The introduction of integrated payables functionality into the CGI Trade360 trade finance solution has boosted Australia & New Zealand Bank Group’s ambitions to become a leading supply chain finance bank.
Having enjoyed a successful 15-year partnership in which Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and CGI have collaborated on the evolution of CGI Trade360, both parties have continued to play a critical role in the ongoing development of the secure, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) trade finance solution.
Today, CGI Trade360 is recognised as a world-class, globally accessible 24×7 trade finance platform for traditional trade and both open account and supply chain finance activities that has provided bank users such as ANZ with a single transaction processing system that connects across their front to back office.
By deploying the solution, ANZ and a number of other leading banks, have been able to offer their corporate customers traditional trade, receivables financing and payables financing services via a single platform – all of which can be accessed by buyers and suppliers using the seamless, user-friendly CGI Trade360 portal.
ANZ now uses the global platform across 30 countries to offer an array of open account and supply chain finance services including receivables finance and payables finance.
But CGI and ANZ have not stood still in the addition of ground-breaking capabilities to CGI Trade360. A year ago saw the launch of integrated payables functionality, in a move which has increased automation and Straight-Through-Processing.
“An integrated payables capability was on the strategic roadmap for CGI Trade360 as far back as in 2007, and was being actively discussed by CGI’s management advisory committee, which brings our bank clients together to collaborate on developments that are considered of strategic importance to our trade finance solution,” says Kitt Carswell, vice-president and senior offering manager, trade and supply chain solutions at CGI.
“ANZ then took a leading role as the key bank for defining the new solution. The bank has played a critical role in bringing CGI Trade360’s integrated payables capability to fruition.”
The move to fully engage in the further development of CGI Trade360 stemmed from ANZ’s own review of its use of the platform to identify areas where additional development work could meet customer needs and grow the bank’s trade business – in particular across Asia Pacific.
“Supply chain finance was considered highly important by most of the large corporate clients we work with who see it as a win-win way of supporting their suppliers as a balance sheet solution and as means to optimise working capital,” says Vivek Gupta, global head of supply chain finance at ANZ. “We wanted to provide our corporate clients with the stronger capabilities they were looking for in support of their financial supply chain finance needs.”
“We realised that while we were discounting approved payables for our corporate customers using the CGI Trade360 platform, there was still a reliance on paper-based processes,” adds Wayne Jobson, head of global transaction banking platforms at ANZ. “This was adding to the time required to offer supplier financing. By using this capability we were able to drive efficiency at the back end, and also drastically improving turnaround times for our customers.”
The partnership saw ANZ and CGI work together on the introduction of integrated payables to CGI Trade360 to enable ANZ to fully automate the processing of all approved payables – both for payment and approved payables finance via the platform. The solution enables Straight-Through-Processing of all payables transactions, including approved payables finance via the trading partner rules.
“We looked at our clients’ physical workflows in supply chain finance and have now been able to fully automate the flow of all payables as well as the financing of those payables. It is now a comprehensive offering,” says Rahul Saxena, director and market manager, South/Southeast Asia, trade and supply chain products at ANZ.
“What we have been able to achieve is a combined product proposition with our existing CGI Trade360 platform,” adds Gupta. “The integrated payables capability does not simply represent an added value proposition for corporate client buyers – but their suppliers too, which are now benefitting from a full working capital solution.”
Ryan Fernandes, global product manager supply chain finance at ANZ adds: “Our clients and their suppliers really value the visibility that the offering provides around which invoices have been approved. One area that suppliers find most useful is the ‘auto-finance’ capability as this means they get the discounted early payments almost as soon as the buyer sends approved invoices to the bank. We have also taken a multi-channel proposition that corporate customers can access either via a web-based application or host-to-host connections depending on their needs and sophistication.”
“Mobile devices are also on the roadmap for the future as a potential channel,” adds Jobson. “We are already starting to introduce mobile as a channel for traditional trade finance via CGI Trade360 and integrated payables will follow this.”
Boosting market shares
For ANZ, the introduction of integrated payables has positioned it well to pursue its ambitions to become a leading supply chain finance bank across Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region.
“As a bank, we recognise supply chain finance as being a very important part of our offering, and are looking to grow this business very quickly,” says Gupta. “This enhanced capability has not only enabled us to increase our penetration of the large corporate segment in Australia, but also across Asia helping connect buyers and suppliers across key trade corridors.
The introduction of integrated payables has already paid dividends for ANZ.
“In Australia, supply chain finance is a growing market, and we want to play a part in shaping it by doing things in different ways. Already, integrated payables has brought us further success in not only Australia, but key Asian markets such as India, Hong Kong, Singapore and China,” says Gupta.
“We are a new supply chain finance bank, but have already won Request for Proposals (RFPs) from key names in our target markets.”
The enhancement of CGI Trade360 to include integrated payables has also benefitted a number of ANZ corporate customers in both Asia and Australia.
In India, a large manufacturer, headquartered in Mumbai, has been able to streamline its management of approved payables and secure new operational efficiencies by using the integrated payables capabilities.
Whereas previously the company’s 10 factories nationwide were sending all the invoices they received directly to the head office for submission to the bank for processing, adding significant time to the end-to-end process, they have now been able to submit approved invoices electronically and directly to the bank. “Now, there is no need for invoices to be sent to head office at all,” says Saxena.
Moving forward, CGI and ANZ are preparing to work together on further enhancements to CGI Trade360.
“ANZ is our largest customer, and we are already in close discussions with them on how we can take these capabilities forward,” says Carswell, pointing out that CGI is already looking to see how it can further improve the end-user experience for both buyers and suppliers. “We are looking to see how we can improve collaboration between buyers and suppliers with new capabilities for suppliers to upload and send e-invoices to buyers. We are also considering providing suppliers and buyers with opportunities to negotiate dynamic discounts with the same online portal.”
“We always have to look at everything through our own customers’ lenses, and that includes opportunities for negotiated discounting,” adds Gupta, pointing out that ANZ maintains an ongoing focus on gaining a valuable insight into its corporates customers’ business models; the functionality required; and devising value-adding propositions. “All these three things need to be taken into consideration. We talk to our customers all the time about their specific needs and requirements, but we also look into what will help them to convince – and draw the support of – their own suppliers.”
Crompton Greaves (CG) is a large Indian engineering company, providing end-to-end solutions in electrical engineering across power, industrial systems and consumer products.
ANZ offered the Integrated Payables Solution to Crompton Greaves to cover some of its biggest local suppliers.
The online solution has resulted in a number of benefits for Crompton Greaves including:
Decentralisation of the entire invoice and transaction processing function from head office to 10 factory locations, resulting in a significant reduction of the workload on the head office treasury;
Elimination of the need to move physical documents to the bank; Use of an online portal that has enabled duplication checks on the uploaded invoices;
The user-friendly nature of the system has ensured smooth as well as remote processing and authorisation of transactions;
Lower costs and improved efficiency across CG’s “procure to pay” cycle.