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Banking Relations

Banks Need User-Friendly Cash Management Offerings

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May 18, 2018

Aite: Banks got too fancy when it came to cash management platforms, making upgrades hard, systems outdated

financial system softwareBanks are learning that getting fancy when it comes to cash management platforms actually works against them in the long run, according to an Aite study. That’s because cash management systems that have been overly customized by banks cannot be as easily upgraded. As a result, they fall behind.

Many banks are now beginning to do something about that with 86% of corporate banks upgrading to new systems, according to Aite. “Most banks are committing increased investment dollars to their treasury management and cash management platforms,” says Erika Baumann, senior analyst at Aite Group. “The ones that are not investing are at greater risk of falling behind their competitors.”

One of the driving forces behind the investment is the demand by corporate treasuries and others in corporate finance for faster, more seamless interfaces, something that has been lacking in available bank platforms. “The outdated systems, clunky user interfaces, siloed infrastructures, and paper-based processes that are commonly found within most corporate banks are no longer acceptable to bank clients,” the Aite report says. But now investing in new technology has become “table stakes for banks” to stay competitive, “grow their business, meet new customer expectations, and remain viable players in this potentially lucrative space.”

Ms. Baumann says corporate finance departments currently have “consumer expectations” when it comes to cash management. That is, banking technology in the consumer sector is way better than in the commercial sector. Corporates want that same ease of use. “[T]hey expect that a bank’s cash management platform is intuitive, is easy to use, and provides a single point of entry for all bank functionality,” the Aite report says. “Because of this, banks are replacing their cash management platforms at a more accelerated rate than previously seen in the market.”

How much they spend will vary by bank size, Aite says. According to the report: 

  • Banks with US$10 billion to US$49 billion in assets will spend an average of US$7 million.
  • Banks with US$50 billion to US$99 billion in assets will spend an average of US$11 million.
  • Banks with US$100 billion to US$299 billion in assets will spend an average of US$11 million.
  • Banks with greater than US$300 billion in assets will spend an average of US$30 million.

Banks will not be spending that money building the systems themselves, however. They will beed a vendor in the space. And those vendors will have to be aware of the drivers too. “[B]anks need to seek a partner that provides solutions to the key demand drivers of solving customer pain points, reaching the needs of small businesses, becoming the primary bank, and standing out from primary competitors.” Those vendors include Fiserv, FIS, Bottomline, ACI, Finestra and others.

Aite says the trend to replace cash-management solutions “is expected to continue in a steady flow over the next few years, with 37% of the top six to 70 US banks (ranked by total assets) forecast to sign a new cash management vendor contract between 2018 and 2020.”

And the trend will likely continue beyond as the tech improves and as banks continue the never-ending quest of building deeper relationships and striving to become a client’s primary bank. “Establishing the bank as the primary bank provides more stable and predictable noninterest income,” Aite says, and it also makes it harder for customers to leave if there is the follow-on cross-selling. Investing in technology for “a modern look and feel,” according to Aite will keep customers happy and in the family.

 

 

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