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Helping Treasury See Beneath the Payment Iceberg

By October 20, 2020 No Comments

TIS makes the case for treasury as gatekeeper of payment processes.

Nearly half the members at a recent meeting of NeuGroup’s Global Cash and Banking Group (GCBG) said treasury at their companies is responsible for treasury payments only—not for, say, accounts payable (AP) or payroll. Just 15% of those surveyed said treasury completely owns payment processes and tools.

  • Treasury Intelligence Solutions (TIS), sponsor of the meeting, made a case for making treasury the overall “gatekeeper” of all payment processes—with the help of its technology solution.
  • The crux of the case is that treasurers are responsible for the entire liquidity picture of an organization and can’t afford to see only the tip of the iceberg. “You can only manage what you see,” the TIS presentation said. 

Map your payment processes. This first step will reveal the number of channels to make payments, expose risks and allow for a more holistic management approach. 

  • Rolling out a payment system for various finance partners to use creates a business opportunity to collaborate across the organization, help colleagues reduce risk and increase transparency to key drivers of a fluctuating cash position. 
  • Accumulating data is the goal of inserting treasury in payment processes; it benefits treasury directly and, by yielding more accurate cash positions, can be of value for the C-Suite as well. 

Don’t get laughed out of the room. One member challenged the concept of treasury taking control of what are non-treasury payments, saying, “If I go to the treasurer and ask for those AP payments, I’ll get laughed out of the room.” 

  • TIS said the point is not that treasury should be doing the work, it’s that treasury should roll out and oversee a system that others work in for standardization of payment processes and reduction of bank portal access across the organization.
    • A presenter from TIS said, “Let them do the work, but ask them to run a standardized process” that funnels through one system.
  • Another member agreed with TIS’s logic because “if something goes wrong [with a payment/bank access], it’s treasury” that fixes the problem and needs to be in the know. 
    • If treasury is truly the gatekeeper to the banks, treasury should have authority to govern related processes. “The more you see the more you can control,” one TIS presenter said.

Payment fraud detection and the help of AI. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect fraud is a hot topic in the treasury world now.

  • Whether treasury centralizes payments or divides control with accounts payable, tax departments, etc., it is important to find ways—including technology solutions—of leveraging data lakes to identify unusual behavior across networks to tighten security and reduce organizational weak points and risks. 
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Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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