CFOs, treasurers seek smart, speedy and secure solutions
Stepping away from the buzzwords of transaction banking
14 Feb 2020 | Darryl Yu

From blockchain to artificial intelligence, the whole financial transactional industry has been swept up by optimistic buzzwords and the promise of digital transformation.

While exciting, it has, at times, caught treasury professionals, such as treasurers and CFOs, off guard as they look to see how these digital concepts can be useful for their specific businesses.

That said, treasury professionals, who are often required to take decisive actions on a company’s finances, should put aside the buzzwords and look at the specific banking solutions that address the speed, smartness and security concerns of their department.

Firstly, the need for speed is evident in the increased interest among Asian corporates in using domestic real-time payment networks, such as Thailand’s PromptPay or Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System (FPS), via which the insurer AIA allows its clients to pay their premiums.  

Secondly, smart or intuitive solutions, which most treasury professionals are looking for, can help businesses stay ahead of the curve - for example, with mobile notifications of regulatory changes on foreign exchange controls. Other useful smart solutions may involve the increased reliance of the bank partner’s data to do peer-to-peer analysis on the cash conversion cycle, days payable outstanding, days sales outstanding, et cetera, esssentially giving treasury professionals additional visibility on their activities. For instance, DBS, in Singapore, has its working capital advisory service, which has helped a number of businesses fix inefficiencies within their operations.

The last solution,  but certainly not the least important, involves safeguarding the security of treasury processes, not only against fraudulent transactions, but also against potential internal banking issues. For instance, some banks incorporate optimal character recognition at their trade finance desks to instantly digitalize trade documents  and avoid fat-finger errors. Other banks are looking at biometrics or soft/digital tokens to ensure security and maintain convenience when treasury professionals  are using the bank’s portal.

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