Automation and efficiency to drive transaction banking growth – survey

Transaction bankers are going back to basics to drive revenue growth, sticking to core business lines before moving into new value-added services, according to research from Misys.

Transaction bankers are going back to basics to drive revenue growth, sticking to core business lines before moving into new value-added services, according to research from Misys.

A survey of 107 industry professionals, carried out by Misys with Finextra, shows that marginal growth is coming from new ventures offering add-ons such as real-time payments services and supply chain finance programmes.

However, respondents expect the biggest growth to come from unleashing the potential of more automated payments, being able to streamline trade finance processing and offering  unified online channels for corporate transaction banking across trade, cash and treasury functions.

Regional differences in the potential for growth and demand for transaction services are evident from the poll, with more than a third of those quizzed saying that they see Asia Pacific having the highest potential, while 30% say Europe is their main focus.

Wisam Mahmood, global product director, Misys, says: "Increasingly corporates are demanding more joined up ways of looking across their transactions to better assess working capital and risks in their business, and we are seeing banks reacting to these demands, region by region.

"To maximise the return on their transaction banking business, banks are focusing on getting the fundamental infrastructure that mobilises their payments and trade finance business right in order to capitalise on new and future opportunities in the corporate banking market."

The growing commoditisation of payments is another challenge emerging more strongly, with 58% of respondents highlighting it this year, compared with 46% last year. As it becomes harder to differentiate with standard payment products and services, banks are under increasing pressure to achieve greater efficiency in existing areas - and scale them at a regional or global level - while also directing resources to new product development and delivery.

In last year's survey, 80% said adding new online services was a strategic priority and many have stuck to that roadmap, with 85% now offering an online portal for corporates.

The results also show that banks are focusing on improving the quality of their payments operations: 81% say that reducing manual exceptions is a priority, indicative of the fact that incremental improvements in straight-through processing can still yield significant cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.

Download the full survey here

Finextra and Misys drew together a panel of transaction banking heavyweights from Barclays, ING, SocGen and Citi to discuss the results of the report at the Sibos in Dubai.

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