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Saturday October 1st, 2022

The all new Union Bank BizDirect + provides expert tools for liquidity management

Asanka Ranhotty, VP Transaction Banking and SME at Union Bank.


Fundamentally, good cash management is at the heart of a successful business. Having access to a technologically advanced, automated cash management system enables businesses to see and manage their liquidity position with clarity. This is equally true whether the businesses are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), or larger corporates.

In many countries, cheque books have become a thing of the past and younger generations no longer carry cash, even to pay for small ticket items like bus transport. Yet in Sri Lanka where cash remains king, effective cash management is underutilized. BizDirect is the revolutionary transaction banking system from Union Bank that aims to change this by putting absolute control over business operations at your fingertips. In 2014, Union Bank was the first Sri Lankan bank to launch a cash management system. Together, SMEs and Corporate account for over 50% of Union Bank’s revenue and the bank has invested extensively in creating a system to support these businesses and help them reach the next level of success. Just over five years after its initial launch, in January 2020 the bank proudly rolled out its newly-enhanced and updated BizDirect+ platform.

Asanka Ranhotty, Vice President (VP) Transaction Banking and SME at Union Bank explains how BizDirect is a real time technological value addition that allows business owners to make quality decisions with ease. “Unlike plug and play systems offered by other providers, BizDirect’s highly customisable platform means that the customer has complete control over collections and the timing of payments.”

By creating a product with such flexibility, Union Bank is equipping business owners with the tools to succeed on their own terms, and at their own time. Convenience and customisability are at the heart of the system. Documents required for processing can be uploaded online instantly, removing the need to send them separately, a time consuming task that causes unnecessary delays. Cheques can be printed automatically by the Bank and delivered either to the BizDirect user or to their customer. Using providers approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, cash and cheques can be collected directly from the business, and cash delivered back to the business as required. Reconciliations are automatic, allowing you to know at any time the positions of your cash flows.

Union Bank knows that business today is done on the go, that’s why payments can be approved online or via mobile for maximum convenience and efficiency. All these value additions from BizDirect free up precious management time that can be focussed on the growth of the business.

The automated BizDirect cash management system covers the full working cash cycle of collections, payments, liquidity management, reporting and reconciliation. At every stage real-time data is available, meaning customers can collect cash on time and maximise on the investment opportunities for their fund balances. The automation, online documentation and real-time data means opportunities for fraud are minimised. The system includes the latest security enhancements, including utilising biometric technology.

The system is web-based and integrates with existing accounting platforms on a host-to-host (H2H) basis. There is no hardware to install or lengthy set-up process. After implementation, the benefits can be seen overnight. Training and ongoing support are provided by Union Bank’s dedicated team who are passionate about improving access and sharing their expert knowledge of the cash management system.

BizDirect provides extensive functionality comparable to internationally available solutions at an affordable rate. BizDirect is available to both SMEs and corporates, enabling faster and more accurate decision making, to all sizes of businesses. The easy to use functionality enables your business to collect cash in a timely manner and retain it for a maximum period of time while at the same time improving relationships with suppliers through efficient and on time payments.

The customised, automated cash management solution enables corporates to further enhance their working capital cycle management capabilities. Clear visibility on liquidity management means overnight investment opportunities can be maximised. For SMEs, BizDirect is helping them to grow and evolve into larger companies of the future.

“A lot of small businesses still lack proper record keeping and this is detrimental to their success. By using BizDirect, they can track what is happening on both sides of their operations – collections and payments – and automate many routine transactions, giving them greater freedom to focus on growing their business,” said Ranhotty.

At present, approximately 40% of BizDirect’s customers are SMEs, but Ranhotty looks forward to this share growing to over 60% within three years. “SMEs that can identify their niche markets have exponential potential to succeed – these are the companies that are going to be Sri Lanka’s next corporate giants.”