By Jan Dirk van Beusekom, Executive Director, Advisory, Strategic Marketing & Engagement, Cash Management, BNP Paribas
Now in its second year, industry partners BNP Paribas, SAP, PwC and the EACT are proud to unveil the new edition of the Journeys to Treasury report at this year’s EuroFinance Conference. The 2016 edition was quickly established as an authoritative, thought-provoking and inspiring report in shaping the treasury profession of the future, and the 2017 edition promises a similar response. Now that the Journeys to Treasury concept has been established, we have been able to engage treasurers more directly in the development of the 2017 report compared with 2016. During the EACT Summit held in La Hulpe, Belgium in March 2017, we held an interactive session with event participants which has been instrumental in identifying key themes and treasury priorities.
In 2016, the major focus areas of Journeys to Treasury were i) continued innovation (including discussions around blockchain, fintechs and big data), ii) ‘anytime, anywhere’ treasury (including the impact of mobile banking and real-time payments on treasury) and iii) cybercrime and fraud. A year later, cybercrime and fraud continues to be a priority for every treasury globally, and therefore remains a key theme of this year’s Journeys to Treasury report, while the other priorities have evolved to some extent. While innovation continues to be central to the evolving treasury experience, the focus has shifted. For example, blockchain has the potential to transform many activities related to cash and trade, but its impact is likely to be felt in the medium rather than short term. However, there are growing opportunities in big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning and as such, we have identified data analytics as a key theme for 2017. Finally, treasurers indicated that although flexibility and adaptability was crucial to respond to changing market conditions, this is just as important in order to comply with changing regulations, particularly in an international context.
Journeys to Treasury 2017: Key themes
Data analytics: From data to information
‘Big data’ is not yet high on many treasurers’ agenda, but every organisation acquires a huge volume of data available on a continuous basis, both directly and through third-party partners, such as banks, technology vendors and consultancies. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasingly being used to process and analyse large volumes of data quickly and objectively, with companies in many industries now employing highly sophisticated consumer analytics.