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Merck’s effort to standardize its cash management and payments worldwide by implementing a single global banking interface has produced many benefits, says Mark McDonough, treasurer and vice president at the $48 billion pharmaceutical company. But he acknowledges that the process was not easy.

Before New Jersey-based Merck implemented the global banking strategy, the company’s “transactional banking activities [were] very much geared to local market needs and local market banking processes,” McDonough says. Advances in technology, as well as Merck’s move to a standard global ERP platform and shared-services environment, paved the way for deploying a single payments file format worldwide, an effort that Merck’s treasury began to roll out in 2008.

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