Demand for integrated financial supply chain (FSC) services is accelerating, and accompanied by further consolidation of transaction banking business, according to an annual survey of trends in transaction banking conducted by Misys.
Responses from 105 professionals in the trade finance, payments and cash management industry located in 40 countries highlighted the stronger strategic focus on customer service and channel and product innovation. It also provided evidence of the ever-increasing number of banks which have integrated their transaction banking businesses. The survey also finds that customer focus remains critical, with corporate treasurers demanding more services via the mobile and online channels.
The ‘Global Transaction Banking Survey 2012’, undertaken by Misys and Finextra, showed that the days of having separate business units responsible for cash management, payments and trade finance are well and truly over. Ninety percent of banks have created a single transaction banking group or plan to in the near future. While many are still challenged by complexity in their IT environments, this shows a consistent strategy across the industry of becoming much more aligned with corporate customers’ needs.
Mobile channel development is a growing trend, with 45% of banks ranking this a priority in the coming year, while 63% stated that expanding self-service channels such as mobile would be part of their strategy over the next three years.
“The majority of people perform their personal banking online and increasingly via mobile devices,” said Tim Tyler, global product manager, Misys. “This is becoming the norm for consumers. Corporate treasurers and transaction banking professionals now expect all their services from banks to be available to them via the same channels as their personal banking services.”
FSC solutions are more widespread and mature in the market, with 88% of respondents saying their bank has, or will soon offer, FSC services for corporates. But there is still work to be done, with most of these banks expressing dissatisfaction with the sophistication and packaging of their current solutions.
As open account trade continues to rise in most markets, there is increasing interest in the new bank payment obligation (BPO) instrument to achieve better standardisation and reduce risk. At the same time, more than half of banks are demanding simpler ways to manage regular updates to existing standards.
Misys comments that both of these results are good news for SWIFT, given its current involvement with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to develop the BPO, and its work with member banks and corporates on the MyStandards platform.
Separately, Misys has launched mobile versions of its trade finance and cash management products to help its banking customers meet the growing demand from their corporate customers for these services.
“Misys Mobile for Transaction Banking will allow banks to enhance their service offering to their customers through this additional channel, providing another way in which users can view and manage transactions whenever they require and irrespective of their location,” said Tyler.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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