Serge Masliah (Managing Director of Kyriba Southern Europe):
CFO and Treasure of the future
According to Serge Masliah, Managing Director of Kyriba Southern Europe, the CFO and the treasurer of tomorrow will rely on data exploration and advanced technologies To play a key role in their company’s growth.
Cash flow and corporate finance have evolved rapidly in recent years. How does a company like Kyriba adapt to these challenges?
A trillion euros are on the accounts of companies in Europe. In order to manage these sums and the associated flows, the treasurers’ scope has particularly expanded. Treasurers act as a true co-pilot of the CFO. They now supervise four dimensions associated with liquidity: see it, protect it, move it and optimise it. Their role has become increasingly strategic as they help the CFOs develop their liquidity positions to invest. They turn into the right hand of finance by managing the nerve centre of the company: its cash and liquidity. Risk management has become the priority for 67% of financial managers. Kyriba offers dedicated compliance and risk solutions to ensure that cash and liquidity transactions are executed at the right time, in the right place, on the right accounts, protecting them from interest rate, currency and fraud risks. Kyriba is also the only global cloud platform capable of meeting all the needs of CFOs and treasurers at a single point in more than 100 countries and in 13 languages including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Cyrillic. Kyriba offers a wide-range of integrated solutions including cash management, a payment factory, risk protection and Supply Chain Finance to optimise working capital, which is ultra-secure and accessible at all times, from a computer or a mobile phone. In addition, we deploy our system within companies environment in just three months.
How do you fight fraud?
Security has been Kyriba’s cornerstone since its inception in 2004. We serve more than 2,000 companies and 75,000 users worldwide - corporates and banks - to whom we offer the highest standards in this field. Our infrastructure is certified SOC1, SOC2 and also includes artificial intelligence (AI) engines for network analysis. At the application level, Kyriba inserts user and database protection measures into all its systems. To this end, we use the latest technological innovations. At the functional level, we have developed very specific anti-fraud measures in certain areas – e.g. internal and external payment fraud. These include preventive detection with the use of machine learning, statistical behavioural analysis and AI. We also integrate protection principles such as the fight against money laundering and the analysis of politically exposed individuals thanks to the offer developed with our partner Fircosoft from Accuity. Kyriba’s customer environments is hosted in five data centres around the world. They are at the heart of an integrated ecosystem including banks, ERPs, such as Oracle/NetSuite or Cegid or technological players, such as Swift, to manage the identification of principals – KYC or 3SKey. Our alliances with consulting firms such as Deloitte and Accenture, as well as our partnerships with local and/or international VARs, such as Absys-Cyborg and Dimo Software, help us to support companies in optimising their organization and processes and therefore in implementing security measures for their activities.
As a leader, our added value is driven by technological innovation, to support global finance transformation.
What is the impact of new technologies, especially artificial intelligence?
Treasury acts as a cash distribution hub in the company: it locates, optimises, distributes and protects cash, providing a resource to CFOs and CEOs. In this sense, it acts as the heart of the company that distributes cash to departments that need for their growth. Technology helps the CFO and the treasurer to make relevant choices, both in time and in economic space. As a fintech, Kyriba invests heavily in innovation. We are conducting numerous projects and have already integrated three main technological assets: first, Analytics, which makes possible the analysis of all the data to create indicators and forecasts; second, AI and machine learning, which facilitate the detection of atypical behaviour to reduce risks and accelerate processing. Finally, Open Banking and Instant Payments where we connect with APIs for more efficiency and speed in the transmission of banking information. Partnerships complete these technological devices by allowing us to enrich the value-added offered to our customers. This is the case with WorldFirst - which allows our customers to benefit from the best exchange conditions for payments, and BlackRock - which allows our customers to optimise cash surpluses. In addition, our recent acquisition of FiREapps makes it possible to offer new functionalities for managing exchange rate risks. 155 people work at Kyriba on innovation projects and we invest 25% of our turnover in this field. The $160 million invested by Bridgepoint, our new shareholder, is mainly allocated to innovation.
So, data is becoming a full resource in treasury and corporate finance?
Absolutely. In recent years, Kyriba has become a data company. The CFO himself has become a data specialist to help the CEO, the management board and the shareholders make the right decisions. With 240 million orders processed per year and 10,000 daily payment files, we help financial managers extract relevant information to benchmark themselves, identify trends and detect anomalies such as bad credits or bad payers. The great richness of our databases allows our users to benefit from valuable information on a daily basis and in real time. Thanks to technology, many tasks can be automated, allowing CFOs and treasurers to remain focused on high value-added areas. With this approach to cloud data analysis, Kyriba provides treasurers with instant access to valuable data to manage their cash and liquidity: data as a service.