistant treasurers, the director of treasury solutions presented alongside executives from TIS including Jon Paquette, EVP of Solutions and Product Strategy.
  • “Bank connectivity is the engine that fuels all, and if you don’t have a fully comprehensive connectivity strategy, you fall into ruts, with a lack of standardization and siloed processes,” Mr. Paquette said.

Problems with portals and payments. Prior to the TIS implementation, the company grappled with the complexities of managing bank connectivity across more than 200 banks and 1,300 login IDs to access portals, with some individuals using multiple logins. “And on top of that, you have payments into the ERP, which has a connection to three or four big banks,” the presenter said.

  • The lack of standardization, siloed processes, and evolving bank relationships posed significant challenges, hindering visibility and increasing risks to financial operations, the presenter said.
  • With operations across the globe and different payment requirements for many regional banks, existing systems often had to be independently configured and maintained to produce unique payment file formats for each banking partner and payment method.
  • “What TIS is helping us solve is not just a treasury problem, it’s the company’s problem,” he said.

Getting off the ground. The presenter said he was initially wary of trying to make a case for TIS implementation, not due to budgetary constraints but because it would require a significant amount of effort to coordinate with the banks. However, he saw an opportunity when the company began a transition to a cloud-based ERP. Since treasury would already be talking to banks, the CFO gave the team the green light for TIS.

  • The presenter said the yearlong implementation process required “about 1.5 FTEs.” One member said she could certainly see this being worth the head count.
    • Her team relies on an internal tool built and maintained by the company’s IT team for a similar purpose, meaning “if we need to track down a payment, even that is left to the IT team. Something like this would shift that to our team; I’d like the control.”

One portal, many benefits. “The strategy was let’s centralize it all,” the presenter said. “That’s where TIS comes into play, sitting in the middle between all systems, all functions that need connectivity and all bank partners.”

  • TIS now receives bank statements and other files from banks through SWIFT and has direct connections to the company’s key banking partners. The tool also receives formatted payment files from the company’s TMS.
  • In addition to better visibility into the company’s cash, he said TIS’ key function comes through streamlining payment file formatting. “Cash visibility is critical, but when you work with banks it’s not that hard,” he said. “But when you’re dealing with specific local payments to and from small banks, in other geographies, it’s hard. We don’t want to do that, so we asked Jon to do it for us.”
  • By working with TIS, the company was able to automate the creation of payment files that suit all banks, countries and payment methods. Then, users can initiate those payments within TIS.
  • The member said he ultimately expects to cut down the number of login IDs and users on TIS to under 200—a fraction of the original 1,300 login IDs for banks’ individual portals.
  • Following the session, one member added that her company’s adoption of TIS has been a major success. “We’re in the tail end of TIS implementation, and it’s been huge,” she said. “Since implementing, we’ve been working with local-level banks we never would’ve been able to work with.”
Justin Jones

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