The next step in managing currency risk

With the Absa Access Mobile app, companies can manage their currency risk on the go, explains Aphile Molefe of Absa CIB.

Article by Aphile Molefe, eFX SA sales manager at Absa CIB.

We have never been so mobile or connected. According to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the country’s smartphone penetration reached 91.2% in 2019. The country’s 53.4 million smartphone subscriptions were just below the total population of 58 , 8 million – which means that according to ICASA 2020 The State of According to the South Africa ICT Sector Report, almost all South Africans now have (or have access to) a smartphone connected to the internet .

The implications for business are profound. “We all spend more time on our smartphones,” says Aphile Molefe, eFX SA sales manager at Absa CIB. “This is where we do our work and how we get our news. Think about it: the only thing you take with you everywhere is your smartphone.

Staying ahead of this curve, Absa CIB has launched an FX feature in its new Absa Access Mobile application. For the first time in South Africa, this capability allows business users to manage their currency risk through currency orders – directly from their smartphones.

Manage effects live, on the go

“It takes corporate banking to the next level,” explains Molefe. “Historically, businesses have been digitally underserved when it comes to their banking needs. People tended to assume that because businesses were run from offices there would be teams of people sitting at desks filling out forms all day – so there was no need to worry about them. provide digital services. But we know the world has come a long way since that. Businesses now need a digital solution to reserve their currencies and make payments, and it needs to be mobile.

For fast-moving businesses, the benefits of mobile apps are obvious. The old model of calling an FX dealer and giving inquiries and instructions over the phone just doesn’t work anymore. Dealers respect office hours, unlike global companies. Exchange rates change per second; if you are not always active, you cannot follow the market.

“The new currency exchange solution on the Absa Access Mobile application allows business customers to view prices directly on their smartphone,” explains Molefe. “They can also place and manage their foreign exchange orders, which means giving instructions to the bank to trade on their behalf if the market hits a certain level.”

For example, if the rand is trading at R15 against the US dollar, trading clients can issue a standing order – through their smartphone – to buy dollars when that exchange rate reaches R14. “You can handle this instruction by changing the level (” Please buy for me when the level reaches R13 “) or the amount (” Instead of buying $ 10,000, I would like to buy $ 30,000), “says Molefe.

These orders can also be canceled at any time, and access to the application is secured by unique identifiers (unique username, strong password) and biometric identifiers.

Develop new capacities

Managing FX orders is only the first step in the evolution of mobile. Molefe says that Absa Access Mobile will soon expand to include outright currency execution as well. “Here, business customers will be able to reserve a seat in advance and see all transactions live in the mobile app,” Molefe said.

“For post-trade requirements, we are also considering introducing approvals for payments. Because every foreign exchange transaction must be settled, companies will buy foreign currency and instruct the foreign supplier to pay in that currency. This instruction may require internal approval, so we are looking to introduce this functionality as well. “

Innovation will inevitably be based on innovation. For now, Molefe is excited to bring this new technology to market in Africa.

“This app-based feature is for anyone who wants to be able to manage their company’s currency risk wherever they are, as easily as possible, on a device they always have with them,” says- he.

“We all use connected mobile devices for many aspects of our lives: our banking, our grocery shopping, even taking the elevator somewhere. It’s only natural that something as important as managing our currency risk – and all aspects of our business banking – is also available on a mobile platform.

The Absa Access Mobile app, with FX management, is now available for iOS and Android. Please contact the Absa Access support team for more installation details.

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