Peeking Out From Under The Hood - Next Generation Online Cash Management

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18 September 2009
Jacob Jegher
It's been about a year now since I wrote the report, Web 2.0: A Quantum Leap for Wholesale Banking. I predicted it would take a good 12-18 months before we would begin to see cutting-edge corporate online banking sites complete with Web 2.0 elements. Alas, we are starting to see some interesting solutions peek out from under the hood. At SIBOS this week, Citi unveiled CitiDirect BE, its next generation online banking platform. "BE" stands for Banking Evolution, and there are certainly evolutionary components to the new solution - electronic bank account management, the use of a dashboard, a video section, etc. The new solution leverages Microsoft SharePoint. This announcement is material for several reasons:
  • Banks must emphasize innovation. In order to remain competitive and take a leadership position, banks need to work on innovation. It is important to recognize customer requirements, and stay one step ahead of them.
  • Banks need to focus on customer experience. Innovative banks are on a path to improve the overall online customer experience of their core cash management products. Cash management features are mature for the most part. Customer experience and ease of use is where the real challenge lies.
  • Banks must embrace online trends, not shy away from them. The online world moves at lighting speed and banks need to keep up with some of the trends. A great example is the use of media (e.g. video, blogs) to further knowledge and emphasize education.


Further details and some screenshots can be seen in the following video clip with Gary Greenwald (Chief Innovation Officer at Citi). Gary Greenwald's efforts have not gone unnoticed - he was named yesterday to the Bank Systems & Technology Elite 8.

Citi wasn't the only bank to come out with interesting news at SIBOS. Bank of America signed a deal with Fundtech for its Global PayPlus platform. The goal is to create a payments hub that will be part of BofA's next generation cash management solution. It's all about efficiencies, and when everything is said and done, Bank of America will have a single payments processing platform. The payments hub will support payments initiated across all channels. It sounds pretty impressive and I look forward to learning more about this when it goes live (target is second half of 2010). American Banker published a good article that highlights both of these initiatives.

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