Executive Spotlight Series with John Bultema from Fifth Third Bank

by John Butltema 0

1.How did you get into the payments industry?
I joined Fifth Third Bank in 2001 as a senior vice president of Business Banking in Chicago through our acquisition of Old Kent Bank having worked there in a variety of commercial roles since 1995. I served in a variety of executive roles for the Bank’s regional markets, including Florida and Michigan. I also ran the Business Banking line of business for two years before joining the Commercial Banking group, where I now lead Treasury Management and Currency Processing Solutions. My team of 350 specialists are responsible for helping our clients stay or become more efficient in managing working capital and ensuring maximum cash flow.

2.What common challenges do treasurers and retailers face with managing cash?

Managing cash can be the bane of a treasury’s existence. Treasurers are often faced with a lack of visibility into their total cash position, which puts the organization at a disadvantage. Beyond that, manually handling cash is prone to processing errors, labor intensive, costly in terms of time and productivity and ties up vital capital awaiting deposit, which can adversely affect an organization’s bottom line. It also increases the risk of employee theft, negatively impacting margins. Managing cash is riddled with a variety of challenges and inefficiencies.

3.How can treasurers improve or eliminate these inefficiencies?
Implementing intuitive, smart safe technology, such as Fifth Third’s Currency Processing Solutions (CPS) can solve these issues for treasury professionals. It takes an end-to-end approach to simplify the receivables process and coordinates all components of cash handling.

4.What are the primary benefits of smart safe technology or Fifth Third’s Currency Processing Solutions?
Having the right solution in place will bring a wealth of benefits to a treasurer and organization. It can transform the way managers and employees handle, reconcile and report cash.

CPS is an innovative and comprehensive way to manage cash receipts, from point of sale to bank deposits and every step along the way. We currently have 10,000 devices installed throughout the country. Primary benefits of include:

•Real-time reporting
•Reduced trips to the bank and visits from armed couriers
•Reduced loss and theft
•Elimination of human error from manual cash processing
•Ability to withdraw cash from the safe

We recently highlighted our commitment to helping our corporate customers streamline cash management in a video. It showcases how Pilot Flying J, the largest retail operator of travel centers in North America, implemented CPS and achieved revolutionary results.

5.Tell us a little more about Fifth Third Bank.
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $143 billion in assets and operates 1,191 full-service Banking Centers, including 94 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores. We also operate nearly 2,500 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth and Asset Management. It is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of September 30, 2016, had $314 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $27 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.

Specifically, within our Commercial Banking group, we serve middle market and mid- to large-corporate businesses. We offer a variety of services, with experts dedicated to providing unique solutions based on a client’s industry.

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