Digital technologies have continuously changed Treasury, a trend that accelerated dramatically during the pandemic. As a result, digitisation and automation is no longer optional, but essential to increase process efficiency, drive high-quality decision-making and support competitive, customer-centric business models.
Transforming treasury through technology
Implementing new technologies and digital banking solutions to simplify, standardise and automate has been a long-standing priority for many treasurers. The pace of change, however, means that treasurers need to look ahead so that digital decisions anticipate their future needs. This can be difficult to achieve in practice; however, vendors are offering more flexible and affordable licensing models and cloud-based solutions. This makes it easier for companies to select and implement the functionality and services they require upfront, and scale up over time without the need for major reinvestment.
Bank solutions also play an essential role in supporting treasurers’ digital strategy, but banks’ levels of digital maturity differ. Banks’ digital vision, and the reporting and information sharing capabilities they offer, has therefore become an important selection criteria. For example, one company with thousands of accounts recently reduced its bank accounts by 85%, and halved its bank relationships. At the same time, it improved control over cash through technology-led solutions, such as cross-border sweeping across banks, and multi-currency notional pooling.
It is not only amongst banks that digital vision and experience vary. Many treasurers still find it difficult to sell the business case for digital transformation internally, although increasingly, senior managers are adopting a digital mindset and culture. Resourcing implementation projects can also prove challenging, particularly as there will always be unexpected and urgent tasks that materialise. It can be tempting to push for a quick solution without taking a long-term view, but this may not provide the resilience and scalability that is ultimately required. Systems integration is also an essential consideration. While an individual system may provide excellent functionality, its value can be limited if it cannot be integrated seamlessly with other systems in treasurers’ technology environment. Increasingly, companies are implementing host-to-host and API-based connectivity to streamline the flow of data and transactions, and drive real-time processes and decision-making.
A digital banking partner
Banks play a major role in helping treasurers to achieve their digital treasury ambitions. As part of our strategy to be the leading digital bank across the markets in which we operate, we have transformed our internal technologies, as well as our client-facing solutions. We have adopted a cloud-first strategy to become more responsive to customer needs, become more agile in creating new solutions, and improve resiliency, security and privacy, all of which are critical to our client proposition. Banking services are increasingly embedded into customer applications through APIs, with real-time information flows, new solutions and business models creating new digital treasury opportunities, and enabling treasurers to enhance the value they offer to the business.