Be digital, be flexible: The key to supporting supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic - Transactions & Technology -
Corporate Statement
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Jan Kupfer, member of the management board of UniCredit Bank AG and deputy head of CIB UniCredit Group, outlines the measures UniCredit has taken to support its business clients and keep supply chains liquid since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kupfer

Jan Kupfer, member of the management board of UniCredit Bank AG and deputy head of CIB UniCredit Group

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed supply chain finance (SCF) into the limelight, taking its toll on the global economy and restricting liquidity for businesses of all sizes.

As soon as the situation crystallised, we offered immediate support to our clients and their suppliers, facing increased demand for tailored solutions. In March, we initiated three programmes to help clients in the retail and medical sector to accelerate payments to their suppliers and quickly channel liquidity down their supply chains. These programmes have proven crucial in enabling clients to cover their costs while revenues are down, ensuring they remain healthy, and continue providing critical goods and services.

Our ability to react and adapt to such circumstances stems from our unique holistic approach to SCF, which is based on understanding our clients’ individual objectives and challenges and offering the bank’s broad range of tailored digital applications. As a consequence, our clients have all the tools they need to react quickly and effectively in an uncertain economic environment.

Remote working has of course posed new challenges. Our proprietary digital SCF platform provides a firm foundation, enabling clients to quickly set up solutions online. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past year, we have built on this by adding support for digital dynamic discounting through our partnership with FinDynamic, an Italian fintech. The tool enables clients to review their invoices through a web-based or mobile platform and select approved invoices for early payment, providing users with the ability to safely and efficiently optimise their financial resources.

We have also consolidated our offering through a partnership with San-Francisco-based SCF specialist Taulia, resulting in the ability to support a greater number of suppliers in a wider range of geographies. This partnership enables users to switch seamlessly between bank-funded (SCF) solutions and self-funded (dynamic discounting) early payment programmes, such that clients can quickly change their strategies according to their individual situation.

In what has certainly been a challenging year, we are proud of the work we have carried out on behalf of our clients in order to keep businesses running and supply chains liquid. We are grateful to have been named The Banker’s 'Best Bank for Supply Chain Finance' — proof of our ability to both deal with complex and unexpected challenges as well as our commitment to developing innovative and efficient solutions to meet our clients’ changing needs.

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