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Tech Surpasses Brexit, Trump In Treasurers’ Chief Concerns

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New analysis from The Wall Street Journal this week suggests global uncertainties and geopolitical events like the election of U.S. President Donald Trump or Brexit aren’t top-of-mind for corporate treasurers today.

Instead, the publication wrote, it’s technology.

Analysts drew the conclusion in covering this week’s ACT annual corporate treasurer conference, pointing to bank technology, bitcoin and blockchain and other emerging tools changing how treasurers get their jobs done.

“Banks present us with a wide range of solutions,” said Arup Group treasurer Richard Abigail. “I, as the treasurer, however, have to make a decision on how to integrate these into my existing systems and also how much I want to spend on them.”

In another interview with the publication, Bank of America Director of Global Transaction Services Business in London, Bruce Meuli, said “the treasury community is moving [toward] automation of existing systems,” adding that this applies to the traditional aspects of treasury management like transactions and risk management, but other areas as well, like payables.

“What corporate treasurers care about is to get under the skin of this,” concluded RBS Head of Transaction Services Paul Thwaite. “We can now show the practical uses of technology.”

Reports said RBS is just one example of how FIs have introduced new technologies to their corporate treasury clients, having launched a real-time spend management app that can link to commercial cards.

Earlier this year, Citi launched CitiConnect API, a way for corporate treasurers to link their TMS and ERP platforms into Citi for transaction banking management.

Meanwhile, Capital One released a survey from its Treasury Management Group late last year, which found corporate treasurers are widely looking to upgrade their internal systems, with 83 percent of those surveyed saying they plan to implement new services in the coming year. Still, the struggle to adopt to new technology can stand in the way of this progress: separate research from Ovum found that just 13 percent of businesses are embracing a “digital transformation,” which could challenge a corporate treasurer in her or his path to integrating new tools.

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