Choosing the right cash management partner: A practical guide published on 01.07.2015 by Jean-François Denis Trends & Vision 7 critical things that treasurers should carefully look into before choosing their cash management partner We believe that cash management is about expertise, skills, commitment and relationship. We also believe that there are 7 things that any corporate looking for a cash management bank should carefully look into. Want to know more? Read on. 1. Is cash management a partnership or a client-supplier relationship? Developing a relationship with your cash management bank, investing in solutions to optimise your treasury systems, getting your board to approve major IT investments, are all highly time and energy-consuming activities. Rightly so, you want a return on investment, so you will rather choose a bank that is in the business for the long run. 2. Can my bank support my business wherever I go? You are a US company operating in Europe, or perhaps your business is European-bound. An opportunity arises to acquire a company in Brazil. Or else, your board decides to centralise your R&D resources in Poland, or your customer support activities in Morocco. Will your bank have the local expertise that you need, whatever the strategic choices that will be made? What you want is a cash management partner capable of supporting your expansion. It’s about being in the right place at the right time, with the expertise and the resources that you need. 3. Is the service provided by my bank up to my standards? Why is quality of service a top priority in the field of cash management? Because each step of the financial supply chain has to be absolutely successful – the right amount, the right time, the right place, the right data, the right currency, not to forget the right cost. Indeed, anything going wrong at any stage of the financial supply chain can potentially cause the whole process to fail. So before you choose your new cash management partner, make sure that their quality process is top-of-the-range. 4. How flexible is my bank, I mean –really flexible? From a technical point of view, cash management solutions allow some level of customisation. Yet customisation demands strong dedication and true flexibility. So you must ensure that the team you will be working with proves up to the challenge whenever necessary. Flexibility, combined with business intimacy, are key pillars for a bank to deliver on its promise. 5. Does my bank understand how much my environment has changed? It would be an understatement to say that the treasurer’s role has changed. Ensuring that the funds are there for the organisation to operate on a daily basis, finding readily available solutions for funding when and where necessary, and supporting the development of the organisation in line with its strategy, are essential parts of the treasurer’s mission. Indeed, the treasurer’s responsibility is spreading way beyond the management of cash and liquidity: working capital management, non-financial risk management and insurance are now increasingly part of its scope, with some treasurers even being involved in highly strategic processes like M&A’s. It is therefore critical for your cash management bank to understand these changes and adapt to the new reality of corporate treasury. 6. Are my bank's IT systems really safe and reliable? Cash management requires important IT investments over time. These are the prerequisite of supporting your expanding business and providing solutions to any technical or security challenge that you may have. There again, you must ensure that behind the scenes, your bank’s setup is geared to handle your treasury activities over time. 7. Can my bank work similarly in Europe, in Asia and in the Americas? At the beginning of any banking relationship, there is a given scope. But it changes with time. These days, corporates do business in multiple countries across the globe. It is only fair that they want to leverage on the successful systems implemented here to gain efficiency there. Your bank should offer you this window to the world, building on top of the solutions you deployed. Our key facts and figures Committed to cash for decades, we are in the business for the long run Cash management is a cornerstone of BNP Paribas strategic plan To us, proximity means being where you are today and tomorrow thanks to: A direct cash management presence in 57 countries A community of 2,500 cash management professionals Serving 40,000 corporates worldwide We are recognised worldwide as a cash management leader based on: 200 live payment factories 130 currencies available for cross-currency payments Our e-banking solution Connexis being operational all over the world and serving more than 6,100 corporates Host-to-host SWIFTNet solutions in no less than 39 countries 4,000 physical cash pools Our industry rewards and rankings speak for themselves N°1 cash management bank for European Top-Tier Large Corporates in terms of market penetration according to Greenwich Associates Research TMI awarded us a Best Bank for Cash Management Europe reward Euromoney ranked us 5th Best Cash Management Bank in the World, 3rd Best Cash Management Bank in Western Europe, 1st Best Cash Management Bank in Belgium, 1st Best Cash Management Bank in France and 1st Best Cash Management Bank in Italy In Asia, Euromoney ranked us 2nd Best Domestic Cash Manager in India and Singapore and 3rd in Indonesia.