Deutsche Bank has announced it is investing in Sri Lanka and launching a major push into the corporate client market, with the rollout of a new digitally-enhanced foreign exchange (FX) platform.
The rollout marks the bank’s first step in introducing a comprehensive suite of digital FX solutions for its corporate clients in Sri Lanka.
“We are investing in our Corporate Bank business in Sri Lanka,” said Vikas Arora, Deutsche Bank’s Sri Lanka chief country officer. “As international supply chains gravitate toward settlements in local currency, we are pleased to cater to our clients’ requirements.”
E-commerce customisation is driving a change in payments currency, and increasingly international supply chains across Asia are demanding banks and payment service providers enable local currency payment.
“Clients are challenging the historical trend of settling payments in USD between two Asian markets, as they become more aware of the layers and costs in their payment chain,” Arora explained. “As a result, clients are demanding cheaper and faster ways of delivery, which our digital FX platform Autobahn is enabling.”
By mid-year, Deutsche Bank Sri Lanka will be on par with other Deutsche Bank branches across Asia where clients can pay in local currency between two Asia markets, reducing the FX execution costs to a single conversion along with a faster delivery between the branch network.
Last month the bank hosted clients at an outlook forum in Colombo where the new digital offering was launched.
“The launch of the upgraded Autobahn FX in Sri Lanka is the foundation for expanding our digital payment, collection and hedging capabilities to better serve our clients’ local currency needs both onshore and overseas,” Arora added. “In addition to introducing the enhanced FX platform, we are also extending FX API technology to local clients. This means they can connect our platform into their own direct sales eCommerce infrastructure, while we support them in pre and post trade activities.”
Globally Deutsche Bank most often sees API used by clients to expand their own B2B and B2C sales offering by introducing a wider range of currencies for online transactions. This gives end customers more choice around payment currency and often local currency is preferred, given USD currency movement can affect price point.
More upgrades are planned in the rest of the year to further enhance the foreign currency payment offering for both inbound and outbound payments in Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). The Sri Lanka branch rollout of the digital FX platform follows the launch of an online payments facility for customs and excise for importers toward the end of 2019.
Deutsche Bank has operated in Sri Lanka since 1980, providing banking and financing solutions to multinationals, large local corporates and financial institutions, ranging from cash management, FX, custody and trade finance. This year, Deutsche Bank is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Sri Lanka.
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