Corporate treasurers expect improved system functionality from new technology developments
Results of a recent Zanders and FIS Treasury Technology survey. Based on the research, we conclude that corporate treasurers expect new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and APIs, to improve the level of support systems currently provide in areas such as cash flow forecasting and risk quantification. Additionally, cybersecurity is seen as an important driver to move away from on-premise installations of their systems.
Zanders and FIS have surveyed corporate treasurers in the Benelux region for a new market pulse report focused on treasury technology. New and evolving technologies offer stronger functionality and fresh opportunities for treasurers. At the same time, many treasurers are underutilizing existing technology. Based on the research, we conclude that corporate treasurers expect new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and APIs, to improve the level of support systems currently provide in areas such as cash flow forecasting and risk quantification. Additionally, cybersecurity is seen as an important driver to move away from on-premise installations of their systems.
Excel still widely used to support treasury
Treasury Management Systems (TMS) are the core technology tool used by treasury to manage the treasury function, although Excel is still very popular. This is particularly the case for cash flow forecasting, where Excel is the primary tool, while only 17% of respondents use their TMS for this purpose. Corporates indicated that the TMS works very well for cash positioning and in-house bank functionality. Diverse opinions about TMS functionality appears in the areas of hedge accounting, foreign exchange exposure management, interest rate risk management, netting, and with workflows and controls.
Half of the subsidiaries of the respondents have access to the TMS, either via uploading or entering data directly in the TMS or by having view rights in the TMS. For 20% of respondents, the subsidiaries send the data to Treasury, which then uploads it in the TMS.
Cybersecurity is a key element in technical deployment
A big majority of respondents (70%) already have their TMS hosted by a third party or use a cloud-based solution (single or multi-tenant), while 30% have their TMS on-premise. Cybersecurity and ease of deployment are seen as the most important factors when using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, followed by constantly staying up to date, and cost. On the other hand, cybersecurity, reversibility and data protection are the main concerns about SaaS solutions.
Efficiency, better controls and improved security by new technological developments
According to the respondents, advanced cybersecurity protection and artificial intelligence or predictive analytics will have the biggest impact on the future of the treasury system landscape in the coming one to three years. API technology and robotic process automation will also likely influence the functional requirements. However, when it comes to blockchain technology, the expectations are somewhat reserved with only 18% of the people expecting an effect in the coming years. Respondents expect that Treasury will benefit from new technology developments in the areas of better data accuracy, improved straight-through processing, improved controls and better functional capabilities.
Should treasury have a role in bank communication and processing payments?
Electronic banking systems are widely used for treasury, commercial, salary and tax payments. Host-to-host and Swift service bureaus are used by one-third of the corporates polled. The majority of the respondents mentioned that treasury should have a role, to a greater or lesser extent, in controlling and managing bank communications and payment processing of the company. Security and processing payments on a global base are rated as primary challenges of payments processing. 70% of the respondents have been a target of payment fraud, 80% of which was phishing. Respondents said they reviewed internal controls and security to prevent future fraud.
Graph: % of Software used for Cash Management:
The full market pulse report will be distributed amongst the respondents in April and is available upon request (via email@example.com)