Earlier this year, software firm, FIS, published a survey on corporate payments needs, which uncovered some surprising findings. According to the results, more than half (53%) of treasurers claim to have standardised at least three-quarters of their payments volumes.
The data reveals that the majority of organisations are managing more than 100 accounts. Further still, more than 40% are working with five or more cash management banks; a third operate with more than 20 banks.
These statistics highlight, to a degree, the complications for businesses in implementing consistent payment processes, formats, and controls, without significantly adding to the cost and risk associated with payments.
Globally, 83% of treasurers have centralised at least some of their payment processes, with the U.S. consistently lagging behind its EU counterparts.
A lack of centralisation generally equates to a lack of standardisation in payment processing techniques, with each provider doing things slightly differently. Treasurers across the board are however seeking to strengthen these processes, with the vision that it will improve control, prevent fraud, and most importantly, reduce costs over time.
Cross border transactions were shown to be a major obstacle for businesses looking to centralise processes, and with the process typically being slow and expensive for all but the largest of corporations, it’s easy to see why.
A working solution
For businesses needing to transact in foreign currencies on a regular basis, the challenges of making cross border payments include keeping costs down by buying at the best available rates, reducing high transaction fees, and making the payment process as frictionless as possible.
Fluctuation between currency pairs can make it difficult to ensure that the buying and selling of currencies are being completed at times that will result in minimal impact to the business. A poor FX rate combined with a high transaction fee can result in businesses being paid far less than expected, or not paying their supplier enough.
In addition to this, delays in cross border payments being made and received can be costly to businesses – even if a process has been centralised, it’s important that payments arrive when expected to prevent unnecessary admin that comes with investigating payment clearing.
Saxo Payments Banking Circle is committed to supporting businesses in operating these processes with Real-time FX, an innovative banking platform that enables streamlined foreign exchange and international payments.
Real-time FX works on a global IBAN account infrastructure, giving customers a platform for trading forex and making international payments 24/7, in real time. Benefits also include competitive FX rates across more than 160 currency pairs through more than 60 countries, at a low cost.