In late 2022 I posted on the criticality for treasuries to manage cash and liquidity, It’s all About the Cash – Thoughts from AFP 2022. In response, banks are delivering more tools that provide insights and recommendations to treasurers.
I firmly believe that transaction data, coupled with AI and interactive user experiences, remains an underutilized asset for growth. The value of information reporting and its associated data to treasury clients has never been in doubt, but it is often viewed by banks as being one of the staidest of transaction banking products. For years, the unloved product suite of Information Reporting has languished in the shadow of spicier product innovations. However, the transactional data that underpins client reporting and reconciliation solutions can (and should) be leveraged for treasury insights and advisory solutions.
Several banks have implemented cashflow forecasting solutions using AI and ML to help corporate clients more accurately predict future account balances. Breakthrough Innovation in Cash Management: Bank Pacesetters and Point Solution Partners in Cash Visibility and Forecasting (December 2021). However, one question is whether banks are developing solutions for forecasting as a means to more intelligent treasury solutions, or as an end in itself.
Unlocking Treasury Insights discusses how transaction banking groups can develop a road map for self-service advisory tools and insights for clients, based on the building blocks of reporting data, and making significant use of augmented intelligence to support decision-making. As with driver-aids in a car, this is an approach where data science is paired with human interaction to help enable learning and enhance decision-making.
There is a necessary progression of capabilities in data, always-on (API-based) services, and adoption of AI techniques and tools required to deliver more sophisticated applications and experiences at scale. It is important to note that there are different levels of “intelligence” in these emerging capabilities - not all require sophisticated AI. There is a ramp from traditional reporting and reconciliation solutions, through augmented intelligence, toward intelligent automation of treasury.
In delivering the treasury experience of tomorrow, adopting “augmented intelligence” is a pragmatic strategy for today.