A new report from Aite Group provides an overview of the cash management and trade finance offerings available to corporate clients of banks operating in Africa. Based on Aite Group analysis of 60 banks in three distinct African macro-regions, as well as Aite Group conversations with leading technology providers serving those institutions, the report provides international banks, technology vendors, and service providers an understanding of how to pursue opportunities in Africa. It also provides recommendations for vendors to implement, and a checklist for vendors to use in assessing the robustness of their offerings in relation to others available in the marketplace.
Aite Group considers trade the main indicator that measures the contribution of growth to many developed and developing countries. To manage trade flows, corporate treasurers need proper execution of cash management and trade finance. At first glance, running proper treasury management operations in Africa might appear challenging due to stiff regulatory environments, inefficient logistics, and insufficiently developed infrastructure. Strong treasury control and working capital management adapted to the African business reality, however, will hold potential business opportunities as soon as software vendors work through the unquestionable difficulties of conducting business in Africa.
“The operating efficiencies of the African macro-regions will be driven by advances in technology, as opposed to pure innovation,” said Enrico Camerinelli, senior analyst with Aite Group and author of this report. “Technology and service providers must offer multi-channel collection systems that support collections from varied sources – e.g. paper, electronic and third party collection agents – and concentrate these into a single account. Treasury tools must provide cash forecasting and cash-position reporting modules via a network platform, taking care of immediate and automatic consolidation of the local currency forecasts into a corporate-currency consolidated report.”
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