Visa’s 2008 IPO set in motion a treasury overhaul that shrank the credit card provider’s operating banks by 80%, halved the number of local bank accounts the company needed, reduced its unproductive cash buffer by 60% and improved its investment and foreign exchange execution, saving more than $11 million annually. Corporate treasury operations at Visa span 100 legal entities in 38 different countries.
Technology played a big role. “We designed a comprehensive solution using only off-the-shelf software that fully integrates all cash and investment management functions in a completely automated straight-through processing platform,” says senior business leader Chris Salmon. “Our hub-and-spoke architecture connects our three global banks through cash management and foreign exchange software that feeds our GL system. It’s a centralized, automated cash management system that can deliver just-in-time funding anywhere in the world, in local currency at wholesale pricing. It’s completely redundant and provides auto-reconciliation and booking. We think this is the next step for multinational organizations as treasury software evolves from bank portals to workstations to universal access.”
Salmon explains that the new infrastructure allowed Visa to bring its investment portfolio in-house and use bilateral repo lines to get same-day liquidity with better performance and a lower risk profile.