The pace of change in treasury management accelerated in 2019, and financial institutions find themselves looking at a brave new world leading into 2020. Technologies like RTP® and Disbursements via Zelle® matured into more widespread use, and supply chains became more complex.
As a result, the conversation about treasury management has also evolved, toward further education and sound decision-making. Here’s a look at what innovation in treasury management looked like in 2019, what’s coming in 2020, and how you can prepare for the change.
Taimur Jabran, manager of treasury product development at U.S. Bank, noted that innovation involved both a shift in process and mindset. Taking a macro and micro look at evolving trends, Jabran described how modern treasurers approach new innovations.
“Whether its payments innovation or process automation, people want to be educated and informed,” Jabran said. “Because there are so many product options for each viable industry, they want to make sure any new technology is the right choice for them.”
Payment innovations were a large area of focus in 2019, as organizations increasingly tested newer systems like RTP and Zelle. For Jabran, though, the speed of the technology was only part of the conversation.
“On the payments innovation side, whether it was a new payment rail like RTP or a mobile-based system like Zelle, the desired results were similar,” Jabran said. “Clients want to get to reconciliation quicker, but they also want to make sure these systems are secure in a more complex world.”
Kyle Bacher, treasury management product manager at U.S. Bank, noted that the new year brings fresh focus for the treasury management industry. Specifically, there are several newer audiences that the industry must attract, due to evolving spending habits.
“From a macro level, we’re looking at innovation in terms of major demographic and industry segments,” Bacher said. “Younger generations, like Millennials and Generation Z, have completely different expectations on making and receiving payments from their predecessors.”
Bacher also noted that there are larger global and economic factors that affect how organizations manage their cash flow.
“For example, the gig economy has the potential to completely alter how we view payment transactions,” Bacher said. “Uber and Lyft are only the first examples of this change, and more will inevitably come. Are financial institutions and treasury managers ready for this change?”
No matter where an organization exists in its innovation journey, there is an unyielding force pushing treasury managers to explore and implement new innovative systems. As supply chains become more complex, treasury managers need to feel that any new system would be more than a shiny object. Bacher noted that the banking space is keenly aware of how these systems could play in various industries.
“With our innovation approach, we’re looking at 30-40 major trends, including demographic trends, industry trends, economic trends, political trends etc.,” Bacher said. “We apply new technologies to meet those trends. We specifically seek to educate and inform our clients about why these systems matter in the long run, and what place they can have in the broader treasury management skill set.”
Ultimately, that educational focus is how organizations can start to prepare for these new innovations. For those that have only begun to seek out new systems, or for those who are already in the process of testing them, we can help guide the discussion.
Contact your treasury management relationship manager today for insights on looking ahead to the future for emerging payment systems.