Modular Treasury Solution: The Pragmatic Way Forward

Freedom of choice and commercial viability are important criteria in the selection of a banking treasury solution. A comprehensive suite of functionalities may be nice to have, but amounts to wasteful expenditure if all its modules are not going to be immediately utilised. On the other hand, a modular solution that allows users to pick and pay for only those capabilities that they actually need makes ample sense in these conservative times, and not just for smaller banks. Every bank, big or small, looks to improve efficiency and lower the total cost of ownership. While it is true that a modular solution holds a strong commercial appeal for banks with restricted or modest treasury operations, it also offers Tier I banks the flexibility to quickly add select components to their existing treasury solutions landscape. A modular solution scores over a full-blown implementation in several ways.

Lower total cost of ownership

The cost and complexity associated with large-scale implementation is a big barrier to treasury systems modernisation. A modular solution circumvents these issues by enabling users from medium or small-sized banks to selectively acquire and pay for only those components that they currently need. That being said, this rationale applies equally to large banks that are seldom able to fulfill all their requirements with a single treasury platform – the addition of a new functionality frequently necessitates the acquisition of another treasury system which is, obviously, an expensive proposition. But, with a modular solution at hand, these banks can simply top up their existing systems with the required components, quickly and at low cost.

Flexible payment options that enable users to avoid a large upfront investment only add to the solution’s commercial attractiveness. For example, banks can choose between a licensing fee, annual charge or ‘pay as you go’ model that is linked to actual usage.

No budgetary overrun

Unlike conventional implementation, a modular solution is executed in accordance with standardised contractual terms and a fixed quotation, and therefore carries minimal risk of time and cost overrun.

Sustained relevance

Conventional implementation is a time-consuming proposition, starting with a lengthy scoping exercise, followed by a detailed process study, and so on. With a long lead-time, there is a risk of the original objectives having changed by the time the system is finally ready, leaving the bank no better off than before. On the other hand, modular implementation is not only quicker, its benefits begin to flow much sooner than in conventional solutions. Hence, users are able to leverage current progress to assess future requirements well in advance.

Quick and easy start-up

A modular solution is packed with special features that make implementation quick and painless. The foremost of these are process maps, aligned with best-in-class processes and provided at the outset, that save the effort of a detailed process study prior to project start-up. Although these process maps fulfil most requirements, they can be modified to accommodate any minor changes requested by individual banks. The need for setting up static data separately at each site is done away with using ‘out of the box’ set-ups. Similarly, the choice of ready reports saves the effort of customising them for each site.

Accessibility of sophisticated functionalities

Through its menu-based selection and flexible pricing, a modular package puts a fully functional system with wide capabilities within the reach of smaller institutions that cannot afford a full-fledged implementation.

Conclusion

Considerations of cost, lead-time and failure risk stand in the way of a bank’s decision to acquire a new treasury solution. Risk of sub-optimal implementation is not only a matter of concern for banks with limited treasury operations and IT budgets, but also for their larger counterparts.

A modular treasury implementation which allows users to pick select components according to need, reducing lead-time, cost and failure risk could well be the answer. This solution has something for everyone – while small banks can acquire limited yet sophisticated functionalities to fulfil current requirements, the big ones can top up existing capabilities without investing in yet another full-fledged, expensive solution.

In the present conservative environment, when banking organisations demand full value for every penny invested in their treasury solutions, a modular implementation scores big.

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