What corporate treasurers need in an increasingly digital environment

Eileen Dignen
Cash Management

For corporate treasurers, trust is everything. This is especially true as we move into an increasingly complex, digitized business environment. These days, half of a treasurer’s time is spent dealing with day-to-day transactions, cash flow, and liquidity-related operations, while the other half is spent addressing long-term strategic needs and business risks.

Hispanic corporate man talking on cell phone at his desk, while reviewing documents.As these financial professionals respond to a more uncertain, complex business environment, they seek a fully digital, frictionless experience to manage recurring banking needs, but also a business partner to advise them on wide-ranging financial issues.

A challenging equation

The newly released Corporate Treasury Insights 2018 report, by our parent company BNP Paribas and Boston Consulting Group, states that corporate treasurers seek a trusted partner that can provide them with a strong and long-term client relationship, business protection, and guidance on their strategic projects. But these factors are harder to track and master, according to the 700 corporate treasurers and multinational CFOs surveyed.

Approximately 65% of the respondents confirm a high level of trust in their bank, the report finds. But there is some reason for concern. Banks’ historical trust is eroding, as treasurers don’t always see banks as the sole trusted advisor these days, the report finds. Therefore, trust should be further leveraged by banks as a major proof point of quality, in particular, as it varies with market maturity and across geographies.

Bolster digital and proactive service

To stand out from fintechs and other tech players, banks must be able to answer treasurers’ evolving needs by balancing technological advancements and personalized human interaction. Traditional institutions can differentiate through agility: flexibility, responsive processes, enhanced advisory capabilities and high-end service, all day, every day, according to the report.

More and more corporate treasurers appear to be focused on digital disruption. More than 60% of treasurers now say they are interested in using digital channels, compared to 50% in 2016, the report finds.

But the quality of human interactions continues to play an important role in transaction banking. Case in point: Treasurers have expressed the need for the right balance between an integrated client delivery team that can provide deep business expertise and client understanding backed by digitized, integrated processes that appear seamless.

I believe banks are uniquely positioned to help clients along their digital journeys, while remaining focused on the overall customer relationship. Being the trusted partner should be demonstrated by adding expertise and value to the treasurers’ entire responsibility in a way that enables them to execute a strong strategic vision and increase efficiencies on a daily basis.

For more information, check out the 2018 Corporate Treasury Insights report from BNP Paribas and Boston Consulting Group.

To learn more about commercial banking at Bank of the West, visit our site.

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