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11/07/2019

Cash management remains a crucial part of banking as well as a home to technological innovation. Whether it is the completion of a multitude of transactions or the choice of a myriad of currencies, Societe Generale continues to stand at the vanguard of development in this plain but crucial operation.

Technology presents a view of a perfect world in which international payments are executed instantly, efficiently, cheaply, and in size, all the elements of a treasurer’s dream. But while the days of ledgers and humongous filing cabinets are long gone, many sit in a purgatory, placed somewhere between this sunny vision and dull reality.

Cash management can be seen as a pretty simple and commoditised business in which reams of transactions are arranged across many customer accounts, countries and currencies, although remain plagued with a mechanical and human ineptitude that spark searches to find the location of malfunctions.

Yet cash management has become more strategic for companies, as has the role of the corporate treasurer. Transactions within a corporate group and with its external partners are arranged across a variety of accounts, currencies, and according to local and international regulations.

Allying these problems in order to understand the solution requires the completion of two processes, one that overcomes the fallibility of humans, and another that improves the efficiency of machines.

Make it SWIFT

First, payment messages handled by corporates must be managed in a uniform format, adopting just the right standards, to avoid payment delays and incidents. A straightjacket is desirable and, more importantly, is available in services like SWIFT MyStandards, a technology that allows immediate access to messaging standards offered by Societe Generale, which, together with the customer readiness portal, provides an autonomous testing environment that rapidly speeds up as well as simplifies the on-boarding process. MyStandards puts corporate treasurers in charge and makes them self-sufficient, allowing them to build their own files, which they can test against international standards.

As MyStandards perfects the testing of payment formats, SWIFT gpi (SWIFT’s "global payments innovation") sweeps in to make the ensuing transfer fast and unaltered, thanks to the nine banks that have been leading the development of transfer and tracking technology since November 2017. Today, 49% of SWIFT gpi payments in all currencies are sent and credited to beneficiaries within 30 minutes. (source: SWIFT, June 2019)

On the way to this crucial development in payments system, the story has been more around efficiency and transparency on payment deducts along the chain. The gpi tracker means that customers will get real-time, end-to-end information on global payments to beneficiary accounts and proper confirmation of credit.

Much of the development is represented by progress with the new technology. As a bank, Societe Generale is now able to issue and receive gpi cross-border payments in 11 countries in Europe and Asia, denominated in euros or other global currencies. After that, it allows customers to access payment information via its customer support teams or host-to-host solutions. Eventually, it will be accessible on Societe Generale’s Global Cash application, within the “SG Markets” API-based web portal.

Societe Generale is now able to issue and receive gpi cross-border payments in 11 countries in Europe and Asia, denominated in euros or other global currencies.

Become a player in transactional FX

By crossing national borders, international payments are frequently based on multiple foreign currencies. For a treasurer, it means both juggling between local regulations, accreditations, trading standards and international tax laws as well as the currency conversion processes. So, when it comes to ensuring a seamless cross-currency payment experience, a solution like Pay FX offered by Societe Generale is another piece of the puzzle.

It enables automated and seamless payments to be made and received in local currencies: the treasurer will make payments via “SG Markets Global Cash” platform or host-to-host solutions in more than 80 local currencies and receive incoming flows in more than 40 local currencies. Therefore, without holding multiple currency accounts nor soliciting access to the financial markets, you ensure optimum treasury efficiency and encourage treasury centralisation, while maintaining control over the whole transactional process. Today, Societe Generale is an important player in transactional FX, with an agile operating model and a correspondent banking network of more than 67 countries.

The treasurer will make payments via “SG Markets Global Cash” platform or host-to-host solutions in more than 80 local currencies and receive incoming flows in more than 40 local currencies.

Draw on your core strengths

Above all, corporate treasurers need a committed banking partner to guide them through domestic, regional and international markets. A reliable cash management partner is able, all at once, to understand corporate business issues and offer dependable technologies and solutions; to decrypt market trends and help its clients comply with regulatory constraints.

Societe Generale has added a commitment to technology as well as the people required to secure a leading position. Treasurers need banks to support them with the offer of innovative technologies and the availability of committed experts, which our bank is built upon.