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Corporate Treasurers Readying A Toolkit Upgrade

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Corporate treasurers may be ready to upgrade their toolkits, but they have a few key priorities in mind because they jump in on innovation trends.

A new survey from Capital One’s Treasury Management Group, released last week, has found that the vast majority of treasury professionals — 83 percent — said they plan to upgrade their treasury management services or implement new ones in the coming year. But for some treasurers, there is one thing standing in their way: the threat of a cyberattack.

According to Capital One Treasury Management Product Management Group Head Patrick Moore, the data reflects treasurers’ increasing demand for greater efficiency and less friction. The research revealed that half of survey respondents said their top priority when choosing a treasury management service provider is finding one that focuses on its clients’ unique pain points.

For Capital One, Moore said, that means taking “a human-centric design approach to identify pain points that clients are experiencing day-to-day.”

For treasurers, one of their biggest focuses for the year ahead is cybersecurity. Nearly all of the professionals surveyed — 95 percent — said the increasing risk of a cyberattack has led their business to implement new cybersecurity solutions. That’s a 25 percent increase from the portion of treasurers who said the same in Capital One’s 2015 survey.

At the same time, however, cybersecurity is acting as a barrier to adopting new technologies. The vast majority, 94 percent, of survey respondents said that cyberthreats are preventing them from adopting a corporate mobile banking platform — that’s a 41 percent spike from 2015’s survey.

Capital One’s report coincides with the release of Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights for 2017 report, which outlined how corporations throughout the globe are embracing technology and replacing legacy systems with newer ones.

While corporate treasurers in Capital One’s survey seem to be eager to swap out old tools for newer technologies, Ovum found that just 13 percent of organizations are embracing this “digital transformation.”

But the two reports both seem to reflect the increasing importance on cybersecurity. According to Ovum, 70.7 percent of professionals surveyed said their organizations are in “full investment mode” when it comes to spending on new technologies for network security.

Though cybersecurity concerns are hampering adoption of mobile banking services within the enterprise, Capital One Bank Commercial Card Group Head Rick Elliott said in another statement that corporate treasurers have been focusing on solutions that support mobility.

Mobile products align with the expectations of our customers and how they want to engage with their work,” Elliott said. “We’re in a time of rapid change in the industry; we have seen mobile adoption gain some traction, but we need to set a higher bar for customer experiences.”

Capital One’s survey found that 54 percent of treasurers said at least a few top executives at their firms conduct finance functions from a mobile device on a regular basis. Researchers concluded that the embrace of mobile financial solutions remains a “work in progress.” The report did find evidence that enterprise mobility is gaining significant traction, however, as 87 percent of respondents said they can already access critical data remotely, representing a 24 percent increase from last year.

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