Treasurers the world over rely on their transaction banks to provide robust services that cater to their daily financial needs – but the space has long been seen as somewhat ‘vanilla’. Now, however, technological developments and solution-driven innovations are starting to push traditional boundaries. In this Executive Interview, Daniel Verbruggen, BNY Mellon’s Head of Relationship Management Europe, Treasury Services, reveals his vision for the future of transaction banking and explains the potential benefits for corporate treasurers.
What is driving the current level of innovation within the wider financial industry, and the transaction banking space?
In terms of technological innovation, the global financial industry, including the non-bank sector, has historically been a little behind the curve compared to other sectors. The automotive industry, for example, has been using robotics for several decades, and yet, in banking we are only now starting to embrace the possibilities that such technologies offer, by adopting robotic process automation (RPA).
This in part is due to the transformation of the financial sector which resulted in large part from the global financial crisis of 2008/9. As a result, the industry has become much more focused on metrics such as Return on Equity (ROE). Digital transformation projects have also risen up the agenda as banks invest in technology to drive efficiencies, manage evolving risks and market expectations – including new regulations – and benefit from growth opportunities such as big data.
Furthermore, the globalisation and democratisation of technology have given rise to the fintech phenomenon. This new breed of partners can now nourish the industry with innovative solutions, as they are already doing in the retail banking space. We see great opportunities for similar innovation in the transaction banking sphere too, and positive change is under way.