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The Importance of Cybersecurity Training for Bank Employees

The Rising Risk of Cybercrime in the Supply Chain bank

The Importance of Cybersecurity Training for Bank Employees


In today’s digital age, where technology is integral to the functioning of financial institutions, the importance of cybersecurity training for bank employees cannot be overstated. As banks increasingly rely on technology to provide services and manage customer data, they become attractive targets for cybercriminals. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of cybersecurity training and how it helps safeguard the sensitive information entrusted to banks.

Understanding Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity threats have become more sophisticated over the years. From phishing attacks to ransomware and data breaches, banks face a myriad of threats that can have severe consequences. It’s essential for employees to be aware of these threats and how to counteract them.

The Vulnerability of Banks

Banks store vast amounts of sensitive information, including financial data and personal customer details. This makes them a prime target for cyberattacks. Without proper cybersecurity measures and a trained workforce, banks risk exposing their customers to financial losses and identity theft.

Benefits of Cybersecurity Training

1. Enhanced Security Awareness

Cybersecurity training increases employees’ awareness of potential threats and how to identify them, making them more vigilant.

2. Effective Response

Training equips employees with the skills to respond effectively in the event of a security breach, minimizing damage.

3. Reduced Risk

A well-trained workforce is less likely to fall victim to cyberattacks, reducing the bank’s overall risk.

The Role of Bank Employees

Bank employees play a crucial role in safeguarding the institution’s digital assets and customer data. Their daily actions can either enhance or undermine the bank’s cybersecurity posture.

Elements of Effective Training

Effective cybersecurity training program involves a combination of theory and practical exercises. Employees should be well-versed in security protocols, and regular drills should be conducted to ensure readiness for real-world situations.

Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Regulatory bodies often require banks to meet specific cybersecurity standards. Proper training not only helps meet compliance but also ensures that the bank’s reputation remains intact.

Real-World Case Studies

Analyzing real-world case studies of cyberattacks on banks can serve as a powerful teaching tool. It helps employees understand the consequences of inadequate cybersecurity measures.

The Cost of Inadequate Training

The financial implications of a data breach can be catastrophic for a bank. Cybersecurity training is a proactive investment that pales in comparison to the potential losses from a security incident.

Cybersecurity Training Best Practices

A combination of continuous training, simulated attacks, and regular updates on emerging threats should form the basis of cybersecurity training best practices.

The Human Factor in Cybersecurity

Employees are often the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity. Cybersecurity training addresses this by making employees the first line of defense against attacks.

Staying Ahead of Evolving Threats

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, with new threats emerging regularly. Ongoing training ensures that bank employees stay ahead of these threats.

The Return on Investment

Effective cybersecurity training is not just a cost; it’s an investment. The money saved from preventing a data breach far outweighs the training costs.

Building a Security-Centric Culture

An organization that prioritizes cybersecurity training fosters a culture of security awareness, making it an integral part of daily operations.


The importance of cybersecurity training for bank employees cannot be emphasized enough. It is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s technology-driven banking sector. With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, safeguarding sensitive customer data and the financial well-being of the bank itself depends on the knowledge and vigilance of its employees.




It is strange to think that there had been an optimistic outlook for global trade ahead of 2020. Circle back to the end of 2019, and that was the case, with global recovery expected off the back of a sluggish year.

The COVID-19 pandemic, described by IHS Markit as the largest black swan event since The Second World War, quickly dashed any chance of such a rebound being realized. Instead, lockdowns, restricted movement across borders and sweeping economic and social uncertainty—coupled with uncertain U.S. trade policies, Brexit and other external factors—saw 2020 become a year like no other.

Indeed, global trade was forced to adapt and continued to serve as a vital lifeline that helped to keep supply chains flowing and boost confidence wherever possible.

Banks played a vital role. They accelerated digitization strategies, with technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence further coming to the fore over the past 12 months. As ever, they altered their offerings, and each became more or less attractive to those corporations partaking in global trade. 

Here, we reflect on these offerings and rank the top 10 banks for global trade in 2021. 

The banks in this list are not acclaimed based on the volume or value of transactions. Rather, they have been recognized owing to their commitment to service–through innovation, targeted solutions and meeting the specific cross-border trade needs of those corporations that they serve.

Size and stature do not always equal best-in-class. Many of the banks listed here are indeed major players, but we have focused on those institutions harboring some of the key qualities to look for when selecting a provider.

A series of different criteria have factored into this, including:

-Competitive advantages


-Product and service innovation

-Financial robustness and security

-Knowledge of local requirements and conditions

-Customer satisfaction

-ESG compliance


Citi is globally renowned, currently operating in more than 90 markets and transacting in over 130 currencies. 

The company prides itself on a knowledge and understanding of local markets–a skillset that is particularly useful to those embarking on expansion across borders or looking to ramp up trade activities in new countries. It tailors its services to each region and country rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Citi is also a key figure in driving global industry technological transformation. Its digital toolkit comprises key connectivity solutions such as integrated APIs (application programming interfaces), and it has also positioned itself as leading innovator in the usage of blockchain. 


Where global trade is mentioned, HSBC is never too far behind. The bank recently took the top spot in Euromoney’s Trade Finance Survey for a fourth year running, testament to its ongoing investments into further financial skills, digital capabilities, and product innovation. 

The bank actively positions itself as a thought leader with the publication of key export insight reports, while its Trade Forecast Tool imparts crucial short- and long-term knowledge on prospects in key markets whilst prioritizing user-experience. 

Its services include a renowned Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee Program alongside currency exchange, documentary collections, export collections, FX trading, trade credit insurance and more. 


UniCredit offers a wide variety of global trade finance services including global securities services, export finance, internet banking and transactional sales via its Global Transaction Banking business. Despite being built on a network of more than 4,000 key banking relationships that span 175 territories globally, the bank primarily caters to its core customer base in 14 core Central and Eastern European markets alongside 18 other countries worldwide.

The firm is renowned for its innovative attitudes toward product development including its award-winning Trade Finance Gate client portal, and market leading customer service. 

Deutsche Bank

With 130 years under its belt, Deutsche Bank is one the most experienced providers of finance for global trade. Its integrated global network spans 80 locations in 40 countries, its primary area of expertise being the navigation and management the risks associated with import, export and domestic trade transactions. 

The company has a strong presence in key emerging markets spanning Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. Here, it imparts key services including advisory and distribution services, documentary collection, documentary remittances, financial supply chain solutions, letters of credit, standard remittances, structured commodity trade finance, syndicated trade loans and trade receivables finance.

Standard Bank

Plaudits can be paid to South African figurehead Standard Bank in the realm of technological innovation. The firm leverages APIs to connect its internal systems with those of its clients. As a result, approximately 80 percent of its issuance procedures for lines of credit and guarantees are automated, with average execution time of just one minute.

The company excels in trade document management. Its core services include trade finance open account and supply chain solutions, documentary trade finance and international payments, and it’s also working closely on product development with fintech partner Traydstream.

Santander Group

Santander has positioned itself as a leading light on environmental, social and corporate governance, and is a truly valuable player in the global trade community. During the pandemic, the company sought to deliver solutions that would dampen economic hardships by addressing the needs of the individual countries in which it operates, offering financial assistance to SMEs that reached a peak of $1.2 billion daily between April and May 2020.

The company also reacted dutifully in other ways, namely through the development and deliverance of various digitization projects that prioritized public health. 

ING Group

With its 57,000 employees serving 39.3 million customers, corporate clients and financial institutions in more than 40 countries, the vast majority of ING’s business is conducted in European markets. The company offers an array of international payments, cash management and trade finance services including letters of credit, documentary collections and guarantees.

ING Group is an initiating member and key investor in Contour–a trade finance project seeking to transform the status quo through the deployment of blockchain-based technologies. 

Bank of America

As the name would suggest, Bank of America remains a stalwart and fan favorite serving the North American market. During the pandemic, the firm introduced its Intelligent Treasury Roadmap–an initiative built to optimize client treasury operations and working capital.

Through operational simplification and ongoing advisory expertise, the bank’s Global Transaction Services team was able to successfully help clients mitigate risk and detect and manage fraud during what was both a turbulent and opportunistic period.

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas remains one of the top trade finance banks globally, operating more than 100 dedicated trade centers in 60 countries. Among its core specialties are the bank’s export and import services and solutions built to optimize cash conversion cycles.

The firm primarily prides itself on imparting key knowledge and expertise. Its network of 350 trade finance experts is readily leveraged to provide tailored training programs based on the location and requirements of individual client companies.


Commerzbank’s headline figures include 50 billion pounds in trades spanning 150 markets and 50 currencies annually. Albeit an established player with a 150-year legacy, the firm has proactively invested in new technologies including that of blockchain. 

To this end, 2020 saw the company mastermind the first Turkish-German trade finance transaction of the Marco Polo blockchain network alongside Isbank.


8 Ways your AP Process Leaks Spend – and How AI can Prevent it

Today’s companies put huge efforts into negotiating the best terms with their suppliers. Procurement teams regularly spend weeks or months going back and forth on contract terms and volume discounts to get the most bang for their buck.

Too often, these savings aren’t realized. Suppliers may ignore the negotiated terms when invoicing, and AP teams, faced with a deluge of invoices and limited time to get payments out the door, only sample select transactions and only do basic 2 or 3 way matching of volume and price. This inevitably means costly invoice problems fall through the cracks — from mismatched invoice and contract terms, to unapplied discounts, to completely bogus charges, and more.

Optimizing your AP process may seem like a big undertaking, but it’s much easier than it might seem, and worth the effort. According to The International Association of Contracts and Commercial Management (IACCM), companies that work to improve controls over invoice payment will see a return of more than 4 percent of invoice value.

Even if you’re ready to improve your AP process, one pesky question remains: How do you actually do it? Once upon a time, it would have been necessary to hire more people to check every transaction. But today, technology can provide a crucial and cost-effective assist for overstretched AP teams.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more common in business contexts. Nearly 90 percent of companies planned to increase AI spend in 2019, according to a Deloitte survey. However, the idea of actually using AI may feel a little unrealistic for some. While more and more corporations are automating AP processes, 30 percent of businesses still rely on manual invoice processing, according to The Institute of Finance and Management.

If you’ve already implemented other technologies in your workflow, AI can fit in seamlessly. AI-powered spend automation software integrates with existing expense management, invoice automation, contract management, and ERP systems to augment rather than disrupt your status quo.

8 common (and costly) invoice problems

Here are just a few of the problems AI-powered solutions can help your team avoid during the spend audit process:

1. Fraudulent invoices: When it comes to invoice fraud, if you can dream it, chances are fraudsters have tried it: From inflated invoices, to completely made-up charges, to shell companies, to vendor impersonation, and more.

Too often, the calls are coming from inside the house. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) found that occupational fraud (fraud committed by employees against employers) resulted in more than $7 billion in total losses in 2018. AI systems with a compliance component can spot risk factors commonly associated with fraud so your team has a chance to review these invoices manually before they’re paid out.

2. Duplicate invoices: Up to two percent of the average company’s invoices a duplicates, according to AuditNet. This may seem like a relatively small number, but for businesses doling out millions or billions on business activities, the figure is far from trivial.

Some vendors might double up charges on purpose, but often duplicate invoices are mistakes (after all, your vendors’ finance teams are overworked too). While some invoice automation systems try to catch these double charges, they usually only succeed if the invoices are labeled with the same number or have the exact same total — which isn’t always the case, particularly if there’s someone scheming behind the scenes.

3. Missing discounts: You fought hard for volume discounts, but how often are you checking invoices to make sure they’re applied? AI-based systems can often  compare contract and invoice terms automatically to make sure you’re not missing out on early payment, loyalty, or quantity discounts. You’ll be notified of any missing discounts so you can remedy the situation before you pay. In the case of early payment discounts, this software notifies you that the invoice should be prioritized to get payment out in ample time.

 4. Mismatched service levels: You signed up for the standard package, but you’re being charged for the premium offering. This type of mismatch is all too easy to overlook amid your monthly deluge of invoices.

The correct AI solution can compare agreed-upon service levels in your contract with every invoice you receive to make sure that this type of costly problem doesn’t fly under the radar. When it comes to physical items, it can ensure you receive all the items you’re being billed for before you pay, by double-checking shipping documents against inventory systems.

5. Double payments: Double payments can happen as a result of vendors submitting duplicate invoices, but the problem can also originate from your own team. Accounting systems hold up an invoice for all sorts of reasons, e.g., it requires further approval or it failed a match. In many cases, an employee might intervene to get the invoice paid manually (to meet a deadline or because they’re being pestered by a supplier or don’t want to damage a relationship). Meanwhile, the invoice is still in your system and when the hold is later cleared up, it’s processed and paid… again.

This is another one of those sources of spend leakage that most companies never become aware of. AI-powered systems constantly cross-check invoices and payments and flag any duplicate payments before you send them out, so the money never leaves the front door.

6. Exorbitant pricing: It can be difficult and time-consuming to keep track of the market rate for all the various services and products your business requires. AI can regularly compare your current costs to thousands of other sources to determine whether your invoices reflect the market rate for the goods or services provided. It can also flag individual invoices where your price exceeds the market rate.

Knowledge is power, and this information helps your business negotiate more effectively with existing suppliers or look to new ones if there’s an opportunity for cost savings without sacrificing quality.

7. Unsatisfactory work activity: When it comes to hiring contractors, there are situations when it’s particularly difficult to understand and assess whether they’re fulfilling their agreed-upon duties, like professional and IT services. AI-based tools can ingest nearly unlimited data to build a profile of what comprises satisfactory work activity — e.g., regular activity in Slack or over email — and highlight changes in the typical patterns. This helps you verify that you’re paying contractors fairly for the work product they’re providing.

8. Overpaying for software: Are you licensed for seven software seats, but only using three? It’s not uncommon for organizations to overpay for software licenses without ever realizing it. AI-based software keeps tabs on your organization’s software usage and compare it to the charges on your monthly invoices to help alert you to savings opportunities.

How AI can help

Implementing a best-in-class AI solution can support a consistent process and add an additional layer of scrutiny. These solutions make it possible to audit 100% of invoice spend prior to payment, automatically and near-instantaneously checking every invoice in your system for risk factors before they’re paid, and flagging the highest risk items for your team to review. This will help your team get ahead of problems and potential leakage, rather than try to recover it afterwards.

Below are the critical requirements for considering an AI solution for AP spend management:

1. Audit 100%, prepayment. Automatically audit 100% of invoices before reimbursement with AI.

2. Understand documents. Instantly scan every line of every invoice to understand charges and track the correct spend category.

3. Enrich with intelligence. Check online sources to identify better prices for similar goods and services.

4. Assess and refine risk. Flag suspicious addresses or billing changes to avoid fraud. Spot duplicate charges from other invoices, other invoice systems, or from expenses.

5. Streamline process. Integrate into your existing AP automation system to audit every invoice in real time to spot errors, waste, and fraud.


The best AI software can help your team regain control over your spend by checking every single transaction to identify high-risk invoices in your pipeline — saving time, streamlining processes, and ultimately reducing spend leakage.

If your AP team’s efforts to find problematic spend feels neverending, you’re not alone — but it doesn’t have to be that way. AI has changed the paradigm for modern finance teams, giving them greater visibility into their AP process and the time they need to address the highest risk issues. Not only can AI transform the way finance teams operate, it also saves them business money by spotting problems consistently and before invoices are paid. By implementing a leading AI solution, your team can audit 100% of spend, make sure that every invoice complies with its contract terms, and ensure you’re receiving every savings opportunity you’re entitled to — all while paying your bills on time.


Anant Kale founded AppZen in 2012 to bring AI into back offices around the world. As CEO he is responsible for the product vision and execution of the company’s broad mission. Previously he was the VP of Applications at Fujitsu America from 2009-2012, responsible for product management, and delivery of Fujitsu’s applications and infrastructure for enterprise. He has 15+ years of experience in software development. He has an MBA and a BS in Finance and Engineering from Mumbai University.

cryptocurrency wallet

What is Cryptocurrency? Is It Accepted Globally?

Money is an ancient technology and is almost as old as language itself. Back in the day, before the introduction of money, all transactions were done with the barter system as products and services were not quite complex. For instance, a farmer who grew vegetables could exchange a reasonable quantity of it with wool from a Shepard. With the introduction of precious metal coins as currency, the barter system eventually faded out, and so did precious metal coins with the adoption of paper currency notes. With the advent of new technology, the older systems phase out giving way for new ones.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is based on a network that uses strong cryptographic encryption techniques for carrying out secure financial transactions and is distributed across a large number of computers. Most cryptocurrencies employ decentralized networks based on blockchain technology which means every new block generated must be verified by each node before being confirmed. Simply put, a cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that is secured by nearly impossible to counterfeit cryptography.

Besides being the most secure way to conduct a transaction, it also happens to attract the lowest transaction costs, the prime reason for which is its decentralized system. Unlike conventional centralized systems used by banks, cryptocurrencies make use of each of the nodes to confirm the transaction. The conventional system can also be referred to as master-slave architecture in which the bank is the center of power, hence the master and all users are slaves whereas, in decentralized cryptocurrencies, each node is equipped with equal access to all financial services.

We humans are not exactly fond of change though. Despite the benefits of using a newer system, mass adoption takes a while. Did you know that until 1933, each dollar could be redeemed in gold? Did you know all Americans were required to turn in their gold on or before May 1, 1933, to the Federal Reserve in return for $20.67 of paper money per troy ounce? Yes, it was made illegal to own and trade gold by Executive Order 6102 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt whereas the gold standard was suspended in Britain on September 21, 1931. Many speculate that a similar blow from the government could happen anytime in the future since fiat currencies that are controlled by the government. Cryptocurrencies are global and will not be affected by decisions made by the government of one country or the other.

Currently, there are several thousand cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are the most popular ones. Check out this infographic by Total Processing to learn more about other advantages of cryptocurrencies.

Click here for a full-size image.



This infographic originally appeared on Republished with permission.

5 Trends Changing Business Payments in 2019

Suddenly, business payments are hot. 

I’d say there’s a growing level of understanding of the space and a feeling that B2B payments are starting to come of age. That is good news for customers, considering decades have passed since there was innovation in this space.

Here are 5 trends for business payments in 2019:

B2B payments innovation has begun

Many of the people who wanted to meet me were venture capitalists and private equity partners. B2B payments is a very, very large market—36 trillion in payment volume—versus about three billion for consumer payments. Most business customers are still paying with paper checks. This has always been an interesting category because it’s so big, and so far behind in digitization. Now, as the consumer payments technology market is becoming saturated, B2B payments have captured the attention of the investment community. There are a lot of new investments happening, so look for offerings related to B2B payments in the next few years.

Payments as a backbone

Vendor payments are tied to a lot of other processes. Once you digitize payments, it opens up opportunities with procure to pay, dynamic discounting, supply chain financing, and lending to name a few. For example, we’ve already seen Uber experiment with making auto loans to its drivers and taking the loan payments directly out of their pay. Companies should look to digitize payments with an eye to efficiency and cost savings now, and as a springboard into other innovation opportunities down the road.

Full payments automation

The first wave of new entrants in B2B payments has already hit the market, and many of their value propositions sound the same—cloud, simple, automated. But, not all of them are really in the cloud, simple, or automating the whole process. B2B payments have long been plagued by partial automation, and that’s a big reason why so many businesses are still stuck on checks. Cards and ACH make the transfer of funds electronic, but they also introduce new manual processes for file preparation, reconciliation, and vendor enablement. New, truly automated solutions can handle every part of the process. The person in accounts payable should only have to select the bills they want to pay and click the “pay” button. Buyers need to look past the marketing language and check under the hood.

Banks embrace fintechs

Five years ago, the relationship between fintechs and banks was adversarial. There was a lot of talk about fintechs using technology to take over different aspects of banking and to do it faster, cheaper and better. Over the past 18 months or so, we’ve seen the conversation shift. There is a growing recognition that banks and fintechs have very different strengths and that they will be stronger together. Bank and fintech relationships are now starting to form. Examples include’s relationship with JPMorgan Chase. The idea is to bring’s solution to small businesses through the bank channel. Chase’s recent acquisition of WePay provides an application for three-party payments for platforms such as ConstantContact and GoFundMe. This is just the tip of the iceberg; we will see many more partnerships and acquisitions in 2019.

Blockchain is still a technology to watch

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin, is still very much part of the conversation. This is the only technology that truly has the potential to change banking and finance as we know it, providing a new set of instantaneous, decentralized, global payment rails. Banks and fintechs such as Ripple and Earthport are collaborating and getting traction, demonstrating they have a value proposition. But, if banks find ways to control it, it may end up being a better experience, but it won’t be any less expensive than current options.

All of these developments are great news for customers because the market is picking up speed and companies will have a lot more choices than in the past. B2B payments are far more complex than consumer payments, and there’s next to no technological innovation applied to them until very recently. Companies have lived with the status quo for decades. That is all about to change.

As fintechs encroach on core bank activities like lending and payments, banks are going to step up their game by either improving their own services or teaming up with the innovators. 

Karla is Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder, and member of the Board of Directors at Nvoicepay. She has 20 years of experience in management, finance, and marketing roles in both large and early stage companies. Along with the founding team, she has grown Nvoicepay into a leading B2B payment network