Virtual accounts, part 2: The key to treasury optimization
Many corporates remain wary of virtual accounts – so what should treasurers be looking for when considering their options?
The first step in the virtual account selection process is to check whether the product and its characteristics fit the corporate treasury strategy. This might sound obvious, but it is a key determinant of the amount of integration work that will be required.
“The extent to which the implementation of a virtual account solution requires significant investment in technology depends on the organization,” says Stefan Windisch, senior cash manager treasury operations at Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche.
The technical capabilities of an in-house bank might be needed to process the virtual account statement, but this depends on the setup and the use of the virtual accounts. Roche’s in-house bank processes credits in virtual accounts with an automation rate of more than 98%, although Windisch acknowledges that it required some initial investment in technology.
It is also important to determine the objectives and performance indicators that will be used to judge the quality of the overall outcome.
“More often than not, the selection of a virtual account solution is part of an ongoing treasury optimization programme,” says Dennie Servranckx, senior product manager treasury services at BNP Paribas.