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Payments General

Treasuries may be underestimating robotics and open APIs, study finds

Wednesday 12 September 2018 | 08:56 AM CET

The Economist Intelligence Unit has issued a report written on behalf of Deutsche Bank offering insights on how treasurers approach emerging technology.

The report is called “The Future is Now: How ready is treasury?” and is based on a survey of 300 senior corporate treasury executives from around the world. According to a Deutsche Bank press release, the results suggest that, while treasurers are confident they are prepared for the inevitable adjustments over the coming months and years, their current perception of the importance of certain technologies – and what it will take to effectively implement and extract the most value from them – may be wrongly calibrated.

The survey indicates that 80% of treasurers believe that they have at least the majority of skills required to meet the challenges of treasury’s technological transition. Yet, when asked to identify the top two technologies they believe will bring the most benefit to their department respondents appeared to underestimate the value of two fundamental technologies.

Robotic process automation, which stands to simplify and accelerate routine treasury procedures, and application programming interfaces (APIs) – IT functions that are crucial for pooling and sharing information across different company and bank systems – were seen as being the least important technologies by respondents. Only 8% and 13% of treasurers respectively cited them as being the most beneficial for their organisation moving forward. This may indicate a lack of awareness of both the scale of these looming changes, as well as the impact they stand to have.

With 55% of treasurers reporting a change in their companies’ operating model as a result of disruption, it is clear that technology is already challenging traditional treasury operations. Making the most of these changes will begin with a thorough understanding of the necessary shifts in treasury structure, staffing and strategy.

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