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Automation and payment efficiency will grow transaction banking

Online services deemed crucial to staying competitive

Automation and payment efficiency will grow transaction banking

Transaction bankers are going back to basics to drive revenue growth, reveals Misys’ annual survey of trends in transaction banking, published recently.

Findings also highlight significant progress by banks in the last 12 months as they consolidate transaction banking business lines and have sought new revenue streams by reacting to corporate demand for currency and counterparty risk mitigation.

The survey of 107 professionals in the trade finance, payments, and cash management industry globally evaluated the state of the global transaction banking industry and the opportunities for improvement and growth.

Banks are looking to capitalize on core business lines before extending new value-added services in transaction banking, such as real-time payments services and supply chain finance programs. While marginal growth is coming from new ventures to offer these services, the biggest growth is expected to be seen in unleashing the potential of more automated payments, being able to streamline trade finance processing, and offering more unified online channels for corporate transaction banking across trade, cash, and treasury functions.

"Increasingly corporates are demanding more joined up ways of looking across their transactions to better assess working capital and risks in their business, and we are seeing banks reacting to these demands, region by region," says Wisam Mahmood, global product director, Misys. "To maximize the return on their transaction banking business, banks are focusing on getting the fundamental infrastructure that mobilizes their payments and trade finance business right in order to capitalize on new and future opportunities in the corporate banking market.”

The growing commoditization of payments is another challenge emerging more strongly, with 58% of respondents highlighting it this year, compared with 46% last year. As it becomes harder to differentiate with standard payment products and services, banks are under increasing pressure to achieve greater efficiency in existing areas—and scale them at a regional or global level—while also directing resources to new product development and delivery.

In last year’s survey, 80% said adding new online services was a strategic priority and many have stuck to that roadmap—85% now have an online portal offering for corporates. Of those who considered online trade services and cash management a key product for ensuring growth, 75% considered regional rollout challenges to be a hurdle to growth from these services.

The results also showed that banks are focusing on improving the quality of their payments operations. Eighty-one percent say reducing manual exceptions is a priority, indicative of the fact that incremental improvements in straight-through processing can still yield significant cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.

Other report findings include”

  • 69% cite operational inefficiencies as a barrier to growth in core businesses.
  • Cross-border payments processing the top priority for investment globally.
  • 84% said increasing payments processing efficiency was a top priority.
  • 56% said streamlining the trade finance business was key to future growth

Read the survey

John Ginovsky

John Ginovsky is a contributing editor of Banking Exchange and editor of the publication’s Tech Exchange e-newsletter. For more than two decades he’s written about the commercial banking industry, specializing in its technological side and how it relates to the actual business of banking. In addition to his weekly blogs—"Making Sense of It All"—he contributes fresh, original stories to each Tech Exchange issue based on personal interviews or exclusive contributed pieces. He previously was senior editor for Community Banker magazine (which merged into ABA Banking Journal) and for ABA Banking Journal and was managing editor and staff reporter for ABA’s Bankers News. Email him at jginovsky@sbpub.com.

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