Serving corporate clients requires banks to offer a dizzying array of products and services to manage working capital, liquidity, investments, and borrowing. This has led to a "technology arms race," especially among the largest global banks, which spend billions of dollars annually on corporate banking technology.
Even banks that have billions to spend (which only a handful do) must carefully weigh investment priorities. When asked how they prioritize strategy drivers, corporate banking survey respondents expressed a clear driver, enhancing the client experience, which almost 85% identified as their first or second choice.
By improving the client experience, most banks are also enhancing their competitive positioning, which is critical as competition for wallet share continues to intensify. With the strategic imperative to improve client engagement, banks are prioritizing investments in corporate digital client onboarding, along with front office client management tools that provide a comprehensive, 360-degree customer view. These tools are increasingly including AI-enabled data analytics features that help to identify cross-sell products and to help clients improve liquidity management.
Celent's Model Bank Award-winning case studies feature these tools and technology, from Santander UK's Corporate Digital Onboarding experience and HSBC's CoreDocs onboarding initiative to PNC's Treasury Analytics Platform and Citi's Front Office AI Exemplar. Vanguard banks are pushing the frontier in using AI to drive new customer engagement models, as recently discussed in AI Driving Game-Changing Competitive Differentiation. These banks are prioritizing advanced AI projects in the near term.
Corporate digital channels are the face of the bank to business clients, and banks continue to increase investments in client-facing portals and corporate-to-bank connectivity, especially APIs which have the promise to deliver real-time treasury. Recent case studies include Wells Fargo's Easy Connect Platform, DBS's reimagined IDEAL solution, and Goldman Sachs's TxB transaction banking cloud-based platform.
But somewhat surprisingly, corporate clients themselves don't put technology at the top of their shopping list when thinking about their new or existing banking partners.
More than 85% of respondents answered that having their bank act as a strategic and long-term partner was very or quite important. But technology matters too, with 84% percent of financial professionals surveyed wanting their bank to provide best-in-class products or services. Thus we see an essential need to balance high touch with high tech, as Citizens Financial Group exemplified in its winning initiative for Commercial Banking Transformation.
Watch my 10 min interview with Joanne Wyper, EVP and Head of Commercial Operations at Citizens Financial Group as we discuss what they're doing differently in customer engagement.
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