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Treasury Essentials

Tips for Navigating the Crisis and Beyond

  • Digital Banking
  • Payables
  • Receivables
  • Fraud
  • Working Capital
  • Supply Chain
  • Webinars

Techniques for Treasury Resiliency

Every business is challenged by the current crisis.

Entire companies are working from home. Supply chains are slowing. And many companies have been forced to furlough or even lay off employees.

Yet, treasury operations cannot miss a beat. Receivables and payables must be processed timely and securely. Controls need to be maintained—or even enhanced—as work is done by individuals remotely. Enhanced fraud protection is now a priority, as risks increase during times of volatility and uncertainty. Productivity may need to be increased as staff efficiency is compromised by distance or headcount reductions. Disrupted supply chains require immediate attention. And managing liquidity has not been this important since 2008.

We’ve outlined a series of checklists and are hosting a live webinar with ideas to help Treasury professionals support business resiliency and financial health through this crisis and economic uncertainty.

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Digital Banking

Maintain banking access, flexibility and security

  • Review user rights to make sure critical payments can be made remotely and still meet standards for controls. Confirm there are enough members of your team who can enter and release payments, in the event that someone is ill and a coworker needs to provide back-up.
  • Make sure your digital banking users’ security tokens and laptops are functioning, so they can log in and perform secure transactions.
  • Update contact information for mobile phone, home phone and email, if appropriate. Identify all users who are to receive positive pay exceptions and instruct them to update their preferred email information used for these alerts. This is done directly in the online banking system.
  • Your employees’ contact phone numbers for cell and home, if appropriate, should also be shared with your bank, including members of your team who receive positive pay exceptions. Not all payment instructions will be communicated by email.
  • Update your password and change your security questions used to recover and reset your password. Notify the bank’s client services team if the URL to the login to online banking appears unusual or in a format unfamiliar to you. The bank will always notify its customers of any upcoming changes. Notify the bank’s client services team if you receive a request for your password or token authorization codes. Be vigilant of any email, call or letter asking for confidential information.
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Payables

Automate payments for speed, security and reduced risk

  • Set up wire and ACH capabilities in digital banking to ensure critical payments can be executed. Document how payment instructions will be communicated and what the approval process will be for sending wires and ACH payments.
  • Notify the bank in advance of payments that exceed established limits, to ensure continuity.
  • Encourage any employees who are still paid by check to sign up for direct deposit, so that they can be paid electronically and have faster, safer access to their funds.
  • Eliminate manual payment processes, as these are more difficult and less secure in a distributed work-from-home environment. Consider automated solutions from your ERP or accounting system for wires, ACH, check printing and virtual card payments—which can also improve your working capital visibility.
  • Maximize efficiency in invoice processing by moving to integrated payables. Not only does this automation help to improve productivity while staff are stretched in the crisis, but can reduce the risk of fraud and errors.
  • Encourage colleagues to avoid touching payment devices or cash and currency during the pandemic. Contactless technology in Commercial Cards can help keep them safe and healthy. And paying by card also works to improve payment predictability.
  • Use virtual card payments to convert manual check payments to an electronic alternative, while helping to extend working capital and generating potential rebate revenue.  Because virtual card payments are created to pay for a specific business transaction, the account numbers are not shared with the suppliers, minimizing the risk of primary account fraud.
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Receivables

Speed revenue capture

  • Document wire and ACH payment instructions for customers who currently pay by check. Santander can provide details to ensure payments are correctly applied to your accounts.
  • Use a receivables lockbox, so checks are deposited the same day they arrive, without your staff ever having to touch them. Better for speed, productivity and good health.
  • Reduce AR balances, generate cash flow without increasing bank debt, and reduce payment risk by exploring receivables discounting solutions for qualified buyers.
  • Use remote deposit capture (Check Deposit Link) to scan and deposit checks, to make deposits without going to the bank. If you are currently a Santander Check Deposit Link client, you can download scanner drivers to your home computer or laptop and use your bank-provided scanner at home.
  • Remember to store checks for 30 days after deposit using a safe that’s fireproof and waterproof, then shred them for secure disposal.
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Fraud

Tighten your defenses to combat increased risk

  • As fraud attempts accelerate in the environment of uncertainty created by the pandemic, businesses of all sizes should buttress fraud detection and prevention efforts.
  • Equip employees with information on how to spot common cyber threats, including business email compromise (BEC), phishing, ransomware, and social engineering. Establish and share standard procedures for reporting threats and verifying any urgent email requests for funds or banking information.
  • Now that telecommuting is the new normal, online security access rules should be reevaluated. Consider implementing more stringent time-out limits to log out inactive users and reducing the number of failed login attempts that trigger automatic disablement. Ensure that encrypted passwords are set to require regular updates. Remind employees now working from home of company policies regarding password security and protecting device access.
  • When initiating wires and ACH transactions, always require dual authorization—particularly important in today’s near-universal remote work environment.
  • Set up alerts designed to notify administrators of payments above specified thresholds, or changes to payments or entitlements. This will help protect against suspicious activity, but also errors.
  • Carefully monitor online usage and account activity. Review all transactions initiated by your company each day for authenticity.
  • Help thwart check fraud by using Positive Pay services designed to alert you to any disparities against your check issue data.
  • Surface potential fraudulent transactions by using ACH Positive Pay filters to help identify any incoming debits that do not match your pre-defined criteria.
  • Set up ACH blocks and filters designed to allow only transactions that match your criteria, or even stop all credits or debits from posting.
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Working Capital

Focus on liquidity and financial resilience

  • Most businesses will experience revenue slowdown or disruption during the pandemic, so conserving cash is a priority. Steps you can take include: delaying discretionary spending, deferring elective contracts and prioritizing required expenses.
  • Assess how your sales and receivables are likely to be affected and forecast your cash flow requirements for the next 30, 90 and 180 days. Stress test and update these projections as your situation changes. Validate your borrowing capacity and credit card limits and outline a plan for funding any unavoidable shortfalls.
  • Utilize commercial cards where appropriate to help provide a cash flow cushion between purchase and payment.
  • Stay in touch with your bankers to help maintain alignment about any capital needs and to discuss options for extending financing and managing liquidity. Review debt covenants.
  • If you have not already implemented a hybrid account, now may be an opportune time to do so.  By earning interest on funds in excess of those required to offset fees, you can maximize the benefit of your deposits.
  • As the pandemic impact varies significantly by region, overseas operations may have limited access to bank accounts, so it’s prudent to improve visibility and control over cash positions abroad where possible.
  • To improve liquidity across overseas markets and currencies, consider implementing cross border cash pools. This structure can allow optimization of excess cash in subsidiaries abroad and reduce dependency on bank debt in other countries at a partner level. Certain jurisdictions, like some Western European countries and some APAC countries, allow efficient structures with limited implications from an operating tax perspective.
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Supply Chain

Strengthen trade networks, support supplier diversification

  • Help steady key suppliers and maintain their ability to meet your demand by supporting their working capital needs using supply chain finance solutions.
  • To support rapid trade network diversification required to maintain your supply chain, consider letters of credit as a solution to expand your reach and help accelerate negotiations with new vendors.
  • Alternatively, use letters of credit when selling to new customers to reduce your risk of slow or non-payment, but make sure all relevant documentation is in order as buyers may look for opportunities to refuse payment during these uncertain times.
  • To better provide protection to both buyer and supplier in cross-border trade, use documentary collections.
  • Help mitigate the risk of increasing currency volatility in cross-border trade by using FX hedging.
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Webinars

Santander Commercial Banking(r) logo reversed

The Cyber Security Game Plan for Treasury:
Protecting Your People, Processes and Platforms

From high profile ransomware attacks to large scale data breaches, treasury professionals are all too familiar with the potential for theft — of confidential data, intellectual property or even millions of dollars — posed by cyber criminals and bad actors. While the threat landscape is continuously evolving, there are steps you can take now to help reduce the risk of your organization becoming a victim.

Join us on Monday, June 21 for a conversation with Ken Deveaux, Head of Transaction Banking and Sean Croston, Chief Information Security Officer, as they discuss the current threat landscape and the tools, techniques and best practices available to treasury teams to help secure their organizations.

Tune in to hear:

  • The top threats that should be on every treasury pro’s radar (and what you can do about them)
  • Practical steps that may help reduce your organization’s risk today and in the long term
  • How your bank can help with your information security planning

This session is approved for up to 1.2 CTP recertification credits by the Association for Financial Professionals at the rate of one credit for each 50 minutes of attendance.

Speakers

Patti Hines headshot

Sean Croston
Chief Information
Security Officer
Santander U.S.

Matteo Monaco headshot

Ken Deveaux
Executive Director
Head of Transaction Banking
Santander Bank, N.A.

Patricia Tripar headshot

Patricia Tripar
Head of Product Development & Electronic Banking, Transaction Banking
Santander Bank, N.A.

Moderator

Paul Simons headshot

Stacy Rosenthal
Head of Payments
Product Management
Transaction Banking
Santander Bank, N.A.

Webinar date and time

Monday, June 21, 2021
12:00 PM ET – 1:00 PM ET

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Speakers

Sean Croston headshot

Sean Croston
Chief Information
Security Officer
Santander U.S.

Ken Deveaux headshot

Ken Deveaux
Executive Director
Head of Transaction Banking
Santander Bank, N.A.

Moderator

Stacy Rosenthal headshot

Stacy Rosenthal
Head of Payments
Product Management
Transaction Banking
Santander Bank, N.A.

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Contact us

If you have questions, please contact your Santander Treasury Team or email transactionbanking@santander.us.

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Opinions expressed are those of the speakers individually, not necessarily those of any Santander entity or policy, are for general information and teaching purposes only and shall not constitute securities, tax or investment advice or offers of any kind. Santander does not provide tax advice. Please consult with your own independent advisors prior to taking any action.

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