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A Modern Approach to Technical Onboarding of Corporate Payments Clients

Nadish Lad
Global Head of Strategic Business, Volante Technologies

Corporate payments services are a reliable source of ongoing business for financial institutions, both in terms of transaction fees and the value of the underlying deposits. We all know this business is also highly competitive, with corporate clients deciding to switch or remain with providers depending on who offers the most attractive terms.

When speaking with various banks, one of the primary challenges they list when trying to win new corporate clients is the technical aspect of handling diverse corporate payment file formats and standards, ERP integrations, and APIs during the onboarding process. Today this process is mired in regulatory, technical and human obstacles which dramatically lengthen onboarding times, impacting bank competitiveness. In fact, according to a poll conducted by Aite, 74% of large and midsize banks named integration as their biggest obstacle to achieving their customer experience goals.

So, it follows that delivering onboarding efficiency can be a critical differentiator for banks and FIs, and will drive opportunities to manage their clients’ cash and liquidity more efficiently, reduce processing costs, and add overlay services.

By zooming-in on the technical aspects involved in onboarding corporate clients in need of automated or streamlined payment services, issues regarding lack of clarity around file formats, standards and delivery times can be resolved.

The situation is all too familiar; a corporation approaches a bank with a need to process complex bulk payments. Such payments may relate to anything from payroll to vendor payments to scheduling export/import fees. Depending on the amount of business the corporate will potentially provide, the bank responds enthusiastically or not at all.

The process frequently becomes bogged down in a web of discussions across sales, technical development and the bank onboarding team. Often the difference in expertise and alignment between the delivery teams is palpable and exacerbates costly problems. Unsurprisingly, smaller corporates with nuanced needs will steer clear of such expensive, disorganised options. Add ISO 20022 enriched data requirements to the list and it’s a miracle that corporates ever get onboarded at all!

As convoluted as this reality seems, removing the technical tripwires between these jumbled factors is doable if we ask the right question: What is stopping banks from offering a service that provides a corporate with a library of standards which work across numerous contexts, enabling straight-through integration between the corporate and the bank, within an achievable, attractive timeframe in which to complete the onboarding?

The issue fundamentally lies in the traditional onboarding approach which inevitably requires new solutions to be programmed from the ground up. This sentiment was echoed in poll results from a recent webinar held by Finextra: when it comes to onboarding corporates, almost 40% of respondent banks named back-end integration as their main pain point. By shifting the emphasis to a business-led and configuration-focused approach, wasted time, excessive costs, and needless complexity can be avoided.

The entire business process or conveyor belt that these processes must travel through should be streamlined, resulting in efficient onboarding of corporate clients. Doing so will assist banks to increase their competitiveness and concurrently give smaller financial institutions access to bid for corporate accounts that were once considered out of reach.

How to accomplish this? By turning to the cloud.  When banks and FIs leverage cloud technology as an intermediary between the various parties and departments involved in onboarding, a multitude of technical, operational, and financial issues can be moderated or avoided altogether.

I discussed these ideas in more depth in a recent webinar with Finextra, entitled Accelerating Technical Onboarding to Win New Corporate Payments Clients where I sat down with other industry experts from Payments Canada and Silicon Valley Bank, UK to discuss the following:

  • What are the inefficiencies of the technical aspects of corporate payments onboarding that stall the process?
  • Can this be changed from a technically led onboarding process to a business-led onboarding process?
  • What are the moving parts that have to be considered in this business-led process?
  • What are the business benefits to banks and corporates of improved onboarding?
  • How does prioritizing speed and configurability enable banks to create attractive value propositions for corporations?

You can listen to this webinar at your leisure here.

You can also learn more about Volante’s Corporate to Bank Automation solution by clicking here.

Nadish Lad
Nadish Lad
Global Head of Strategic Business, Volante Technologies

Nadish is responsible for managing the strategy, roadmap and design of Payments propositions for Volante Technologies, adding new innovative products in the evolving digital world.

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