Growing demands from corporate treasurers for access to the same technology they receive as consumers, and a lack of in-house capabilities to provide this, is driving an increasing number of banks to partner with fintechs. In fact, research from fintech provider Fraedom has found that more than three-quarters (84%) of banks are considering new fintech partnerships in 2019, with the most popular reasons being to improve customer experience (36%) and help customers achieve real-time visibility (36%).
Not only are banks realising that fintech partnerships will enable them to deliver these benefits to customers, the partnerships will also enable them to overcome shortcomings in their internal skills base and to take advantage of innovative technology systems without having to invest time, money and resources in their development.
With these partnerships set to give banks access to the latest technology, corporate treasurers could be among those to feel the most benefit because these collaborations enable banks to offer the digital capabilities that we have become accustomed to in our personal lives. By gaining access to mobile and online banking tools, treasurers will be able to gain vital capabilities, such as real-time accessibility and visibility of business spend. This means treasurers will be able to gain the insights needed to make impactful business decisions. In addition, they will benefit from streamlined processes and reduce the time spent manually interrogating audit trails, for instance, which can be a drag on a business' efficiency and productivity.
Fintechs can also play a key role in working with banks to help streamline the often bureaucratic and time-consuming spend management process through the supply and delivery of innovative commercial card technology. This technology will help treasurers achieve greater insight into their spending and exert tighter control over it. For banks, focusing more closely on the experience of business customers and offering them the levels of service they require, will also help them to build lasting, more trust-based relationships.
Additionally, by working with fintechs banks stand to gain a more in-depth understanding of businesses and their requirements, in turn enabling them to deliver improved customer service. Quite often, fintechs are best placed to help banks better understand the consumerisation of business processes and technologies today; the eagerness of businesses to adopt these to achieve enhanced agility; and the frustration they feel if they sense that banks are effectively not speaking their language.
Fraedom's research also revealed that strengthening online security is a top business priority for almost two-thirds (60%) of banks considering fintech partnerships. This is followed by ensuring the right skills are in place to be successful, upgrading operational systems and increasing profits.
Thanks to these new partnerships, fintechs will be able to help banks mitigate a lack of capabilities in-house and low budgets because solutions can increasingly be implemented out-of-box, without the need for internal development. Banks look set to benefit even further by the fact that these solutions cater not just for their current requirements but also for their future roadmap.
Ultimately, as the banks' customers, corporate treasurers will see the advantages of these partnerships first-hand. The new tools and capabilities on offer will assist them in their day-to-day jobs, while the benefits have the potential to impact their entire business.