When corporate treasurers are asked to sum up the underlying challenge facing them today, one phrase shows up time and time again: they have to “find ways to do much more, with much less.”
Increasingly, they are looking to their banks to help them do this. The growing need for banks to raise their game with corporate clients emerged as a clear theme during D+H’s global transaction banking group’s 2015 customer conference in London, where corporations and banks from around the world gathered to discuss the future of treasury and payments.
As their comments underline, the sheer range and scale of issues faced by corporate treasurers mean they must partner with external experts to tackle them. Banks are increasingly filling the role of valued partner, providing the technology to address corporate treasurer’s pain points. Aite Group listed the evolution of treasury and payment solutions and enhanced cash management and forecasting capabilities among corporate executives’ top demands from their banks in their report, ‘Corporate Clients’ Top Banking Demands in 2015’.
As a result, treasury management solutions (TMSs) are in high demand by corporate treasurers. Beyond that, they want banks that understand their business and serve as a strategic partner. They look to banks that can offer dynamic TMSs that deliver efficiency and evolve with the client’s needs.
At the same time that corporates are turning to their bank partners for increasing support, banks face their own struggles in the forms of growing global competition and the need for expansion into new services and new markets. By best meeting the needs of corporate customers, through sophisticated TMS offerings, banks will also be able to better safeguard against the market risks impacting their business. The key is in providing a solution that meets banks’ needs, without adding to their already heavy burden.
As important as state-of-the-art capabilities are to corporate treasurers, so too are simplicity and ease-of-use. The beauty of today’s TMSs is that they provide a single solution to address all business segments, markets and channels. Modular technology allows the bank to provide the corporate with the necessary components including payables, receivables, balance reporting, liquidity management, supply chain and several others.
There are three key areas where banks can make sure their technology offerings meet the needs of simplicity and ease-of-use: architecture, functionality, and operational capabilities.
The architecture of the solution should be based on standard, modern architecture to support time-to-market demands of corporates. It should be built on a high performance platform that can easily scale to potential volume growth in the future. The workflow engine should be flexible and configurable to meet the needs of an ever-changing regulatory and payments- driven environment affecting corporate finance departments with new reporting and processing requirements on an ongoing basis.
The TMS should be able to easily expand to accommodate new customer segments or markets, depending on the corporate’s evolving needs. It should include advanced liquidity and trade features, to attract and meet the needs of their most valued demanding multi-national customers. A contemporary and intuitive user experience will help reduce customer churn, because corporates value their time and will favour highly functional treasury management services that requires minimal training and support and – combined with mobile access – busy treasurers are enabled to perform their tasks anywhere, anytime with ease and confidence.
Corporates demand real-time interfaces that support straight through processing (STP), streamlined bank administration workflows, and reporting tools that provide visibility into system performance. Technology that can also support multi-brand, multi-market and multi-lingual interfaces is valued as it allows for potential expansion into new markets.
Operational tools that are flexible and comprehensive in managing multiple geographies, languages and currencies are essential, when the goal is to drive out operational efficiencies for a bank in meeting its customers’ needs. However, the pay-off is more significant for to the bank’s multi-national customers when they are able to gain full transparency of their global financials from a single provider in an accurate and consistent manner – the key to winning and maintaining these valued and profitable relationships.
By providing their corporate clients with dynamic TMSs that meet the needs of treasurers, they make themselves indispensable partners enabling them to more effectively do their jobs. By focusing on simplicity and ease-of-use – particularly as they relate to system architecture, functionality, and operational capabilities – banks are providing systems that deliver efficiency and will scale to fit the corporates’ evolving needs. By helping treasurers do more with less, and serving as a true partner, banks can earn their customers’ loyalty.