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Integrating the Deutsche Bank and tm5 processes proved a straightforward and simple job – with the bank already using MT940 electronic messages that transfer seamlessly to the tm5 system. However, handling and converting the messaging standards used by subsidiaries in the other countries Schüco serves into the required XML format proved a more sizable task.

Overall, there are five parties incumbent in the payment process: the local Schüco subsidiary initiating the payment, the central Schüco treasury, the central Deutsche Bank team in Germany, the local branch of Deutsche Bank in the relevant country, and, of course, BELLIN. Crucially, the process requires a comprehensive understanding of each country’s regulations and format requirements, which then have to be reconfigured within the ERP system for each country and payment type.

There is no magic solution for carrying out this process – it is a question of careful planning and research, coupled with patience and persistence – especially considering the several rounds of format testing required before any of the countries or payment types can go live. Once up and running, however, the result is permanent performance at a high level.

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Percentage number right and source superscript

US$650m
Asset base of Indian fund houses (44 players)
Source AMFI

 The Indian mutual fund industry has already grown in leaps and bounds; its AUM increased by over 40% in barely two years, from Rs17.5 lakh crore in March 2017 to Rs24.5 lakh crore in July 2019. During the same period, contributions per month to SIPs almost doubled, from 4,335 crore to 8,324 crore, according to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).1

While this is remarkable, in the global context it is still miniscule. India is ranked seventh in terms of nominal GDP, yet in terms of mutual fund AUM it ranks 17th. In a country of 1.3 billion people, fewer than 2% invest in mutual funds.2 “For a country that does not have a social security system and where a very small percentage of the population is covered by organised pension schemes, that number is low,” says Sikka. “We believe the mutual fund industry in India has great potential and has a long way to go.”3

Reaping the rewards

With cash management processes rationalised in this way, Schüco has experienced a number of benefits. The new system has significantly reduced the treasury’s manual workload – with at least 90% of payments now covered by ERP-based straight-through processing and the remaining 10% consisting of manual payments captured via tm5 and local stand-alone online banking tools.

Deutsche Bank’s integration with tm5 also means Schüco can quickly and easily manage and change user authorisation and permissions (using an integrated digital version of the company’s corporate seal), without having to visit a bank branch.

The new solution provides full transparency over all of the company’s accounts. This means Schüco can optimise its liquidity, partially achieved by combining the solution with Deutsche Bank’s cash pooling services. Especially in countries with substantial interest rates, this transparency illuminates further potential for optimisation, such as replacing local discounting of Letters of Credit with internal funding.

"Rationalising our cash management processes across our many international subsidiaries has saved us considerable effort and expense – increasing straight-through processing to around 90% and cutting account costs by about a third."
Thomas Schlesing, Head of Group Treasury at Schüco International KG

The comprehensive view over payments and collections also enables Schüco to identify other avenues for improving efficiency – whether this be with respect to expenses or account rationalisation (which has helped reduce account charges by around a third). There are also potential benefits on a business level – with greater oversight into spending fuelling more intelligent decisions about how to allocate funds moving forward.

In terms of cybersecurity, the transparency granted by the solution allows treasurers to see which accounts are no longer needed and can be shut down, reducing the number of entry points for criminal activity. Schüco is keen to take further steps in this regard, including eliminating all paper-based instruments such as direct debits, cheques and cash so that treasury has full oversight of all funds and transactions, however small.

Plans for the future

Thanks to this implementation, Schüco now has an effective, harmonised system for handling its cash management business worldwide. Nevertheless, it continues to keep an eye on future developments. While there is currently no clear business case for it to implement real-time booking for instant payments, for example, the team continues to monitor the possibilities and the needs of the team and the clients with a view to implementing further upgrades as and when they are needed. One interesting option, for example, is the possibility of opening a cryptocurrency wallet.

"Schüco’s transformation shows the importance of understanding local regulations and format requirements around the world. Adapting a centralised system to work with these in a seamless way is a complex process, but one that yields significant benefits in the long run – including reduced error rates and manual workloads and increased transparency."
Martin Küsterameling, GTB Product Specialist, Deutsche Bank AG

Whatever new tools Schüco chooses to implement, it will have a strong foundation to build upon, thanks to its collaboration with Deutsche Bank and BELIIN to create a rationalised and automated cash management platform across its many offices and subsidiaries.


Sources

1 See indiabudget.gov.in/economicsurvey
2 See https://bit.ly/3bqMHlD at nipponindiamf.com
3 See https://bit.ly/3cwdVrg at asianage.com