Round table: Trends in payments and bank connectivity

Round table: Trends in payments and bank connectivity

Zanders hosted its first Corporates round table for 2018, focusing on trends in payments and bank connectivity. We welcomed 17 representatives from a number of leading corporates in the Netherlands.

First, Kimberley Bos from Boskalis introduced the firm’s journey towards optimizing bank connectivity. This sparked a lively discussion in the group. Some of the key takeaways were that both the selection and implementation of a bank connectivity provider should not be underestimated and that solutions are generally not as ‘plug and play’ as they seem.

All stakeholders involved

Then Paul Resing, group treasurer at PVH, shared his company’s journey towards payments centralization, including an in-house bank and payments on-behalf-of (POBO). It was clear that determining whether an in-house bank and POBO solution makes sense depends on many variables that differ for each company. One of the main conclusions was that implementing such a structure impacts many parts of your company including the local business, finance, accounting, IT and, of course, treasury. Making sure all stakeholders are involved early is key for a successful implementation.

Hot topics

Lastly, Zanders’ Arn Knol introduced three ‘hot topics’ that are impacting or are expected to impact payments and bank connectivity: PSD2, virtual accounts and distributed ledger technology (DLT). With regards to PSD2, the audience agreed that a ‘wait and see’ approach seemed best at this moment. No immediate benefit is expected in the short term and there are no products already offered that leverage on PSD2. If anything, PSD2 is considered to further optimize bank connectivity, which will likely drive down the costs of solutions that are dependent on such connectivity.

The second topic discussed was virtual accounts. Everyone in the room was aware of the different virtual account offerings but struggled to see a business case for these. Uncertainties with regards to legal and fiscal restrictions, even within Europe, seem one of the main reasons why this product has not yet been widely adopted. Finally, the consensus on DLT was that, although the disruptive capability of this technology is clear, solutions based on DLT are not expected to appear in the treasurer’s scope in the foreseeable future.

More round tables!

We would like to thank all participants for their attendance and input to what was a very interesting and lively morning. For those who couldn’t join this time, we will be organizing three more round tables this year covering corporate finance, risk management and treasury technology. More details on these round tables will follow in due course.