In the warm and blossoming season of spring, things are getting better for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in China. For companies, the storming challenge came as an acid test in terms of the ability to respond, adapt and come back fast. As a result, within each company, well-functioning remote collaboration, efficient operations and cash management become critically needed. HSBC’s green channel and smarter banking solutions are designed to help corporates keep their business running as usual in remote work and maintain frictionless financial activities in an efficient way.
Smarter Banking Empowers an Innovative Company to Upgrade Its Business Model
Faced with the need for online health services during the epidemic, many emerging companies, especially those providing internet-based health services, began to proactively explore online opportunities. Among them is a company called Shanzhen.
When the epidemic initially broke out, this 5-year-old internet-based health service provider immediately launched its online anti-coronavirus services in cooperation with medical experts across China. So far, they’ve provided over 100,000 families with professional health counselling. At a time when most companies are challenged by difficulty in resuming their business activities in a safe manner, Shanzhen rolled out one-stop corporate solutions that are designed to help business owners and HRs with their anti-viral efforts for resumption of work and production. As of now, over 200,000 employees across more than 150 companies have benefited from such services.
Founder and CEO of Shanzhen
We've done our best to serve our clients in these uncommon times and, in doing so, made our own contribution to the fight against coronavirus. We have been able to quickly respond soon after the outbreak thanks to our long-established professional capabilities and highly efficient team work, as much as the staunch support from many of our partners. In particular, we’ve been able to manage our finance in a swift and seamless manner powered by HSBC’s H2H solution. It fulfilled our need for remote management of finance and high volumes of payment. With support from its financial service partner, Shanzhen will be able to continue upgrade its service capabilities and quality, and expand its business scope of health services to cover multiple touch points and all scenarios in a bid to provide comprehensive health management solutions for individuals, families and businesses.
Dual Payment Solutions Driving Faster Ramp-up of Medical Supply Production
"Our warehouse is empty now!"said Ansell, medical supply MNC officially approved by the Chinese government as one of the designated protective suit brands for procurement. At the peak of the epidemic in China, not only Ansell’s China warehouse was exhausted, but the company had to air-freight in inventories from other warehouses around the world. During the Chinese New Year holiday, their Xiaman plant already started to take emergency measures by summoning 200 workers back to the facility for around-the-clock production.
However, this is still far from enough. With the coronavirus fallout unfolding globally, countries begin to see spiking demand for protective gear, in particular sophisticated protective suits for frontline health workers. That leads to the question of whether China’s medical supplies can continue to support international needs while having to cater its own. According to Magic Tian, Director, APAC Regional Sales, Asia, besides bringing in inventories from other regions and running production on its full capacity, the company already developed its emergency ramp-up plan early on and, with support from HSBC, completed a series of overseas procurement at a speedy pace.
At that time, Ansell’s management raised a request for a faster-than-usual procurement solution that can expedite the purchasing process and customs clearance so that the acquired equipment, raw materials and finished goods can come in faster.
When HSBC Xiamen Branch learned about the request, the Bank immediately organized its product team and operations team for a cross-cutting effort in search of a tailored solution and also consulted relevant regulators on risks of incompliance arising from expedited procurement practices. With regulatory guidance and support, HSBC was eventually able to provide Ansell with two optional solutions professionally crafted to address the company’s concern over post-import payment even when the extended Chinese New Year holiday wasn’t yet over.
Quick Clearing for Time-bound International Procurement
With the COVID-19 outbreak evolving into a pandemic, countries of the world are faced with heightened uncertainty in social and economic development, posing a daunting challenge to corporate operations. In a tough environment like this, rapid international payment is vitally important.
In the early days of the epidemic in China, international supplies were shipped at speed to China in droves. However, with other countries changing their own policies towards the pandemic, many soon got mired in severe shortage of anti-coronavirus supplies. At the same time, the required payment cycle for these supplies has become gravely challenging. If payment can be originated and received on the same day, supplies will be shipped out on time. If payment can’t be received on the same day, overseas suppliers will postpone the shipment date while buyers will further suffer from compounded risks associated with price change, customs clearance and international cargo transportation.
Someday during this past spring festival, HSBC received an urgent call from a local branch of a “BIG FOUR BANK”, saying one of their clients had an urgent need to pay their British supplier of protective suits in sterling while the payment would have to be cleared by HSBC before being released to their supplier’s account at HSBC UK. Furthermore, according to the supplier’s requirement, payment has to be received in full on the same day; otherwise, anti-coronavirus supplies will not be shipped out on schedule. In view of this, HSBC China immediately got in touch with HSBC UK and the two teams soon launched a tailored solution that covers clearing, compliance review and all the way to payment reception. This transaction was also given the highest priority. Eventually, the payment was received in full by the supplier’s account at HSBC UK on the same day. From clearing to reception, it only took less than 4 minutes. Powered by professional services and high efficiency of HSBC’s global network, the client finally managed to receive the anti-coronavirus supplies on time.
Smarter Banking and Green Channels, Fast-tracking Return to Work
During the epidemic, corporate clients can easily access HSBC's banking services via smarter banking digital channels including HSBCnet, HSBCnet Mobile and HSBC China WeChat Service Account for rapid payment and trade-related transactions as well as the following green channel services to achieve digitally-enabled operations of finance in a seamless manner.
- Corporate clients in remote work can submit e-files if they are unable to send in physical copies of supporting documents for payment and collection during the epidemic.
- When corporate clients are temporarily unable to submit supporting documents or customs declaration forms for payment of anti-coronavirus imports, they are entitled to pay first and provide supporting documents within 30 days.
- When corporate funds under the capital account are used for anti-coronavirus purposes, the Bank can arrange FX settlement and fund transfer as per client instructions and capital account payment orders, and spot check relevant documents on an ex-post basis.
The abrupt COVID-19 epidemic came as a test for not only companies' own resilience but also their financial service partners' response and professional capabilities. HSBC will continue to play to its strengths as a leading international bank and leverage its global connectivity, professional teams and smarter banking solutions to make its due contribution to the anti-coronavirus battle and return-to-work efforts in solidarity with all clients.
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