In these days of industry consolidation, adopting a best-of-suite approach for treasury management — where a single supplier provides a platform or set of technology components that meet all of the organization’s needs — may sound particularly compelling. One supplier for procurement and AP to deal with, a single point of contact for treasury or IT when things don’t work. However, while this approach can provide greater simplicity, it doesn’t necessary provide optimal results or the cost savings that may be the ultimate goal.
One area to consider a best-of-breed/best-in-class approach is bank connectivity, which is a necessity for accurate cash visibility, management, liquidity, and reporting. Many treasurers assume that multibank connectivity is a core competency of every TMS or ERP vendor, and also assume that it will be easy to get these bank connections set up and working in harmony with the TMS or ERP.
However, in reality, corporate-to-bank connections are often time-consuming to set up — even with banks that offer APIs. And as each bank dictates the file format for messaging, some conversions may be necessary to allow the TMS and/or ERP to read those files. Depending on the number and type of financial institutions being used, there can be quite a bit of customization required.
While some companies choose to handle bank connections on their own, others opt to have their TMS or ERP vendor manage this. Some TMS providers will directly manage bank connections, while others partner behind the scenes with a third-party multibank connectivity provider like Fides.
Why Work with a Third-Party Bank Connectivity Provider?
Bank connectivity helps organizations improve cash visibility, reduce risk, increase security, and increase business efficiency through automation. In many cases, even if an organization has a TMS in place, it may not be delivering value to treasury analysts or team members responsible for cash management and reporting.
From onboarding banks to automating reporting and making secure global payments with just a few clicks, a multibank connectivity provider can significantly streamline treasury operations. That’s why while Fides partners with many of the leading TMS providers to provide back-end bank connectivity with more than 13,000 banks, we also work directly with thousands of companies.
There are multiple scenarios where having a direct relationship with Fides can provide additional value, including:
- Cash visibility without all the manual effort. Working with Fides eliminates much of the time-consuming manual work for treasury staff, while cutting down on business and financial risk. There’s no longer the need to log into individual bank portals and spend endless hours working with complicated spreadsheets and worrying about inputting errors.
- Ramping up to a TMS. Maybe you’ve decided you want a TMS, but don’t have the budget in place. Bank connectivity can act as an interim step on the path to a full-fledged TMS, giving you the visibility needed for cash and liquidity management and reporting. You can decide on the right TMS later, knowing that it will integrate seamlessly with Fides bank connections. Or maybe you’ll even decide you don’t need that expensive TMS after all!
- Changing or adding TMS or ERP vendors. If your provider set up your bank connections, they are more than likely not portable. Working directly with Fides helps ensure there is no disruption to your reporting and payments if you decide to change TMS or ERP providers — or if industry consolidation takes that decision out of your hands.
- Mergers and acquisitions. Working with Fides gives you flexibility to more easily onboard and offboard TMS and ERP systems without disrupting business operations, as well as enabling you to add banks, accounts, and payment providers as needed. This can also be helpful for centralization initiatives.
Working directly with Fides also gives you more options for connectivity protocols, messaging formats, format conversions, account data validation and sanction screening.
Secure, Reliable, Independent and Flexible Connectivity
Going back to the concept of best-of-breed vs. best-of-suite: one benefit of the former is independence. Fides is system-agnostic, meaning that we can (and do) integrate with any TMS or ERP. In some cases, we have clients running more than one ERP system or multiple versions across subsidiaries and/or geographies. This provides much-needed flexibility for times of uncertainty, where organizations are being forced to adapt to changing circumstances with little to no warning.
Adding to that flexibility is support for all connectivity protocols, from APIs to SWIFT to H2H, and even email. And not only does Fides already have a library of hundreds of messaging formats, we also have the expertise to build converters and support any new formats as they are rolled out.
When you work with Fides, you get the best of all worlds. You get a trusted, industry-leading, best-in-breed solution. And, you get the benefit of working with experts who have years of experience and a knowledge base built over decades. Our mission is to be a one-stop shop for treasury and finance professionals through a combination of our own solutions and partnerships with other leading providers, which allows us to offer the best possible solutions to our clients. Whether you choose to use Fides as a standalone, or with a TMS, ERP, or both, we will be here to help you every step of the way.