Mapping a New World in Working Capital Management

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22 November 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA November 22, 2005

Best practice examples along the financial supply chain

Enterprising banks are breaking out of their traditional payment role to explore opportunities in financial supply chain automation and integration. To the degree they can optimize their commercial customers working capital, they will excel in the next generation of treasury products and services.

The gradual electronification of the financial supply chain is certain. How it will unfold is still uncertain and which players will dominate have yet to be determined. In a new report, " ," Celent provides a road map of the trends and best practices in the automation and integration of the financial supply chain. Because automation and integration require cooperation and collaboration between companies, technology providers, and banks, the report discusses all the players and pieces.

Companies are gradually realizing that their current financial supply chain practices are not sustainable, and that they must reduce their excess working capital. Although they are not a majority, there are treasury innovators, and they are found not only in the global corporations but also among an increasing number of midsize companies. These innovators are reducing the number of banks with whom they deal and attendant fees while improving their financial supply chain operations.

Banks role as mapmakers is currently uncertain. They have a big stake in the treasury services territory and consequently in the mapping of the e-financial supply chain landscape. Business-to-business payment-related services is a key revenue generator, churning out between $32 billion and $36 billion annually overall and accounting for over a third of wholesale banking revenues. Banks current territory is, however, under rising price pressure, and their pricing structure based on earnings credit rate and implicitly on float is no longer sustainable.

"Unless banks build bridges to customers archipelago of systems either directly or indirectly via partners, they will be relegated to the low-margin custody, clearing, and settlement business while others win in high-margin integration and information-related businesses," states Alenka Grealish, author of the report and manager of the banking group at Celent. "Only by venturing along the financial supply chain and adding value through system integration, business intelligence, and electronic payments can banks stem the erosion of revenues and margins and secure a position in the new world," she adds.

Celent predicts that over the next 10 years, global companies will deal with less than five banks selected based on ease of systems integration, cycle time reduction, and least cost routing.

This report profiles e-financial supply chain best practices at ABN AMRO, Avolent, JPMorgan Treasury Services, U.S. Bank, Xign, MasterCard, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Diebold, and an insurance company. This report is 30 pages and contains 15 figures and one table.

of Celent's Wholesale Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.

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