As of the end of October 2017, KBC clients can track and trace
their international payments. No more phoning the bank to find out
when the beneficiary received their payment.
‘It will help businesses with international operations to work a lot more efficiently’, Jutta Cammaer from KBC Payments emphasises.
Filip Ferrante, General Manager at KBC Corporate Banking, talks
to his corporate clients on a daily basis.
‘International payments are a frustration for many businesses. Precisely when a beneficiary will receive their money is often a gamble. Since the time needed for payments to be processed isn’t transparent, you frequently don’t know when certain goods will be released. That’s inconvenient, to put it mildly.’
Jutta Cammaer adds: ‘There’s uncertainty too about the precise amount the beneficiary will end up receiving: the intermediary banks within the payment chain add their charges, which means the amount the beneficiary receives can differ from the sum agreed. Not to mention the risk that the information attached for the beneficiary will get lost along the way, leaving companies scratching their heads about linking received payments to the relevant invoices.’
Track & Trace payments worldwide
‘All this isn’t just inefficient, it no longer meets our clients’
needs’, says Jutta Cammaer, head of payment solutions for corporate
clients at KBC Corporate Banking. ‘Businesses rightly expect a process
that is rapid and transparent.’
SWIFT, the technology firm that facilitates the settlement of international payments, has therefore come up with a solution: the Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPI).
GPI is a program intended to improve the speed and transparency of payments between banks, so the latter can in turn offer an enhanced customer experience. Over 100 banks around the world have already signed up, accounting for some 75 percent of international payment traffic. GPI is set to become the new normal, and KBC is an early adopter.
But what does this commitment mean specifically for clients of KBC Corporate Banking?
‘From November onwards, our clients will be able to track their international payments electronically. This is an excellent Track & Trace tool that shows what the costs are, how far a payment has got at a particular moment and when the beneficiary received it. It means our clients can do business more efficiently with suppliers abroad.’
There are also benefits for companies with international customers. GPI allows same-day use of funds, for instance, which means they gain quicker access to money received from abroad. And last but not least, GPI-compliant banks are committed to passing on the parties’ information unchanged. ‘So the beneficiary can identify the payment much faster – that will save a lot of time, too’, Cammaer says.
GPI for corporate clients
Taking part in GPI has so far been optional. Not every bank has got
involved yet. SWIFT certainly appreciates the fact that KBC was so
quick to join. ‘It was a pleasure to help instigate GPI at the bank’,
SWIFT’s Head of Western and Central Europe, Saskia Devolder, says.
‘Not only did they roll out the program quickly and systematically,
they also opened up its benefits to their corporate clients straight
away. Which is precisely what GPI is about.’
‘This Track & Trace is just the first step’, Jutta Cammaer says. ‘We’re already seeking to work as much as possible with other GPI-compliant banks. The more banks that sign up, the greater the user-friendliness for clients. In our view, this initiative is just the first step towards more efficient international payments. And we intend to be right on the ball when the next opportunities arise too.’