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Increase your payment process and bank account management effectiveness

5mins read
Published on 20-05-2024

How to improve efficiency and productivity by combining FS2 Payments and FS2 eBAM

Organizations increasingly prioritize the efficiency and security of their payment processes and bank account management. With more than 50% of organizations now reporting multiple instances of attempted fraud per year, smooth, error-free payment processes being a necessity to secure supplier relationships, international transactions on the rise, and compliance regimes more complex and exacting than ever, automation and real-time visibility across transactions and treasury processes are now essential factors in both facilitating strong decision-making and keeping your company competitive. 

But despite the obvious need, many businesses are still struggling to manage multiple banking portals, collating data from different payment channels by hand, and building reports from numerous sources – the vast majority of which still aren’t digital. Recent studies suggest that only 30% of bank invoices and reports are received electronically. 

To increase efficiency and create a strong foundation for your finance teams to become a real strategic partner to your organization’s leadership, you need a fully integrated approach to handling payments and bank account management. You’re likely aware of the need for a robust payment solution to aid financial centralization, security, and compliance, and a solution for electronic bank account management (eBAM) to allow you to adjust your mandates and manage your financial estate swiftly and compliantly. But even the best possible solutions in both of these categories won’t help you combat your core challenges unless they share a single source of truth and don’t become a silo themselves. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how Serrala makes this possible by combining our FS2 Payments and FS2 eBAM solutions

Payments: the situation 

Achieving efficiency, security, and transparency in payments is one of the most significant challenges facing organizations today. With many organizations still not using a single, rationalized process, errors are commonplace, and it’s almost impossible to create a full picture of payments across the business – especially for multinational entities, which also have to grapple with the challenge of different payment formats.  On top of this, multiple communications channels all requiring different log-in credentials and mechanisms both add to complexity and present critical security risks. 

Regulations designed to prevent money laundering and tackle the worldwide “VAT gap” also create a greater administrative burden – which combines with slow, time-consuming workflows and a siloed system landscape to prevent effective control, make spotting opportunities for improvement harder, and make effective data-driven decision making impossible, with any reporting representing “best guess” estimates based on data that may be weeks or even months out of date. 

Payments: the solution 

FS2 Payments helps you to master payment challenges by providing a single integrated system for managing all global payments, alongside a central interface that gives you full visibility into all your outgoing cash flows while automatically receiving and checking bank reports and settlement files. You’ll immediately see if payment files have been processed correctly or rejected, and be able to access in-depth analyses of company-wide payments via integrated FS2 Analytic, which offers accessible, actionable insights into more than 500 KPIs for instant reporting. 

It also connects you directly and securely to multiple banks and service providers without the need to manually manage multiple different portals. Giving you transparency into company-wide payments and real-time payment status with enhanced fraud protection thanks to intelligent features for better payment security.  

What’s more, the solution is fully embedded into your SAP system, allowing for full integration with ERP systems to overcome siloed landscapes and create a single, harmonized set of workflows across your entire business. FS2 Payments processes any payment type including treasury, in-house bank, HR, as well as instant payments, ad-hoc payments, direct debits, ACH payments, and wire transfers. It also allows you to communicate with all national and international communication protocols and channels directly from your SAP implementation without the need for multiple logins, and supports all standard payment formats like ISO 20022 CGI, SEPA, and SWIFT MT while still allowing you to generate domestic formats as well. 

FS2 Payments is trusted by over 3500 customers and 100,000 users worldwide, and processes billions of transactions worth over $1 trillion each year. 

Case study: Amdocs takes global payments to the next level  

Amdocs has used FS2 Payments to standardize processing across four global banks and 70 different host-to-host (H2H) templates. The SAP-embedded solution acts as a single global hub for managing payments, allowing the company to automatically route payments for review and approval using a standardized, global process. It has also reduced the cost of payments by bundling and sending multiple payments in one file instead of sending payments separately. If a payment fails, for example, due to incorrect account information, the payments team can easily resolve the error without disrupting the other payments in the bundle. New features and capabilities available with FS² Payments, such as fraud monitoring, also provide additional payment flexibility and security. 

Bank account management: the situation 

Centralized control over company-wide bank accounts is both essential to combat fraud attempts and maintain visibility into group financial activity. But this kind of group-wide control is difficult to achieve, as bank accounts are often administered locally using outdated paper-based processes that are inherently siloed and non-transparent. 

Beyond this, there are significant obstacles to streamlining bank account management, including: 

  • A lack of awareness or even information on which bank accounts the organization holds. 
  • No single source of truth for signatories or signing limits. 
  • Crucial information contained in paper documents filed in many different locations. 
  • Reporting based on manually maintained spreadsheets. 
  • Individual, manual administration of bank accounts and signatories. 
  • Manual consolidation of data for compliance reports like the FBAR. 
  • No central storage for bank contact details or correspondence. 


Bank account management: the solution 

FS2 eBAM integrates seamlessly with your SAP system to create a single, centralized platform for managing your bank relations and processes without the need to rely on multiple, risk-prone interfaces or accidentally duplicate administrative data. Our solution helps improve and modernize bank account management workflow and systems by reducing manual efforts, providing rigorous security, and meeting international compliance requirements as well as regulations.   

FS2 eBAM allows for the management, opening, closing, and changing of bank accounts and signatories centrally within any SAP system. It supplies fast and accurate access to bank account information and an audit-proof way to manage global bank account activities. It also manages communication with banks securely and paperlessly via XML messages and digital signatures, helping to achieve digitized, automated, and straight-through processes for the administration of bank accounts and signatories. 

Beyond this, the Bank Performance Analysis component helps automatically reconcile all bank bill items against agreed tariffs, and also automatically handles dispute management to settle discrepancies with individual banks easily. Serrala customers report that by reducing overcharges, they have been able to save up to 35% or more in bank fees. The Bank Account Reporting component also simplifies the process of bank reporting as well as compliance with international regulations such as the US-specific Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report (FBAR). It uses the centrally maintained bank account data to automatically complete the required reporting fields, saving time and simplifying compliance. 


A combined solution for seamless effectiveness 

Bringing FS2 Payments and FS2 eBAM together in a single implementation is simple and logical, facilitated by both solutions working together naturally within your existing SAP deployment. 

Together, they create an integrated platform that affords your team full visibility and control of both your payments universe and the accounts that you rely on to keep outbound cash moving quickly, efficiently, and strategically. 

Data can be shared seamlessly between the two solutions to hasten the creation of a single set of account and payment rules across the whole company. For instance, FS2 eBAM can be used to replicate or inform user approval rules for payments normally controlled through FS2 Payments, allowing you to establish approval rules via your bank account mandates. FS2 Payments data can likewise be used to create mandates in eBAM through the application of simple synchronization programs.   

FS2 Payments also provides functions that allow you to route payments from your individual accounts to optimize share of wallet (in conjunction with policies established in your eBAM solution) and can be set up to request approvals for payments directly from the signatories named in FS2 eBAM. Smart connect for bank communications also allows you to establish a single source of truth for outbound cash in each account via your payments solution to help support visibility. 


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