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Corporate treasurers in EMEA are looking beyond their banks for innovation

Tuesday 2 July 2019 | 02:23 PM CET

New research from Finastra has revealed that the market dominance of banks in the delivery of corporate treasury services is under threat from non-bank market entrants.

According to its survey of 380 corporate treasurers from enterprises across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 70% believe that a shift from bank to non-bank services will take place within their organisations over the next two to five years – 16% say this shift has already taken place.

The survey findings, presented in a new report, Digital Disruption Comes to the Corporate Treasury, reveals that corporate treasurers are considering using non-bank service providers for a wide range of core services including payments (71%), FX platforms (67%), liquidity pools (67%) and trade and supply chain networks (56%).

The move is well underway: 76 % of respondents say their business has already integrated with trade networks to link supply chain financing with payments. More widely, just 24% of respondents say they now exclusively use their bank to facilitate payments, with others choosing alternatives including SWIFT gpi (46%) and alternative cross-border payments services (43%).

The demand for non-bank corporate treasury services comes as treasurers look to leverage technology to drive value and enable real-time payments. When asked about their top priorities for the year ahead, the treasurers surveyed cite technology enablers such as real-time payments reporting (74%), cash management technology (66%) and risk management technology (58%). A significant proportion also note the opportunities on offer through more advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning (40%) and mobile channels (31%).

Significantly, there appears to be strong demand for Open Banking-enabled services among corporate treasurers. In the Finastra survey, 29% said it was a key opportunity for their business in 2019; and when asked about the benefits of standardized APIs in the context of Open Banking and PSD2, European respondents cite factors such as lower costs (58%), cash visibility (55%), and new services being made available from non-bank market participants (53%). 83% of all respondents state they would like to use dedicated corporate APIs provided by their bank.

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