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The Five Bank Offerings Every Treasurer Must Demand

  • By Pankaj Gindodia
  • Published: 10/5/2015
payments4Payments transactions are becoming increasingly frequent and complex for corporate treasurers. As such, treasurers should demand that their banks take a proactive role in helping them manage their operations and help their CFOs make quick and informed decisions, rather than just providing payments, collections, and account reporting services.

In these times of cut-throat competition, treasurers are more likely to stick with banks that adopt several key strategies.

1. Adopting the latest technology offerings swiftly

Treasury and finance professionals should demand that their banks are employing the latest technology offerings, including:

Data analytics: Banks can use data analytics tools, available in the market, to analyze the transaction data of their customers and provide useful insights such as monthly/quarterly payment trends, payment type trends, cash position across subsidiaries, etc. A winning bank can present such details to customers in a report or in the form of various interactive charts.                

Single Instance: Corporate treasurers should also look for a bank that can concentrate their banking activities across multiple subsidiaries in multiple countries in one single place. Treasurers value a holistic view of all payables and receivables, balances, and sweeps in a single place.

Support across devices: Net banking applications on various devices are now the status quo for the retail banking sector. Corporate net banking has lagged, however. Busy CFOs demand access to information be available at their fingertips on the job, as it is in their personal lives. Treasury and finance professionals should require their banks to make certain relevant services available on mobile devices, as it might not be feasible to port all features available in web app.

Multilingual: Corporates should also seek out banks with multilingual support for operations, customer support and IT applications.

2. Agility in providing new and improved offerings

By leveraging technological capabilities, a bank can provide new services such as:

Personalized service offerings to suit individual users’ needs: Every corporate has multiple users performing different functions. If the bank can enable a corporate administrator or user to configure the services that they can use, and customize the view to reflect their needs, it will vastly improve the end user experience.

Global balance reporting: Banks that can provide corporates with a snapshot of their accounts across multiple global locations and currencies from a single place will help corporate management make informed decisions. Of course, suitable controls are also needed so that a user can only access the information pertinent to their role, while other data would remain confidential.

3. Providing a value-for-money proposition for corporate customers

A corporate must be able to leverage the bank’s network present in a particular country, region, or the globe to accelerate collections and payables. This will help the corporate to centralize its treasury operations in a single place and will obviate the need to open multiple branches in these places. This could prove a huge CAPEX savings for them.

In addition to this, treasurers should look for banks that can provide reconciliation services for the corporate’s payables and receivables for both incoming and outgoing payments. This will help the corporate reduce its accounting overhead.

4. Providing loyalty reward programs and adapting them based on market needs

The bank should be able to roll out discounts on normal charges, based on business and relationship. For example, on dates when transaction turnover is high (for example, due to month-end salary payments), the bank should be able to provide discounted charges, while on other days charges can be normal.

5. Instant/quick cross-border payments

If banks can help shorten the cross-border payments cycle, treasurers that have a global or regional presence will be able to maintain a centralized treasury and reduce the headache of FX volatility and hedging. The corporate may also eliminate need to maintain accounts in countries with volatile political and economic environment.

Corporates’ needs are evolving and becoming increasingly complex while competition is simultaneously heating up. Banks that provide services that can address corporate needs; help them to reduce their CAPEX and OPEX expenditure and/or increase their scale of operations, profits and turnover; and provide them with tools for doing quick and informed financial decisions; will be able to elevate themselves from being a service provider to a true partner and in return, will find they have a loyal and expanding customer base.

Pankaj Gindodia, is a Lead Business Analyst, CASHplus with Fundtech, now a part of D+H. Gindodia is based in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
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