Treasury managers see innovation as primarily a tool for countering business problems and improving efficiency in their organisations, according to Capital One’s new Senior Vice President.
Jim Gifas, who joined the financial company last month to head up its Treasury Management Product Management & Innovation Group, made the comments in an interview podcast with Karen Webster, CEO of Mobile Platform Dynamics.
“When I think about pain points for treasury managers, what really comes to mind is what their main objective is at the end of the day, and that is to build their business, to make it very strong, very efficient and to drive revenue and value for their customers,” he said. “So I think that’s how they think about the pain points. I don’t think they necessarily think about banking or any of the other things that impact on their business as pain points. It’s: how can they be more efficient to drive value into their business?”
Whilst the global financial crisis and ongoing problems in Europe caused nervous firms to “hoard” their cash, over the past two years, treasury managers have started releasing this operating cash for acquisitions and investments. According to Gifas, this has led to renewed interest in finding better ways to streamline payment processes, pay down debt and strengthen operating balance sheets. He said: “On the payment side, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of activity and innovation going on, driven by “how can I be more efficient and streamlined in making these payments?””
But this innovation is targeted and results-driven, with treasury managers concerned with boosting performance rather than simply adopting the latest technology.
“Innovation is a tool for them to help stop a business problem. Treasury managers don’t just adopt innovation like consumers do, because consumers want the newest trend,” Gifas pointed out. “They look at innovation as: okay, how can I leverage that technology, that product, that service, to fix a problem that exists in my business?”
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