Corporate treasurers in the US are preparing for the impact of disruptive technologies in the coming two to three years, from automation of treasury processes, blockchain and robotics. According to the 2017 Treasury Management survey conducted by TD Bank in October 2017, disruptive technologies will have a significant effect on treasury functions and payments in 2018 and treasurers are preparing for changes in the treasury and cash management sector through the following strategies:
- leveraging solutions from fintech providers – 31 per cent;
- developing in-house technology to get a leg up on competitors – 23 per cent; and
- hiring more tech savvy employees to keep up with the trends – 15 per cent.
Almost one in three treasurers, however, is taking a wait-and-see approach to disruptive technologies, while 10 per cent plan to invest in either artificial intelligence (AI) or robotics. TD Bank's Chris Giamo is not surprised the companies are planning to invest in technology and automation in the near term. He said: “The capability of these tools to increase speed, accuracy and efficiency could dramatically streamline workflows.”
Challenges that will impact capital spend
The treasury professionals – who were interviewed during the AFP annual conference in San Diego last year – also saw the following as having the greatest impact on their company's capital spending:
- cybersecurity (32 per cent);
- continued interest rate increases (30 per cent);
- the current geopolitical environment (25 per cent).
They also said that their organisations expect to allocate excess cash in the following ways:
- acquisitions – 22 per cent;
- IT – 22 per cent; and
- capital expenditures – 21 per cent.
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