SAP Advanced Payment Management
S/4 HANA Advanced Payment Management (APM) is SAP’s new solution for centralized payment hubs. Released in 2019, this solution operates as a centralized payment channel, consolidating payment flows from multiple payment sources. This article will serve to introduce its functionality and benefits.
Whilst over the previous years, many corporates have endeavoured to move towards a single ERP system. There are many corporates who operate in a multi-ERP landscape and will continue to do so. This is particularly the case amongst corporates who have grown rapidly, potentially through acquisitions, or that operate across different business areas. SAP’s Central Finance caters for centralized financial reporting for these multi-ERP businesses. SAP’s APM similarly caters for businesses with a range of payment sources, centralizing into a single payment channel.
SAP APM acts as a central payment processing engine, connecting with SAP Bank Communication Management and Multi-Bank Connectivity for sending of external payment Instructions. For internal payments & payments-on-behalf-of, data is fed to SAP In-House Cash. Whilst at the same time, data is transmitted to S/4 HANA Cash Management to give centralized cash forecast data.
Figure 1 – SAP S/4 HANA Advanced Payment Management – Credit SAP
The framework of this product was built up as SAP Payment Engine, which is used for the processing of payment instructions at banking institutions. On this basis, it is a robust product, and will cater for the key requirements of corporate payment hubs, and much more beyond.
Building a business case
When building a business case for a centralized payment hub, it is important to look at the full range of the payment sources. This can include accounts payable/receivable (AP/AR) payments, but should also consider one-off (manual) payments, Treasury payments, as well as HR payments such as payroll. Whilst payroll is often outsourced, SAP APM can be a good opportunity to integrate payroll into a corporate’s own payment landscape (with the necessary controls of course!).
Using a centralized payment hub will help to reduce implementation time for new payment sources, which may be different ERPs. In particular, the ability of SAP APMs Input Manager to consume non-standard payment file formats helps to make this a smooth implementation process.
SAP APM applies a level of consistency across all payments and allows for a common payment control framework to be applied across the full range of payment sources.
A strength of the product is its flexible payment routing, which allows for payment routing to be adjusted according to the business need. This does not require specialist IT configuration or re-routing. It enables corporates to change their payment framework according to the need of the business, without the dependency on configuration and technology changes.
A central payment hub means no more direct bank integrations. This is particularly important for those businesses that operate in a multi-ERP environment, where the burden can be particularly heavy.
Lastly, as with most SAP products, this product benefits from native integration into modules that corporates may already be using. Payment data can be transferred directly into SAP In-House Cash using standard functionality in order to reflect intercompany positions. The richest level of data is presented to S/4 HANA Cash Management to provide accurate and up-to-date cash forecast data for Treasury front office.
SAP APM accommodates four different scenarios:
||Payment from one subsidiaries internal account to the internal account of another
||Payment to external party from the internal account of a subsidiary
|Payment in-name of
||Payment to external party from the external account of a subsidiary. The derivation of the external account is performed in APM.
|Payment in-name-of – forwarding only
||Payment to external party from the external account of a subsidiary. The external account is pre-determined in the incoming payment instruction.
A Working Example – Payment-on-behalf-of
An ERP sends a payment instruction to the APM system via iDoc. This is consumed by the input manager, creating a payment order that is ready to be processed.
Figure 3 – Creation of Incoming Payment Order in APM
The payment order will normally be automatically processed immediately upon receipt. First the enrichment & validation checks are executed, which validate the integrity of the payment Instruction.
The payment routing is then executed for each payment item, according to the source payment data. The Payment Routing importantly selects the appropriate house bank account for payment and can be used to determine the prioritization of payments, as well as the method of clearing.
In the case of a payment-on-behalf-of, an external route will be used for the credit payment item to the third party vendor, whilst an internal route will be used to update SAP In-House Cash for the intercompany position.
Figure 4 – Maintenance of Routes
Clearing can be executed in batches, via queues or individual processing. The internal clearing for the debit payment item must be executed into SAP In-House Cash in order to reflect the intercompany position built up. The internal clearing for the credit payment Item can be fed into the general ledger of the paying entity.
Figure 5 – Update of In-House Cash for Payment-On-Behalf or Internal Transfer Scenarios
Outgoing payment orders are created once the routing & clearing is completed. At this stage, any further enrichment & validation can be executed and the data will be delivered to the output manager. The output manager has native integration with SAP’s DMEE Payment Engine, which can be used to produce an ISO20022 payment instruction file.
Figure 6 – Payment Instruction in SAP Bank Communication Management
The outgoing payment instruction is now visible in the centralized payment status monitor in SAP Bank Communication Management.
The full processing status of the payment is visible in SAP APM, including the points of data transfer.
Figure 7 – SAP APM Process Flow
Introduction to Functionality
SAP APM is comprised of 4 key function areas:
- Input manager & output manager
- Enrichment and validation
- Transaction clearing
Figure 2 – SAP Advanced Payment Management Framework – Credit SAP
The input manager can flexibly import payment instruction data into APM. Standard converters exist for iDoc Payment Instructions (PEXR2002/PEXR2003 PAYEXT), ISO20022 (Pain.001.01.03) as well as for SWIFT MT101 messages. However, it is possible to configure new input formats that would cater for systems that may only be able to produce flat file formats.
Enrichment and Validation
Enrichment and validation can be used to perform integrity checks on payment items during the processing through APM. These checks could include checks for duplicate payment instructions. This feeds an initial set of data to S/4 HANA Cash Management (prior to routing) and can be used to return payment status messages (Pain.002) to the sending payment system.
Agreement-based routing is used to determine the selection of external accounts. This payment routing is highly flexible and permits the routing of payments according to criteria such as amounts and, beneficiary countries. The routing incorporates cut-off time logic and determines the priority of the payment as well as the sending bank account. This stage is not used for “forwarding-only” scenarios, where there is no requirement to determine the subsidiaries house bank account in the APM platform.
Clearing involves the sending of payment data after routing to S/4 HANA Cash Management, in-house cash and onto the general ledger. According to selected route, payments can be cleared individually, or grouped into batches.
Further enrichment & validation can be performed, and external payments are routed via the output manager, which can re-use DMEE payment engines to produce payment files. These payment files can be monitored in SAP Bank Communication Management and delivered to the bank via SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity.