Corporate banking has come a long way since the days of bank vaults, ledger books, and waiting in long lines for a teller. With the advent of digital technology, corporate banking has undergone a massive transformation and is now one of the most dynamic and rapidly evolving sectors in the financial industry. This evolution has brought with it both opportunities and challenges with corporate treasury teams evolving from simply being cost centres to become strategic partners and enterprise-wide collaborators. In this article, we'll be discussing advances in corporate banking cash managment services and the need for real-time banking integration via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
First things first, let's take a quick trip down memory lane. Remember when businesses had to call their bank to check their account balances or manually reconcile their transactions? The good old days, right? Fast forward to today, and banking has come a long way. With the rise of mobile banking, businesses can now access their account information, make payments, and manage their cash flow from anywhere, at any time.
But despite all these advancements, corporate banking still lags behind when it comes to real-time data integration. Sure, we have faster and more efficient payment methods, but businesses continue to face the challenge of managing their cash flows and making informed financial decisions in real-time. This is where APIs come in.
For example, let's say a business wants to check their account balances to ensure they have enough funds to cover an upcoming payment. With real-time banking integration via APIs, the business can access this information without having to log into their online banking platform or wait for a bank representative to provide the information. This not only saves time, but it also helps businesses make informed financial decisions and avoid costly overdrafts and late fees.
But that's not all. Real-time banking integration via APIs also enables businesses to automate their payment processes, streamline their accounting flows, and manage their cash more effectively. For example, a business can set up automatic recurring payments for bills, such as rent and utilities, freeing up their time and reducing the risk of late payments. These changes are haveing profound impacts on the the relationship between corporate treasuries and their banking partners.
“Treasury teams are now shifting from just being cost centres to be strategic partners and enterprise-wide collaborators, while the banks are knowledge warehouses. The banks know how to seamlessly integrate the various accounts across various jurisdictions, how to manage liquidity or how to inject liquidity into the system. The new real-time connectivity also helps when leveraging on open banking framework, with API connectivity. Having a strong banking ecosystem gives the treasurers access to all of these options. It helps them reduce costs, increase the operational efficiency and the time to market.”
Kriti Jain, Asia-Pacific Head of New Economy, Fintechs and Platforms, Corporate Cash Management, Deutsche Bank
Corporate banking customers are demanding digital experiences
It's not just small businesses that stand to benefit from real-time banking integration via APIs. Large corporations can also take advantage of these technologies to manage their complex financial operations more efficiently. For example, a multinational corporation can use APIs to integrate their banking systems with their treasury management systems, enabling them to monitor their cash balances and make real-time payments across multiple countries and currencies.
APIs are demonstrating the art of the possible and serve to further drive demand for trusted financial connectivity platforms like Starfish Connect. Similarly, some technological solutions seem to have been tailor-made for the situation corporate treasures currently find themselves in. For example, HSBC has a solution called Beneficiary Self-Management, principally designed to replace cheques, which enables corporates to send payments without the need to gather and store beneficiary bank details, thus reducing manual processes and having a positive impact on efficiency, risk management, the environment and customer experience.
But with any new technology, there are also risks. The financial industry is heavily regulated, and businesses must ensure that they are compliant with all relevant regulations when using APIs. Additionally, businesses must also ensure that their banking systems and APIs are secure to protect sensitive financial information.
In conclusion, the evolution of corporate banking has brought with it exciting opportunities and challenges. Real-time banking integration via APIs is a game-changer for businesses of all sizes enabling them to lower costs, automate their payment processes, and make informed financial decisions. However, businesses must also be mindful of the risks associated with using APIs, and take the necessary steps to ensure their banking systems and APIs are secure and compliant with all relevant regulations.
Credits: extracts of this article first appeared in https://flow.db.com/cash-management/treasury-management-in-the-new-economy