Corporate-to-Bank Connectivity: Embedded Finance for Transaction Banking

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12 December 2022


In November 2018, Celent published its first report on unattended, automated corporate digital channels, Corporate-to-Bank Integration: The Need for a Hybrid Approach. The 2018 report focused on host-to-host, file-based connectivity, a critical component of the corporate digital channels mix because it securely, reliably, and efficiently handles large, complex information flows across multiple banks and financial counterparties.

Jumping forward to 2022, Celent research confirms that corporate digital platforms and delivery channels continue to be top priorities for bank investment. But it isn’t enough to offer siloed, standalone solutions. It is vital for banks to deliver an omnichannel digital customer experience, defined as delivering a customized but consistent client experience to customers across all points of interaction. both attended and unattended.

Attended vs Unattended Delivery Channels

Both banks and their corporate clients face rising complexity in the corporate-to-bank connectivity space. Growing cross-border payment volumes, migrating message formats, expanding file sizes, continuing integration challenges, and increasing demand for digitalization drive increased attention on (and investment in) unattended digital channels.

Banks are well-positioned to overcome the rising complexity and increasing challenges in the corporate-to-bank connectivity and integration space, especially leveraging third-party specialists. The end goal of solving (or mitigating) complexity is fully automated, straight-through-processing (STP) of banking data and payment initiation within ERP, TMS, and accounting software, whether through the file channel or via APIs. Under Celent’s Embedded Finance framework, this STP falls into Tech-Led Embedded Finance, defined as making it easier to integrate bank standard products into the partner’s digital experience.

Unfortunately, legacy systems, siloed technology teams, continued integration challenges, and fragmented operational support continue to be barriers on the path to embedded finance with seamless corporate-to-bank connectivity, both for banks and their corporate clients. Celent encourages banks to take a hard look at their unattended connectivity channels – host to host, Swift, domestic networks, and APIs – to ensure that they can meet (and hopefully exceed) client expectations in an increasingly complex space. In addition, the ability to lean on the expertise of specialist providers can help ensure that banks are ready to take on the challenge.