In an era of digitisation, payments acceleration, and new techniques to exchange and integrate transactions and data, treasurers and finance managers have unprecedented opportunities to modernise corporate payments and bank connectivity. Furthermore, as FIS’ 2018 market report reveals, treasurers are enthusiastic about leveraging these opportunities. Some are creating an entirely new technology infrastructure while others are enhancing their existing capabilities to provide their organisations with the payments efficiency, security and richness of data that will support new and emerging digital business models and drive success. The most successful of these initiatives are those that replace complexity and fragmentation with simplicity and transparency, and enable treasurers to focus on their core purpose.
The payments and connectivity challenge
We have seen a variety of important innovations over recent years, such as the ability to integrate multi-bank SWIFT connectivity directly into core treasury and payments applications, greater use of standardised XML ISO 2002 payment formats and continued treasury and payments centralisation. Although these have delivered significant benefits, treasurers and finance managers still face a variety of challenges. In many cases, processes, controls and connectivity remain fragmented and inconsistent across entities, locations and banks. This results in high costs, magnifies the risk of fraud and cyber-attack, and makes it difficult to achieve visibility and control over cash and liquidity.
Consequently, these issues underpin treasurers’ payment and connectivity objectives (fig. 1). As new technologies, payment methods and clearing mechanisms emerge, treasurers are keen to leverage the opportunity to modernise payments and bank connectivity strategies to meet these objectives. They are also focused on equipping the business to support digital business models and leverage the advantages of faster or real-time payments and better, more integrated data.