CASE Study: NATO smoothes financial operations with automated FX Rates

NATO Logo.png

Customer: NATO
Industry: Defense/International Cooperation
Product used: OANDA Exchange Rates API

Organization Profile
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 members States, based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on April 4th, 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Since its inception, NATO has been committed to developing meaningful, practical cooperation in a great number of areas, most notably in peacekeeping, in the fight against terrorism, research and technology, and non-proliferation initiatives.

Business needs
Like most international organizations with operations spreading across multiple countries and continents, NATO deals with financial and logistic challenges that involve multi-currency accounting and reporting. Automating the retrieval of accurate foreign exchange data is vital to running smooth financial operations and sound accounting.

NATO headquarters in Belgium.

Trusted by top audit and accounting firms, the airline industry (IATA official FX data partner), thousands of corporations, and millions of individuals globally, OANDA is regarded as the gold standard in foreign exchange data. NATO has chosen OANDA to provide foreign exchange data for their internal financial reporting and accounting needs, which gives them automated access to over 200 currencies and precious metals (more than 38,000 pairs).

“The OANDA Exchange Rates API provided us with accurate and reliable foreign exchange rates, so we can run our operations with confidence in our numbers.  Furthermore, automation of currency data gives us more time to do the things that matter the most, while reducing the risk of manual error.” – Joyce Barbarich, Treasurer

NATO finance and IT teams worked together to install the OANDA data feed directly into their ERP system, Oracle E-Business Suite.

“The implementation of the API was seamless, and the OANDA experts were there to help us every step of the way.” – Joyce Barbarich, Treasurer

The OANDA difference

Data Accuracy
Data is key to run such operations smoothly, but when it comes to foreign exchange rates, finance best practices suggest that not all data sources are created equal: FX is a decentralized, OTC (over-the-counter) market, which means that in order to produce accurate rates in a consistent fashion, OANDA has access to reliable and redundant data sources, our very own FX trading platform, and direct connectivity with the largest FX liquidity providers globally. We consolidate all this information and leverage proprietary technologies and algorithms to construct an accurate data point for selected currency pairs - daily, weekly, monthly, as well as in real time and at a tick-by-tick level.  

System reliability
Besides accuracy, an FX data feed also needs to be reliable: system reliability and infrastructure is something IT departments take in serious consideration before allowing their ERP systems to ingest data from a third party. Outstanding up-time and server redundancy are some of the elements that differentiate OANDA from other vendors.

Ease of integration
IT departments know how painful it could be to make even the smallest update or modification to a company’s ERP system. The OANDA Exchange Rates API can be easily implemented with any major ERP system; OANDA also provides direct integrations and connectors for most of them.