Payments as a Strategy


Many corporates are working with various bank sponsored electronic banking solutions which lead to high administration costs, in-transparent cash positions and restrictions to fulfill internal compliance. An alternative solution could be to connect your banks via a single, bank-independent payment factory solution, supporting straight through processing. Since a variety of digital bank services are available to integrate all banks by a single payment hub, it makes sense to understand what could work best for you.

Payment channels, the alternatives:

Access to the ebics/mcft channel

The ebics communication channel, already supported by many international transaction banks is an internet communication standard especially designed for electronic banking purposes. The number of banks that offer this channel is growing fast.

The mcft (multicash file transfer) channel is product specific channel, developed by omikron and is provided by many banks and service providers as well (e.g. Uk bacs service bureau). Mcft will bring additional benefits to multicash users, as it is similar to ebics especially designed to use the internet channel.

Setting up a connection with banks that support ebics/mcft is a plug and play implementation.

H2H connections

This is an individual connection with a bank. H2h connections are bank specific and built to use secured file transfer protocols. Each h2h connection can be a bank specific project.

Access to the swift network (to be purchased from swift)

To access the swift network, there are two alternatives:

1.    Via a swift al2 connection, direct linked to the swift network.

2.    Via a swift service bureau, indirect link, via a third party.

Once the access to the swift network is in place, you need to implement and test connections per individual bank. As swift is using a private network for the data exchange, this will lead to additional costs because companies are also charged by the amount of traffic over the channel.

Independent of the (combination of) channel(s) you use, you still need payment software which allows you to read the incoming bank statements and create and send payment files in a secure way.

Payment file formats

Another important aspect of payments is the ‘payment file format’ question (mt101/xml/local standards/ bank-specific standards). Which formats are currently used by the corporate systems and will their bank accept them in the new standardized set up, or does the client wish to harmonize formats and workflows? This discussion is important when replacing a variety of eb systems of a corporate with multiple international subsidiaries and bank connections.

Strategic considerations

The choice of payment channels depends on various factors. For instance, a client with 20 banks, of which 16 can be connected via ebics/mcft would probably connect the remaining 4 via separate h2h-connections because this is most efficient set-up. Alternatively, a client with 20 banks of which only 5 can be connected via ebics/mcft would connect the rest via swift. 

In the end, it is the corporate who decides which channel is preferred and how channels can be combined efficiently. The payment factory must be as flexible as possible to support the corporate strategic goals, even with a change of banks and strategy.


Moving away from traditional electronic banking systems to a modern independent payment factory solution is a challenge. It starts with an analysis and leads to a strategy. Several operational and it-specific questions need to be answered: which new digital services, channels and formats are offered by the bank, and what is the best operational approach for my company?

Since most people in treasury prefer to outsource these analyzes to external experts, it makes sense to seek professional advice.

Who should change? You? Or your treasury system?

Medium-sized companies often use extensive Excel files, that have grown over the years to manage their liquidity management. Some even use complex macros, but in most cases, the four eyes principle is not enforced. If someone changes a value or a formula, this can hardly be proven, but can have significantconsequences for the company. 

Complex calculations sometimes lead to rounding differences, formula errors lead to incorrect results and, finally, the tables do not offer any search functions because they are not databases. 

Switching to a professional Treasury Management System (TMS), in which all financial and hedging transactions, all bank accounts and sales, even sucurities and guarantees can be properly managed, analyzed and simulated, is often not dared for various reasons: 

It costs too much: possible, but you can quickly check which way of working is more economical and easier.

No time to get started: probably because you can’t work efficiently with the current systems. 

No staff left: You don’t need it. Our people have managed implementations at many customers. Our staff take a lot of work out of hands. Alternatively, an external consultant can help.

But then my colleagues have to work overtime: This may be possible, but if that is the case, usually only for a short period. With our help, you can get started in a few weeks. We relieve you of some of the work and we tailor the training to you. 

But for that I definitely need special, new hardware and software?: No, internet access and a web browser are sufficient, as the application is implemented individually for you in our ISO27001-certified data center in a private cloud. 

Trinity TMS is definitely difficult to use? You have to learn everything first, including Excel. However, we have designed our system in such a way that you think in many places that you are working in EXCEL. The workflows in the various modules are also designed in a similar way, so that you can quickly find your way around. 

But we have grown so special and over the years with complex processes, you certainly cannot map everythingWe like to give it a try. We cannot do everything, but so far there has only been a little that could not be represented in our flexible configurable solution. 

Is our financial data safe in the cloud? With Trinity yes, because we do not implement in the global public cloud, but rent hardware exclusively for you in a protected data center (therefore private cloud) with numerous security precautions. The failure data centers are all located in 3 locations in Germany And access is via the Internet? It is compatible with all common browsers and even allows you to work from your home office during these times. 

Try it out, we look forward to your call! 

EU-US privacy shield valid or not? Trinity users can relax

In 2015, the European Commission’s Safe Harbor decision was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Five months later, the EU and the United States reached an agreement, regarding the set of rules which intend to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Economic Area, stored in the United States. 

A number of provisions should bring the level of data protection in the United States to a level that is in line with EU requirements. Already before Donald Trump published numerous decrees, US law took precedence allowing the FBI and NSA to gain access to the data stored on US servers in justified suspected cases (e.g. to combat terrorism). 

After living with this artificial, not really secure data protection shield for over four years, the ECJ invalidated this “adequacy decision” known as the “EU-US Privacy Shield” on July 16, 2020.

Standard contracts, with agreements on data protection that were still valid, were often agreed on a small scale. Large software providers in particular were happy to simplify referring to the EU-US Privacy Shield, which is now invalid.

Trinity offers its customers a “private cloud solution” in which the data is only stored on servers in Germany. As an ISO 27001 / IKS PS 951 and PS 983-certified full-service IT provider, our data center is specialized in highly available IT services for banks, stock exchanges and financial service providers and meets the highest data security requirements. State-of-the-art building technology and physical security measures are used at three locations in Germany to ensure business continuity management. As a result, the EU-US Privacy Shield is completely irrelevant for our corporate-, municipality- and bank customers using the Trinity TMS.

Does Artificial Intelligence protect you against a crisis?

Weather forecasts are based on artificial intelligence. In general, they work fine but they often fail to predict hail damage. This is because hail usually forms at very short notice and the grain size depends on factors that the model doesn’t take into account. Next to that, one could wonder how management would deal with a predicted anomaly. For instance, would they have believed that oil prices were to turn negative?

Artificial intelligence” is not a clearly defined term. Some people already consider simple ‘rule based’ software as artificial intelligence (AI). True AI requires “if-then rules” to be supported by more complex and self-learning algorithms. 

Deep learning, which is the use of artificial neural networks (ANN). This is effective to improve predictions. The layered model of the ANN develops “thought patterns” similar as in the human brain. In the end, the ANN learns the “right” ways through conclusions based on experiences, whereby many unconscious factors also have an impact on the result. Even if they weren’t originally considered in the rule-based programming.

In certain cases, the likelihood that a predicted result will occur, can be significantly improved with such methods. Complex algorithms can now make autonomous driving possible. 

In order to effectively secure the company’s liquidity, flexibility and a reliable information-base are crucial. Information can be collected via internet and automated interfaces. Plausibility checks and system monitoring are used to prevent incorrect entries and missing messages. The ability to stress tests with any interest and currency scenario are the strengths of a modern treasury management system.

In order to enable financial managers to quickly switch from EXCEL-based planning sheets to Trinity TMS, Trinity has already pre-installed a number of installations in the “private cloud”. Existing structures and data from EXCEL can be adopted in a few days and companies will receive a workable solution in just 5 days.