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					SPONSORED SECTION




      The power of automation
      CitiConnect and e-Billing form a powerful partnership that leverages the strength of Citibank Cash Management



     C     ommercial contracts support the process of trade. Yet
           payment cycles can sometimes stretch on for months
     beyond the commercially agreed terms. Often this is due to
                                                                                           stretch to 60 or even 120 days.” says Monaghan. “It is often
                                                                                           not due to intent, but inefficiency in process or difficulty in
                                                                                           communication.”
     disputed documents and a fragile system of manual processes.                                e-Billing is a tool to enable easier process and commu-
     But such common challenges may soon be a thing of the past                            nications management for the financial departments of
     as banks use technology to simplify the exchange of invoices                          both buyer and sellers. This helps facilitate the underlying
     and the initiation of payments.                                                       commercial agreement. “e-Billing does not change the bal-
          At Citibank, one of the most innovative Cash                                     ance of power in the trade relationship” says Monaghan.
     Management and Technology banks in Asia, the launch of                                “Enhanced visibility and communication is just as
     two new products – CitiConnect and Citibank e-Billing – will                          important on the buy side as it is for the sell side. Process
     deliver significant commercial capabilities for its customers.                        simplification just lowers the cost of relationship between
     These two new products form a powerful proposition for cus-                           the two parties.”
     tomers to leverage Citibank regional and global infrastruc-                                 Citibank research has uncovered three key reasons why
     ture to streamline and enhance their customer management                              companies are adopting e-Billing:
     operations.                                                                           1. More effective management of working capital;
          The two products form part of an integrated accounts                             2. The need to manage the customer relationship better;
     receivable process. e-Billing facilitates the efficient processing                    3. Increased operational efficiency
     of invoices, improving communications and providing better                                  e-Billing is primarily oriented to open account relation-
     visibility and control over both the payables and receivables                         ships where there is frequent trade between trading partners.
     processes for both the buyer and the seller. e-Billing stream-                        Initially the product was focused towards large sellers,
                                                                                                                     but increasingly large buyers are see-
    Invoice workflow . In smaller sized enterprises these processes are often completed by a single person,          ing the need to use e-Billing to
                             the Citibank solution is flexible, and caters to both.
                                                                                                                     increase visibility and control over the
                                                                                                                     payables process.
               Invoice      Invoice        Invoice           Invoice         Invoice          Invoice
               Creation     Delivery       Distribution      Receipt         Verification     Approval                    “Legislation often trails innova-
                                                                                                                     tion, but around Asia Pacific, many
                                                                                                                     governments already have legislation
                                                                                                                     in place and others have legislation
             Payment         Payment       Payment        Payment       Payment         Payment
             Reconciliation Receipt        Delivery       Initiation    Approval        Verification                 in the pipeline. The key to e-Billing
                                                                                                                     lies in the management of communi-
                                                                                                                     cation and the potential for data
      lines the communications process between the financial                               integration, not necessarily the displacement of paper.” says
      departments of trading partners and, through CitiConnect,                            Monaghan. Research from a number of sources indicates
      provides online payment capabilities. CitiConnect can also                           significant ROI for the adoption of e-Billing by both buy-
      be embedded within companies web sites to provide online                             ers and sellers.
      payment capabilities.                                                                      The product has been designed for treasury depart-
                                                                                           ments in Asia Pacific and the platform has been extended
      e-Billing facilitates best practice A/R Management                                   throughout Europe. The system compliments existing
      “e-Billing gives visibility into the financial supply chain,                         Citibank reporting capabilities and provides download
      increasing control over the working capital” says Steve                              capabilities for both buyers and sellers in XML format
      Monaghan, Vice President for e-Business, Citibank                                    to enable simple integration into ERP and accounting
      Singapore. “Corporate treasurers are now demanding better                            solutions.
      forecasting and predictability over the cash conversion cycle
      to optimize their liquidity management.”                                             Key features
          In Asia, cash conversion cycles are often pushed out due                         • Customized invoice presentment promotes the branding
      to process inefficiency. “Even though there are agreed com-                               and interface of the seller
      mercial terms where goods are exchanged for payment under                            • Citibank’s comprehensive Asia Pacific collections infra-
      commercial term of 30 days, often payment is not executed as                              structure delivers many of the benefits of e-Payment even
      per agreed term. Day Sales Outstanding (DSO) can often                                    if the buyer makes traditional paper payments
                                                                                                                 SPONSORED SECTION



                                                        CitiConnect process flow




• e-Billing accelerates the dispute resolution process               2. The transaction details are collected from the e-com-
  enabling both parties to streamline operations and achieve            merce site and displayed on a Citibank-hosted screen.
  commercial term                                                    3. The customer approves the transaction and Citibank
• Citibank e-Billing is a hosted solution simplifying imple-            executes the payment. Citibank settles the transac-
  mentation and ensuring that the data is secured to strin-             tions using the clearing method appropriate to
  gent Citibank standards                                               the location of the
• Operational cost reduction versus tradition process                   buyer and seller
  for both buyer and sellers through reduced data                       accounts.                 e-Billing gives visibility
  entry cost, reduced rates of error and increased recon-            4. This completes the        through the financial supply
  ciliation capabilities.                                               payment processing        chain, putting transparency and
                                                                        and no further offline    control into the working capital
CitiConnect for web enabled financial services                          processing is needed.
CitiConnect is Citibank’s Internet payment gateway. It                                                 management cycle
allows access to financial services directly from e-commerce           Key benefits
websites at the point of commerce. As an e-payment plat-               • CitiConnect offers a broad range of settlement options
form, CitiConnet integrates with B2B or B2C websites                       including direct debits, credit cards, commercial cards,
enabling the payer to initiate on-line payments. CitiConnect               domestic and international fund transfers.
offers a broad range of settlement options.                            • Real-time responses give immediate authorizations and
     A button can be embedded in websites, giving Citibank’s               certainty of funds for payments from Citibank accounts
clients the ability to offer online payment capability to their            and real-time notifications for other payment channels.
customers – creating the access to the bank directly from              • It streamlines processes by eliminating paper and
where the transaction happens.                                             embeds payment in the commerce cycle, hence reduc-
     “CitiConnect is a seller centric solution for B2B or B2C              ing cycle-time.
websites and provides the linkages into the appropriate pay-           • Eliminates the need for linking to multiple payment
ment channels,” adds Sandeep Mehta, vice-president for                     providers by providing a single point of connectivity
CitiConnect. The product targets companies focusing on                     to an ever expanding array of financial settlement
eDistribution or eProcurement that require online payments                 channels.
and settlement capability. “This product helps to plug the             • It also encourages adoption of existing web offerings by
gap, allowing corporations and                                                                complementing them with an online
their customers to derive the bene-            For more information, please contact           settlement solution.
fits from e-commerce that have so                                                          • Treasurers enjoy greater control over
far been lacking,” explains Mehta.                                                            payments, thereby improving liquidi-
     An on-line user can use                                                                  ty management.
CitiConnect to initiate pay-                           Steve Monaghan                           CitiConnect and Citibank e-Billing
ments and settle transactions.                     Vice President for e-Billing            are powerful enablers of effective com-
                                                   Telephone: +65.6328.5434
The process is simple:                                                                     pany cash management operations.
                                            email: Stephen.Monaghan@citicorp.com
1. A user on a B2B or a B2C site is                                                        These solutions, combined with
    ready to complete an e-com-                         Sandeep Mehta                      Citibank’s leading cash management
                                                 Vice President for CitiConnect
    merce transaction and clicks the                                                       services provide customers with greater
                                                   Telephone +852.2868.7735
    CitiConnect payment button to             email: Sandeep.Mehta@citicorp.com            visibility and control over their payables
    initiate the payment instruction.                                                      and receivables management. A

				
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