In the final blog in this series we look at how to identify the right bank connectivity partner for your company to maximise the benefits of open banking.
As discussed previously, current bank connectivity solutions make life easier for corporate treasury and new developments have the potential to deliver major improvements. However, existing solutions are still far from optimal and even new technology will not address every issue.
Therefore, corporates should focus on the business benefits rather than on merely technological aspects when selecting a bank connectivity partner.
A useful first step in this process is to develop a deep understanding of the business case and build management support. Factors to take into account here include the benefits of improved cash visibility; risk management benefits; the opportunity to enhance operational efficiency; and potential security improvements.
Once these factors have been established it may be useful to make an inventory of the project requirements such as:
- Which banks and jurisdictions need to be accessed?
- What is the relationship with other services – ERP connectivity, payment hubs, treasury services?
- How much flexibility is required in light of expected changes in the banking landscape?
- What do you need to do to benefit from open banking in the future?
Weighing up the value of meeting current needs against the ability to address future requirements is a challenging process. It is important to understand that switching to a new bank connectivity solution can be very disruptive, so there is obvious value in selecting a partner that will be a good fit beyond the short term.
This means identifying a provider that will facilitate migration to future developments without requiring significant change at the customer end.
When selecting a bank connectivity partner you should assess the following aspects of potential service providers:
- Security: If you rely on a provider for all your bank connections you need to be certain that they behave with integrity and in a secure and reliable way. Can the provider evidence this?
- Functionality: Does the provider cover the functionality and banks you need to realise your value determination? Depending on your needs this may go beyond payments and reporting and include services such as FX and forecasting.
- Connectivity: Does the provider deliver the ERP and bank connectivity you need today?
- Future-proofing: Will the provider be able to move to open banking APIs once the banks make them available for corporates as well as provide APIs to your ERP environment?
This final point is vital – you do not want to select a provider only to encounter implementation issues once new opportunities become available.
To assess your provider’s ability to facilitate future developments, check their current ability to handle external APIs and that they have the right licences and capabilities to connect via APIs to your systems once you are ready.
A reality check on Open Banking
To know more about the benefits of new developments in bank connectivity for treasury and cash management you can download our white paper. It offers insights into how corporate treasurers and cash managers can avoid pitfalls.