2012 Treasury Services Outlook

Banks' treasury services offerings are being shaped by corporate customers' demands for better controls, increased access to information, and improved transparency of payments and other transactions. What is the outlook for treasury services in 2012, and what technologies can help banks improve their offerings?
December 19, 2011

Efficiency Will Dominate the Treasury Services Landscape in 2012

By Cindy Murray, Head of Global Treasury Product Infrastructure, Platforms and eCommerce, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Charlotte, N.C.)

Efficiency will continue to dominate the treasury services landscape in 2012 as corporate treasurers balance the need to contribute strategically to their organizations with constrained resources. Through industry standardization groups such as ISO 20022, companies will progress toward the use of standard formats, particularly in payments and reconciliation. More corporates will join financial institutions in using SWIFT as a communications channel and embrace the new standards. And efficiency measures established by the Fortune 500 will be adopted by middle-market and smaller companies in the push to do more with less.

As payments volumes --both domestic and cross-border -- increase, organizations will streamline their foreign-exchange processes. Meanwhile, banks will make significant progress toward providing real-time information to clients to be used for strategic objectives such as making credit decisions on receivables, shipping goods and reconciling cash immediately.

Efficiency also will be aided by both the online and file channels. On the file side, we'll see more traction around electronic bank account management (eBAM), as the power of standards and electronic communication with the banks takes root. Online channel progress will be notable with improvements in the handling of exceptions, research and self-service. Mobile also will become more established, with a focus on helping clients make decisions on the go.

Clients are also moving to utilize their banks to store more data. The amount of data stored will increase from about a year's worth to two to three years' worth to meet this demand. Think of it as the "bank as a cloud" service: It frees clients from DVD storage and puts more information at their fingertips.

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