Global Head of Payments and Receivables, BNP Paribas
Deputy Head of Payment offer, BNP Paribas
Bruno Mellado and Christine Guillaumet (BNP Paribas): the instant ‘revolution’
Christine Guillaumet and Bruno Mellado from BNP Paribas believe that instant payment will revolutionise corporate treasurers’ daily lives. Interview.
How would you assess recent developments in the payment field?
With the creation of the new instant payment standard in Europe, we have for the first time a payment instrument with immediate execution. Corporate treasurers can now carry out payments at any time of day or night, all year long, without any cut-off time. They can now manage payments and ensure money is exactly where it needs to be, at the precise time required. At the same time, they can also become beneficiaries of instant payment at any moment, including during weekends, which will require them to adapt their processes in order to meet clients’ expectations, enhance their treasury performance, and overall take advantage of all the opportunities that this new standard unlocks.
What risks and opportunities do you identify?
Let’s start with opportunities. These can be divided into two main categories. First, treasury today is empowered to act as a business enabler with new means of payment. The possibilities are endless: getting paid faster, benefiting from the certainty of the transaction, reducing delivery delays and friction throughout the entire value chain. More importantly, it can radically enhance clients’ experience and increase one’s differentiation from competitors. Secondly, instant payment requires treasury to redefine its processes to optimise liquidity and internal processes, while coping with the challenges of dealing with payments around the clock. Finally, on the risk side, I see three main issues. The first relates to the speed at which players across Europe embrace this new standard. Reaching critical mass is essential for treasurers and their clients to use instant payment as their newly preferred means of payment. The second aspect concerns potential abuse, which require real-time defense mechanisms and a fast learning curve. Lastly, convergence around a few standard tools to equip business and consumers is necessary to lock in wide acceptance throughout Europe.
"Corporate treasurers can now carry out payments at any time of day or night, all year long, without any cut-off time"
What case studies would you put forward?
We have three main cases in mind. First, an e-commerce player can now ship goods and services a few seconds after receiving the payment, with the certainty that the money will stay in its account. These transactions are accessible to clients without credit cards and outside card limits. Secondly, I think of a corporate treasurer in an insurance company. Not only can they empower their colleagues to instruct immediate payment while the client is still on the phone, but they can also arrange for all salaries to be paid at the date and time of their choice. Accuracy will be within 10 seconds, even on January 1. Finally, a restaurant owner who needs to pay on delivery for fresh food for the weekend can do so with one click, just in the same way as when booking a hotel room online. This solution is particularly relevant in cases where counterparty risk is an issue.