Project Description

Hindsight is 20/20. However, in 2020 treasury must use foresight and insight to fill increasingly strategic shoes that help to drive business success.

There is broad recognition of treasury’s role in driving financial performance on the balance sheet and cash flow statement and its growing contributions to revenue cycle and working capital optimization. Treasury’s influence is reaching deeper into the commercial activities of the business. As a result, the term “cost center” seems narrow these days. Payments and liquidity are integral to the treasurer’s strategic toolkit.

What is your vision for how far treasury can go in adding value? Here are four considerations for your treasury practice.

1. Focus on a customer-centric approach to payments.

How can treasury contribute to the use of payments to differentiate the customer experience and create competitive advantage? Payment options should consider customer preferences so that making payments is easy and integral to a customer’s way of doing business. Payment visibility should facilitate the flow of business, including helping to accelerate accounting functions and credit management so that customers can buy more and do so with immediacy.

2. Use APIs to integrate payments and information into the flow of business.

Technology has enabled unprecedented interconnection between businesses and customers. Customers expect it to be easy to pay instantly through apps and websites and have quick access to information. Reducing complexity, and making it easy to do business, is driving the adoption of application programming interfaces (APIs), which can embed payments in digital business flows. For example, an insurer’s app may allow customers to file claims from their mobile devices and receive payouts on their bank cards nearly instantaneously following claims processing.

3. Connect and collaborate across your company to stay in sync on payments objectives.

Internal collaboration is key to enhancing the value that payments bring to business units and the enterprise. For example, when treasury, accounts receivable, and accounts payable collaborate to address payments holistically, the benefits go beyond cost savings. Payables teams may enhance working capital while strengthening vendor relations. Receivables teams may speed cash application and close receivables faster to help enable more business with customers. Working together, you can work toward simplifying the end-to-end payments process.

4. Align liquidity management and cash forecasting practices with the faster pace of business and its impact on payment flows.

The growth of digital and mobile commerce, and the impact to payments, is changing how treasurers manage cash, liquidity and working capital. Liquidity management and cash forecasting practices should align with an evolving payments landscape that encompasses developments like faster payments and emerging expectations around them. Payments may become smaller, more frequent or on demand, and better aligned with available cash flow. Consider how to better utilize information for more granular forecasting that helps to optimize liquidity management.

2020 path:  expanding the value of treasury through payments

The arc of the treasurer continues to be from a purely operational focus to a more expansive role that builds on the core mission of cash and liquidity management to help deliver enterprise-wide benefit. These four considerations for 2020 can help your team to continue further along its strategic treasury path.

For more information, contact your Wells Fargo treasury management representative or fill out the Contact Us form on this site.