Mass transactions within thumb's reach: a new dimension of corporate banking

Several thousand transfers to complete in a few moments? There's an app for that.

Airport. A large company's CFO is just about to board a plane. Her smartwatch vibrates, saying: "5136 transactions to authorize". She reaches for her phone, does a few taps, slides it back into her pocket. Snuggling down into a seat by the window, she fires up the app again and glances for a moment on her balances, deposits and loans. Just another day in the office, right?

Wrong. Usually it works this way: a myriad of logins and passwords to a myriad of web services. No comprehensive view on all banking products. Inability to analyze particular chunks of data being kept in the dark for some reason. Headache. Frustration. Rage.

In retail banking, it all seems so easy - a transfer here or there, a new credit card to keep up with your teenage kids' voracious appetite for shopping, a loan maybe.

Corporates have much more on their plates. Currency management, liquidity management, cash and check management...each of these - and we're only scratching the surface here - is infrequently represented by a separate system on a bank’s side. A silo. As a banker, how do you integrate, maintain and upgrade all of them while keeping the cost at a reasonable level? Go figure.

Or: let somebody do it for you. Ever heard of Comarch Corporate Banking?

It’s an omnichannel platform designed for the specific needs of large and medium-sized companies and offered to banks providing services to such companies. It’s a transactional banking system, a financial management tool, and a solution to facilitate handling of bulk payments – all rolled up into one.

So first, it will help your financial institution manage a wide range of banking products and services directed to companies, without having to purchase additional systems that support, say, FX dealing or cashflow forecasting individually. One system, one sign-on, full grasp of the situation.

Second, it shall handle your customers’ transactions in the blink of an eye thanks to the integration with the most popular ERP systems (not only SAP or Infor) – it is these systems that you will create and authorize transfer batches from. The creating can be done on a PC by an accountant sitting in his office in Baden-Baden, the authorizing – by a CFO reaching for her phone shortly before a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Biggest single transfer so far? 19 million dollars.

Third, it will support corporates in managing accounts of different types, buying currencies, making local and international payments: SWIFT or SEPA, or consolidating balances across the world. It’s going to suggest how to solve a liquidity problem too. Factoring? Increasing the credit line? Trade Finance if a given company does lots of transfers to China?

And fourth, you will pick your own modules as if you ordered a fine dinner from the menu – and get them in a uniform interface regardless of using desktop, mobile or wearable devices. We like to say: whatever you choose to run the system from, it just works. Our happy clients in Europe, Asia and Africa can attest to that.

Think about it: there are not many off-the-shelf corporate banking systems. Why? They require highly specialized know-how to be developed. Simply put, you don’t design a corporate banking solution if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why most of what you can get on the market today is retail-based. But let’s face it: you can't have an 18-wheeler on the chassis of a compact car.

The more so as the expectations of corporate banking customers are growing - to the point where they become a significant challenge for the industry.

The Boston Consulting Group’s recent survey conducted among such customers worldwide shows that more than 60% of them say that they are willing to switch—and even pay a premium—to work with banks capable of delivering an integrated, omnichannel service.

According to the survey, three digital strategies show particular potential: seamless online banking, enhanced digital advice, and real-time decision-making support. BCG suggests that over a five-year period, the "big three" can boost revenues by up to 40%.

Single-sign-on processes, credit preapproval, hassle-free integration across devices and channels, or straight-through processing of routine tasks - these are some of the areas bearing paramount importance in the corporate banking of today. But today is where tomorrow starts and the industry "is on the cusp of a far-reaching digital shakeout" - write the analysts.

Brace yourself for tomorrow then. A new one.

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