Banks remain valued partners for corporate treasurers and CFOs - but a more open and digitised playing field has changed what it takes to compete effectively, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group and BNP Paribas published in the second edition of Corporate Treasury Insights.
Corporate treasurers increasingly expect a comprehensive digital customer experience from their transaction banking partners: BCG and BNP Paribas.
The report, based on a survey of 750 corporate treasurers and CFOs around the world from across varying company sizes and sectors, provides a detailed overview of corporate treasurers' expectations of their transaction banking partners. Banks are notably expected to play a bigger role in enhancing operational efficiency and provide a more tailored approach to managing risks and adjusting to new industry constraints.
Security, transparency, managing liquidity in a low rate environment and combatting persistent new risks, such as cyber risks and fraud, rank high among corporate treasurers' main concerns. They therefore seek transaction banks that can accompany them through their life cycle as trusted advisors, providing a tailored and data-driven experience.
"Treasurers remain frustrated by overly complex banking processes. They want banks to go further in simplifying administrative tasks, especially those related to compliance procedures, and make the entire user experience fast, simple and convenient," says Yann Sénant, Partner & Managing Director of BCG in Paris.
Treasurers expect banks to reposition their value proposition by going beyond products and focus more on customer experience. Banks can differentiate their service models in four ways:
- Orchestrate the full treasury ecosystem and offer unmatched customer journeys in an open-architecture approach
- Put execution quality and IT-capabilities at the core of their value proposition and provide an efficient tailor-made service
- Offer superior risk management and advisory capabilities - including counterparty credit risk assessment tools, market regulation advisory services, automated KYC & AML and also cyber security solutions and fraud detection tools
- Develop tailored analytics and market intelligence services by proposing relevant concrete use cases
Banks have to devise a true commercial offering around some of their core expertise, especially in areas like risk management and cyber security, in order to assist treasurers in the management of those same risks, according to Jacques Levet, Head of Transaction Banking EMEA at BNP Paribas.
Similarly, banks will need to be flexible and seek strategic partnerships with fintechs and other firms where appropriate, taking a collaborative approach - rather than relying on internal development - when it delivers most value to corporates.