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Treasurers flirt with fintech but place trust in banks

Treasurers and CFOs are increasingly attracted to digital channels and services provided by fintechs – but in a risky economic environment, partner banks still represent reliability and stability. These are some of the conclusions reached in a report published by the Boston Consulting Group and BNP Paribas. Corporate Treasury Insights 2018 is based on a survey of 700 corporate treasurers and CFOs from organizations worldwide with consolidated annual revenue of more than $500 million.

Here are some of the report's key findings:

  • Since 2016, the number of critical business risks that treasurers manage has more than doubled, growing from two to three in 2016 to five or six in 2018.
  • Economic risk continues to be the top concern for treasurers globally. Treasurers consider cybersecurity threats to be their second-most important risk, followed by operational risk, auditing, accounting and reporting.
  • Treasurers also face increasing regulatory pressure. The combination of tougher international regulations and local regulation, especially in rapidly developing economies (RDE), means greater operational demands for most treasurers.
  • The service provider ecosystem has become more fragmented and complex, with new fintech players entering the market and enterprise resource planners (ERP) and treasury management system (TMS) providers gaining traction. This has given treasurers more choice but also challenges them when it comes to selection of partner services.
  • Treasurers are increasingly working with fintechs. Thirty-one per cent of treasurers who now rely on internal solutions, such as spreadsheets, say they’d be interested in moving to a TMS or fintech provider, compared with 7 per cent who indicated they would prefer a bank portal.
  • Approximately 65 per cent of treasurers and CFOs surveyed said they have a high level of trust in their banks, which is nearly the same degree of trust that treasurers extend to internal IT (68 per cent).
  • There is a clear uptick in interest in digital services, with 60% of treasurers now saying they are interested in using digital channels, compared with 50% in 2016.

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