Ask the Expert: Fexco Corporate Payments

Fexco CEO Ruth McCarthy explains why it is vital that small business take steps to deter fraud.

Cyber security must be an integral consideration of business strategy. As well as mitigating against financial loss, business improvements can be made by increasing efficiency and managing risk by placing a priority on being cyber-attack ready.

Almost €4.5m has been stolen in invoice redirect frauds since the start of 2019, according to An Garda Síochána. Criminals send emails to businesses purporting to be one of their legitimate suppliers with the supplier’s new bank account details and a request to change the account to one that will ultimately benefit the criminals. We at Fexco recommend to make a phone call to a known contact within the company that appears to be requesting the change in account payment, and to also instruct staff with responsibility for paying invoices to check invoices for irregularities and escalate suspicions using a known contact.

Manual processes with paper often lead to a rise in internal fraud. Business executives and managers must have sufficient controls over the movement of funds to determine without question which individual employee authorised specific transactions and funds transfer.

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Fexco’s system uses two-factor authentication to access the online platform and Fexco can route payments for viewing and approval with multi-layer thresholds for the ultimate in security measures, auditing and control. Fexco integrates with all major ERP and accounts systems. Once an electronic payment file has been submitted to the bank and accepted, all payments can be reconciled in your system.

Banks across Europe earn hundreds of millions of euro a year from overcharging small corporate customers for foreign exchange services, according to a new paper from the European Central Bank. Smaller corporate clients tend to pay higher rates for protection against swings in exchange rates. The findings of the study revealed that banks collect an extra €638m a year on average as a result of discriminatory pricing in euro-dollar contracts. The majority of corporate clients pay some 50 basis points – or 0.5% – on contracts on which the largest companies pay just two basis points. This is just another case of banks underserving and overcharging small businesses. Lack of transparency on FX is bad for Irish businesses.

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What are conditions that allow fraud to take hold?

• Employees perform multiple functions, allowing them to hide their actions.
• Staff become too familiar and trusting with each other.
• Informal procedures mean things don’t get recorded.
• Lack of expertise amongst staff to recognise fraud.

How does Fexco corporate payments streamline the process for small firms?

Fexco aims to make international money transfer easy for SMEs by empowering businesses to make global payments swiftly at pre-defined rates and with transparent pricing. Its online platform, PayDirect, offers a rich user interface that provides SME-focused tools, reports and functionality to support existing processes/workflows.

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