Banking connectivity: Helping businesses deliver the easier, faster, more secure customer experience of the future

Banking connectivity addresses gaps and the disparity between finance, business, and customer service. U.S. Bank is your partner to examine digital opportunities and collaborate to deliver unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness with client-forward innovation.  

Tags: Innovation, Faster payments, Same day ACH, Real-time payments
Published: July 13, 2021

As consumer preference for convenience and speed in payments has overflowed from our personal lives to our professions, business leaders are asking their teams a simple question: “If I can use my phone to order pizza or pay my bills any time I want, why does it take so long to pay my vendors, execute payroll, or deliver faster payments to my customers?” 

When businesses are connected to their banking as seamlessly as they are to their customers and vendors, the opportunities are endless. It’s like the difference between dial-up and high-speed internet, or landline and cellphone. A modern business with connected banking can literally move money as fast as it needs – up to and including as fast as a customer clicks the buy button. Yet a connected business can also wait until the last possible nano-second to issue some payments, whenever that’s beneficial.  

In essence, bank connectivity gives businesses the same type of speed and flexibility their customers have learned to expect.    

This new brand of “always on, 24/7/365” digital banking relationship is the answer to business needs. It is the delivery of connectivity.

 

What is banking connectivity? 

The Digital Bridge for your business strategy is made possible through a series of scalable mechanisms and digital applications that increase efficiency, effectiveness and security across treasury, procurement, and wherever money moves. And it doesn’t stop there.  

Watch: Embracing technologies that embrace your operations

Once we’ve built a digital bridge together with a client, ensuring proper fit and form according to their strategy, the next stage of optimization is to actually use that bridge for exactly what any bridge is built for: connectivity.  

Between two or more points, and between a business, its bankers, and its customers, a new digital relationship exists that is the faster, stronger product of commercial/digital evolution. Digital connectivity doesn’t replace a banking relationship; rather, connectivity is the relationship. 

 

"With optimized processes and digital tools in place, companies can become highly agile and better prepared for uncertainty and change." – from The Digital Bridge


Connecting businesses with customers 

Connectivity is first and foremost a business matter. But revenues and returns only tell part of the story. Information critical to preparedness against uncertainty and the shape of the “new normal,” for example, is often sourced from emerging industry trends and direct client feedback. 

Consider the 2020 rise in faster payments adoption across the country. According to Mercator Advisory Group, the compound annual growth forecast for faster payments in the U.S. is a striking 55 percent from now until 2023. The forecast is based upon a rapid incline in transaction volumes across nearly all rails, including Real-time payments and Zelle ®.   

With the growth in faster payments adoption and use increasing significantly, the connection between consumer preference and the pace of business adoption is clear. 

 

Higher-order banking technology means connectivity 

Digital connectivity solutions, according to Mike Draxton, Robotics and Analytics Journey Team lead at U.S. Bank, “get things done.”

Here’s how they work.

 

APIs - application programming interfaces

Function: Coded to enable various, disparate software applications to communicate and collaborate.  

Business case: Connecting programs or applications to allow for new digital workflows, such as disbursing funds through third-party platforms. 

Example: Disbursing claims or rebates to customers via P2P mobile payments applications.

Read More: APIs and the future of business capabilities

 

AI + ML - artificial intelligence and machine learning       

Function: Methods of programming that simulate the characteristics of human intelligence and knowledge when applied to data-based queries.     

Business case: Using data, whether entered real-time or stored, to produce accurate and relevant analyses and assist users to resources. 

Example: Chatbots for handling customer service.

Read More: How AI is transforming treasury management

 

RPA  – robotic process automation   

Function: Software, programmed to replicate human actions within an application, e.g. moving a cursor, opening different windows, copying and pasting data between fields, etc.           

Business case: Executing intensive manual tasks with extreme speed and accuracy, reserving human intellectual efforts for analysis and decision-making.

Example: Migrating data between legacy and modern banking systems.

 

ERP Integration – enterprise resource planning    

Function: Connecting primary business management systems (ERP) with other applications used in daily operations, such that the applications and the primary system are unified, or connected.          

Business case: Connecting information and processes with primary business management systems to alleviate the time and cost-intensive burden of multiple screens and opening programs; real-time data transfer less susceptible to error, fraud. 

Example: Integrated banking relationships within existing ERPs for seamless money movement, transparent data, real-time reporting and enhanced controls. 

Read More: ERP integration with minimal technical effort

 

Digitally different 

Perhaps the most important and even common question in the minds of business leaders is always “what’s at stake?”  

First, consider some real benefits of the digitally-enhanced customer experience

  • Buying products, receiving services and refunds faster and more securely -- from wherever they are, whenever they want.  

Now imagine the impact on business-customer digital relationships: 

  • Transactions clearing faster for enhanced money management – funds applied in less than seconds for right-on-time, accurate bookkeeping and reporting – fostering trust and delivering the satisfaction of a “deal done, well.”  

And, what about the possibilities for an enterprise and its workforce? 

  • Employees compensated up to days ahead of previous payroll capability; for CFOs and treasurers, decision-making informed with unmatched data access and real-time reporting dashboards, enhanced vendor relationships and payment terms, unlocking new possibilities in working capital management. 

Digital delivery  

U.S. Bank knows the “digital promise” is not unique. We’ve spent time becoming a different kind of partner by listening to actual client needs and understanding what makes them different so our digital approach truly stands out among our competitors.  

What makes U.S. Bank the premier banking partner for digital transformation is a single-ended strategy: Make it easy for clients to connect with us and onboard solutions so they can make it easier for customers to connect with them

But it’s not just what a banking partner should say to establish meaningful digital relationships with customers; rather, how banking connectivity happens is paramount.

That’s why U.S. Bank meets with prospects and clients wherever they are along their digital transformation journey – whether they’ve just begun or are ready to innovate ahead of the competition – and matches unique business stories with deep industry expertise to build a “digital bridge” to accelerate strategy.  

Our partners can expect that connectivity with U.S. Bank is a way to connect them with their customers -- in ways their customers expect. 

 

Let’s connect