A wide-ranging report, sponsored by TIS, from the Treasury Alliance Group on The State of Treasury and Payments Technology based on interviews with corporations, banks and technology companies in the first quarter of 2019 from Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia, contains many tips on corporate treasury and payments. Collectively there were more than 35 individual interviews which were supplemented by emailed responses and informal conversations from other contributors.
The report concludes that “The role of the treasury is changing from that of a financial function that manages a group of financial processes such as payments to one that provides strategic support to the business.”
TAG found that in treasury and payments there are four major realities:
- Evolution not revolution
- The ecosystem survives, for now—Banks, SWIFT and spreadsheets have been joined by Treasury Management Systems (TMS) and will remain essential parts of the most basic treasury and payments ecosystem.
- Payments are a commodity—this reality will drive how banks manage and price integrated offerings such as liquidity management and account services. Bank balance sheets rich in consumer deposits will enable further competitive differentiation as Basel III is fully implemented
- Data is value—the value of data can be unlocked by technology and treasurers but exists in pockets of value across multiple business functions and systems.
Tips and tricks
Survey respondents identified a number of ideas/best practices that they have found useful:
- In a SaaS world customization of the ERP, or customization in general, is a losing game because frequent updates negate the customization.
- For subscription-based products and services APIs can be easier to manage than cards which require expiration date management tools.
- Corporate users must be able to distinguish between proof of concept and production when evaluating Fintech through due diligence.
- Treasuries should not be performing production-type tasks. These repetitive and definable tasks should be the responsibility of shared service centres.
- Human talent will never go out of style; hire the best people and retain them through rotational assignments and opportunities for development and advancement. two respondents noted that they look for a match between temperament and adaptability to the business culture.
- Recognize the importance of timely research and testing of emerging technologies such as AI, RPA and blockchain.
- Leveraging ISO 20022 pays dividends in many areas.
Other basic approaches which they have found useful are:
- Consistency is good but not to the point where it becomes foolish
- Agility and innovation are necessary but not sufficient
- There are too many problems, solutions and vendors for any treasury to realistically assess without additional help, within the company or from external resources.
CTMfile take: Interesting short report, worth a download for the ideas and tips/tricks.
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