Treasury Management Newsletter

Winter 2015

Select a featured article below:

Happy New Year!
Rebates and Relief of Resources
Can Your Company Afford to Lose $500,000?
Save the Date for 2015 Events




HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We at Amegy Bank wish you a year full of great achievements, happiness, and prosperity.

It is important to us to continue building strong relationships in 2015, so we are including articles in this newsletter that share information to help your company streamline payments, earn rebates, and protect your assets.

We value our client relationships and look forward to a successful year together.


REBATES AND RELIEF OF RESOURCES

  TA21589_CommCardMap_Amegy_EMV_v02Amegy recently presented a rebate in excess of $150,000 to a
  local 
manufacturer. With the use of Amegy Bank’s Commercial
  Card solution, 
sizable rebates are being earned by a growing
  number of middle-market 
companies, and their payment processes
  are being streamlined to relieve 
valuable resources. Amegy’s
  Commercial Card (also known as Purchase
Card or Travel &
  Entertainment Card) is a quick and easy way to earn and 
save while
  processing payments. 

Amegy introduced Visa Payables Automation (VPA) two years ago taking the traditional card solution to a “whole new level” by automatically assigning virtual card numbers and automatically sending the payments to the vendors.  Issuing plastic cards or ghost card numbers is no longer needed.


With the help of Amegy and VISA, the company who received the large rebate took the leap into the new technology by first identifying their suppliers who accept VISA cards for payments. Of the many suppliers who were identified as VISA card acceptors, approximately 200 were targeted for inclusion in the program. The 200 targeted suppliers account for more than $50,000,000 of the company’s annual payments. Additionally, the company took advantage of VISA’s Supplier Enablement Service. Over a remarkably short three month period, VISA was able to recruit 55% of the company’s targeted suppliers resulting in $16,000,000 in payments through their VISA card program.  VISA did a great job of tracking, communicating, and paving the road for success. The benefits have been incredible! In addition to the rebate check, the company extended their Days Payable Outstanding.

With very little training, the company implemented the process to make the payments to those suppliers who agreed to accept card payments. The company creates a payment file, similar to a check or ACH file, out of their payables system. They send the file to VPA where a virtual card number is assigned to each payment.  VPA then sends each supplier a notification email with their specific payment information and a link to the VPA website to obtain the card number. The card payment can only be made for the specified payment amount, and it must be made within a certain number of days. A key part of the company’s success was due to the motivation of their Program Administrator to implement quickly and to carefully review and select certain initial suppliers.

The program is a complete success! The original estimate for the VPA program was $13,000,000 in annual payments. Not only has the estimate been exceeded, but there is also opportunity to attract more suppliers to the program.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact your Amegy Banker or Treasury Management Officer.


CAN YOUR COMPANY AFFORD TO LOSE $500,000?

  Clever criminals continue to invent new methods and employ old ones to
  perpetrate fraud. Simple and highly sophisticated fraud attempts can be
  equally effective.

  If you uncover fraud, immediately contact Treasury Management Client
  Services at 713-235-8805 (Houston), 214-754-9474 (Dallas),
  or 210-343-4419 (San Antonio).

  BE AWARE

  In a recent event, wire transfer payments of almost $500,000 were executed
  by a company based on an email purportedly from a company executive.
  The email address used by the fraudster had the letter "i" inserted in the
  middle of the company name; otherwise, the email looked like an email from the executive. The inserted “i” was subtle and overlooked. Although not sophisticated or highly technical, the attempt to defraud was successful.

BEST PRACTICE

Always verify the wire transfer requester and the requester’s authority to make the request. In your wire transfer process, include a call-back to or in-person verification of anyone requesting a wire transfer by way of email, fax, phone call, letter, or other vehicle. Use phone numbers that are on file – not ones provided by the requester.  

Do not make changes to phone numbers on company files without verifying who is requesting the change.

Along with call-back confirmation and dual approval of monetary transactions, Amegy Bank recommends installing Trusteer’s Rapport on each computer used to create and approve monetary transactions. Trusteer’s Rapport is complimentary software that provides an added layer of protection between your browser and your anti-virus software. It shields your online banking information from prying eyes and works with your anti-virus and firewall software to protect private information. It can be downloaded from the Security Center at amegybank.com.

TAKE PRECAUTIONS

Amegy Bank recommends that you use the following precautions to complement your fraud prevention policies and practices:

  • Regardless of how a transaction request is received (fax, email, letter, etc.), confirm transaction requests from colleagues by speaking with them on the phone or in person.
  • Verify all changes in wiring instructions using contact information on file. 
  • Ensure changes in phone numbers, addresses, account numbers, locations, etc. are verified in person or by phone using previously used contact information.  
  • Install Trusteer’s Rapport on each computer to add an extra layer of browser protection. It can be installed from amegybank.com.
  • Ensure your bank’s online money transfer systems require dual control (i.e., two users with separate login credentials to execute money transfers) on separate computers. Never log in to another user’s computer if instructed to do on an online screen.
  • Require two administrators (dual control) to set up and maintain users’ credentials on your online money transfer systems. A single administrator is able to set up fictitious users and build wire transfer templates.
  • Establish, review, and maintain transaction dollar limits for initiation, approval, and release of money transfers.
  • Require Token at Release for money transfers. This requires the use of an RSA Secure ID Token (or similar) code at payment release (submission) as well as at login.
  • Be aware of any differences in system screens and/or instructions. If screens or instructions change, contact the system's technical representative to verify the validity of the screen and/or instructions.
  • Install and maintain up-to-date anti-virus software and desktop firewalls to limit unauthorized access to your network.
  • Never leave your computer unlocked and unattended. Install screensaver timeouts.
  • Use dedicated computers for online banking. Do not use public or unsecured computers. Consider using dedicated computers with no email and web browsing allowed.
  • Use ACH Positive Pay. This product is also known as ACH Debit Block at some banks.
  • Reconcile accounts daily and review transactions for appropriateness.
  • Do not share login credentials with anyone.
  • Use strong passwords with at least eight characters that include a mixture of upper and lower cases as well as symbols and numbers. Protect your passwords and change them often.
  • Avoid using automatic login features that save usernames and passwords.
  • Take advantage of available alerts such as balances, transfers, password changes, and email address updates.
  • Delete online user IDs as soon as someone leaves your employment.
  • Do not open emails, file attachments, or web links from unknown sources as they could expose your system to malicious takeover.
  • Be suspicious of emails purporting to be from a financial institution.  
  • Do not respond to an email with your confidential information.
  • Use encryption for sending sensitive data.
  • Regularly review privacy policies and appropriate disposal methods of sensitive client information with employees to prevent employee malfeasance. Ensure secure disposal of computers and mobile devices.
  • Be aware of employees’ behavioral red flags like living beyond means, financial difficulties, unusually close association with vendor/client, or control issues (unwillingness to share duties or take vacations).
  • Implement an employee awareness program and establish a 24/7 ethics hotline for employees to anonymously report suspicious activity.
  • Reconcile accounts daily and review transactions for approval.
  • Employ safety features in your check stock.
  • Use Positive Pay with payee match.
  • Consider outsourcing your check issuance.
  • Consider using a purchasing card in lieu of check payments.
  • Disburse funds electronically.
  • Be aware of inappropriate web surfing activity and consider installing web-filtering software.
  • Notify your bank immediately if you suspect fraudulent activity.

Fraud is a valid concern for all of us, and protecting your assets is a priority for Amegy Bank. We value our relationship with you, so if we can be of service, please contact us at your convenience.  




SAVE THE DATE FOR 2015 EVENTS

TEXPO | April 19 - 21, 2015 | San Antonio, TX

Amegy Bank is a proud sponsor of TEXPO which is hosted by The Alliance of Texas Treasury Associations (ATTA). ATTA is dedicated to improving treasury management through education and communication.  Amegy bankers will be speaking during three different sessions. Please stop by our booth (501/503) in the exhibit hall. We will also host a dinner and dancing event on Sunday evening, April 19th, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. If you would like to attend, please email your Treasury Management Officer. 

For more information, visit: http://www.texpoconference.org/ 

Upcoming Amegy Bank Seminar | June 18, 2015 | Houston, TX

Mark your calendars to attend a lunch seminar on Thursday, June 18, 2015, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at The Junior League of Houston. Amegy Bank will continue to give you updates on relevant industry topics as well as tools that can be used to protect your company from fraud. More details to come.

Dates of seminars in Dallas and San Antonio will be announced soon.

Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) Conference | October 18 - 21, 2015 |
Denver, CO
The AFP Annual Conference brings together more than 6,500 treasury and finance professionals. Amegy Bank participates in the educational and networking events at this conference. This year the theme is “Solutions for a More Complex World.” Data is continually being generated at a speed never before possible. You have increasingly complex information about individuals, trends, transactions and countless others. Attend to see what connects all these new variables.

If you plan to attend, we encourage you to let your Treasury Management Officer or Amegy Banker know so we can include you in our Amegy Bank event communication.

For more information, visit: http://an15.afponline.org/

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