German relief agency chooses cashless payments

Citigroup’s cashless payment system increases the efficiency and transparency of the federal agency's payment mechanisms


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The Technical Relief Agency (Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk or THW) of the German government launched a pilot procurement project with Citigroup Global Transaction Services (GTS) in November aimed at increasing the efficiency and transparency of the federal agency's payment mechanisms.

In the pilot project, procurement cards will be issued to local relief workers in Solingen and Koblenz. The cards enable THW staff to purchase from local THW providers without using cash.

The project will start with 50 cards issued to selected THW staff at the agency's relevant local branches. The THW plans to maximize the number of cashless local purchases over the medium term.

Payment using a procurement card allows the agency to record purchases automatically and centrally analyze them. As a result, the THW expects to gain a better understanding of how budgeted money is spent locally with individual providers. The agency will be able to use these insights to negotiate better terms and conditions with providers.

In addition, the agency will reduce the time and money spent on holding cash in-house and will significantly reduce the number of invoices to be processed. If the pilot project is successful, the THW plans to roll out the solution to all 668 local branches in Germany.

"From our discussions with the THW, we quickly understood that transparency and efficiency were the key drivers for the THW," said Kate Pohl, Head of Citi GTS in Germany and Austria. "That is precisely what we will achieve with a procurement card program that was tailored to meet THW's requirements. In addition, the THW volunteers will be able to spend significantly less time on administrative cash management tasks and will be better able to concentrate on their core activities."