Citi Accounts Receivable Service for Multinationals
Marjanovic, Steven, American Banker
Citicorp has unveiled a cash management service that lets multinational corporations outsource accounts-receivable functions.
Bank officials said the service, called Citibank Receivables Solution, has been pilot-tested with Heller Financial Inc. for the past year. They said several more corporate customers in the United States and Europe will soon adopt the service.
As more corporations expand overseas, the demand for cash management has risen, experts said. And an increasing number of commercial banks are designing new services to meet this demand.
Some functions are more ripe for outsourcing than others. Receivables management - a burdensome process of matching and reconciling payments made to a company - is considered a good candidate, said Christopher Robinson, a London-based vice president at Citicorp.
Receivables management is more complex than many accounts-payable services because the receivables function must handle a variety of methods used for making payments.
With Citicorp's new service, companies can "take out a large proportion of their local accounts-receivable structure and replace it with a centralized accounting function," Mr. Robinson said.
Citicorp's reach - it maintains a presence in 98 countries - means it is well positioned to offer such services to multinational companies, said Colin Klipin, managing director of Citibank's global cash management unit.
Citicorp can process a wide variety of payment instruments, including multiple currencies, U.S. checks, and European giros, which resemble checks.
"The key element here is globality," Mr. Klipin said. "We are the only bank that can deliver locally and can integrate globally."
Jeff Grigsby, senior vice president at Heller Financial, said the firm makes use of Citibank's image-enabled check processing system. …