BankingCorporate to Bank RelationshipsTreasurers slow to adopt mobile solutions

Treasurers slow to adopt mobile solutions

Mobile solutions can meet the needs of treasurers by improving working capital efficiency for local and regional treasurers across the globe

The potential of mobile devices to offer mobile solutions to corporate treasurers has yet to be fully exploited, according to a new survey.

According to results from Asset Benchmark Research’s (ABR) 2019 Treasury Survey, only 34% were using corporate mobile banking services. Corporate treasurers using mobile banking services have not increased much, since the number in ABR’s 2018 Treasury Survey was 33%.

Moreover, 56% of survey participants had no plans to use the corporate mobile banking services of their respective banks.

Hurdles in taking up mobile solutions

A compelling 76% of respondents pointed out concerns with cybersecurity and the safeguarding of sensitive information as the top reason why corporate mobile banking was not adopted much.

TMS providers must also share some of the responsibility for lack of interest within the treasurers. Many banks continue to deploy mobile technology in product silos instead of as part of a process. The second most reason selected by the participant was a lack of information and awareness of mobile treasury solutions from service providers.

Impact on treasurers

Apps are a critical part of treasury’s shift into mobile banking. Treasurers are often on the go at critical moments of the transaction cycle. Hence, being able to carry out treasury functions on a mobile device is therefore a boon in terms of convenience. The key proposition is centred on alerting and payment functions that can be delivered in small bites.

But the potential impact of mobile banking may be even further-reaching: by providing a faster, lower risk way to collect payments from their customers, it can also help treasurers to make the most of their working capital.

Companies can streamline their collection processes and shorten the transaction lag-time, resulting in better management of working capital and greater visibility into provisioning for bad debt. Take the fast-moving consumer goods sector, for instance. Collections are often cash-based and in this industry the introduction of mobile collection could significantly accelerate the collection cycle and improve reconciliation, while also eliminating a significant element of risk.

Confidence in mobile solutions

Many institutions have pushed ahead in crafting their own mobile solutions for their clients.

Mobile banking platform CashPro from BofA Merrill Lynch has added biometric functionality for treasurers accessing and completing payments. DBS has a mobile version of its IDEAL platform to cater to SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) clients.

“An increasing secure mobile ecosystem is one factor driving business interest and creating more confidence in mobile access. Mobile has similar security safeguards as a desktop environment, with the added bonus of built-in-biometric authentication that requires a fingerprint or retina scan to unlock the device. This feature isn’t widely available yet for office desktop computers,” states Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a note.

Of the 33% of participants that mentioned using corporate mobile banking service, the majority of them said they used it as a tool for basic functions such as account/transaction inquiries and the transfer of funds rather than applying for loans or trade financing. While still a minority, there were some ABR respondents that shared that they would start to use corporate mobile banking in the next six months.

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