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For Volvo Cars’ customers, the payment is an experience

INTERVIEW | As today’s consumers make buying decisions, they see their preferred payment option as an important feature of the product – even when they buy a car. Treasury 360° spoke with Volvo Cars’ Anna Ehrenborg about the growing need for alignment between treasury and business, all to support the consumer experience. On 9 June, meet Anna in the mid-day tech track.

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“As a merchant, you may want to look for a global provider of con­sumer payments services, to keep the number of suppliers down. But the customers will demand that you are locally relevant, offering the methods that they are accustomed to. It is a challenge to iden­tify the suppliers who can provide what is required,” says Anna Ehrenborg, senior cash manager for consumer payments at Volvo Cars.

“And the further down the genera­tions you get, the more they go ‘this is how I always pay’.”

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And it must be smooth. If you have a cumbersome process, you lose the customer at the payment stage.

Getting closer to the consumer

On Thursday 9 June, Anna Ehrenborg will be one of over 30 speakers at the Treasury 360° Nordic conference at Copenhagen Airport. She takes part in a panel about the rapid changes on many fronts in the global payments landscape.

On her area, consumer payments, the emergence of subscription models such as “Care by Volvo” to replace the tradi­tional one­-off car purchase, is only one example of how the line between corporate cash management and product develop­ment is blurred.

Volvo Cars is currently on a journey towards more direct sales to consumers, and that is where Anna Ehrenborg has her professional focus.

“Treasury’s responsibility is not the consumer experience as such, but we are involved with the setup behind it and which payment methods people want in different countries. Which providers should we have, and what agreements should we have with them? Then of course how fast we receive the money and what we do with it next, and the different risks along the way, such as chargebacks or cancellations.”

Reflects back on organisation

With payments becoming faster and more flexible, Anna Ehrenborg senses that cor­porations also approach them in increas­ingly agile ways.

“Many corporations have a rather large, dedicated payments department, well experienced in working towards consumers. Companies which have started their end­-consumer sales more recently, though, may tend to go for something of a hybrid treasury and digital finance office, working more closely also with the digital function that builds the consumer front end,” says Anna Ehrenborg.

Banks adapt, too

She sees this merging of finance and consumer perspectives reflected also in how financial services providers work these days

“Increasingly, you see the traditional banks add on a consumer­ facing ‘fintech’ leg. It used to be more separate, with banks doing the FX and cash pools, while the fintechs would deal with the consumer payments. But now, with changes like the open banking directive, big banks are seeing that they need to grow in this area. As these areas grow into each other, it is important that the treasury is involved.”


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