Corporate treasury teams typically share the same goals, which is to properly manage their organization’s finances and ensure that all vendors and other payments distribution is done efficiently and at the least possible expense. But how would they know whether they’re getting the best bang for their buck?
One innovator that is working on offering better options is the Bank of Montreal (BOM). The financial institution decided that it would help clients by combining its traditional treasury/cash management business with its corporate card organization.
“Things are getting more complex [for corporate clients]; the pace of change is picking up, especially with the evolution from paper to electronic in the payments space,” Kevin Kane, the bank’s managing director and head of sales for treasury and payment solutions in the U.S., told Bank Systems & Technology. “We interpreted those macro trends and listened to their corporate objectives and came forward with ideas to simplify and streamline their payments environment.”
Essentially, BMO wanted to create a have a more “consultative” type of conversation with its corporate clients, according to the news source. The bank looks at a business’ disbursement side, its payments distribution, how many vendors it has, the suppliers it works with, how it uses the automated clearinghouse system and payments cards. It then analyzes the information and recommends where a company can gain savings and process improvements.
Capital One Financial Corp. similarly has been making changes in how it approaches its corporate customers’ issues. With Jim Gifas recently being brought on to head up Cap One’s Treasury Management Product Management & Innovation Group, the organization has placed an increased emphasis on helping solve corporate banking issues.
When Gifas sat down with MPD Karen Webster last month, he delved into the details, saying treasury managers face a recurring issue in answering for two essential core values: finding a way to build their business to make them efficient and driving revenue, and thus value, for their own customers.
In terms of payments, corporate customers are seeing innovations in their personal lives and are likely to want to find a way to translate that to their professional lives, Gifas said.
“Our customers are getting used to [having] on the personal side [an] instant access of information,” Gifas said, explaining that individuals can sit on their couch and make transactions. “They’re checking to see where things are. Customers on the business side want the exact same efficiencies and flexibility – to be able to having banking anywhere and on the go.”
In an interview with Banking Systems & Technology, Gifas reiterated those points, saying Capital One is focusing on how to automate corporate payments and reduce the number of checks that businesses use, as they can be expensive. Overall, Cap One wants to help corporate customers make more efficient payments, whether its through credit cards, wire transfers or ACH, he said.
“The perfect solution will vary by customer and depend on their specific needs,” Gifas told the news source.