One topic that has been the subject of much debate is Real-Time Treasury. Is it truly the necessity of the hour for treasurers? Or is there a more nuanced approach required? Kate Pohl, with her vast experience and deep insight into the financial services landscape, offers a compelling perspective on this matter.

The Paradigm Shift: From Real-Time to Just-in-Time

The discussion around Real-Time Treasury often centers around its immediacy and the continuous availability of financial data. While real-time information holds its value, Kate argues for a shift in perspective towards “just-in-time treasury”. This is especially crucial when it comes to appropriate and timely information which serves as the backbone for decision-making processes.

The promise of Real-Time Treasury is undoubtedly seductive. As we inch closer to its full realization, we envision a financial world where:

  • Transactions unfurl in the blink of an eye.
  • A ceaseless flow of financial metrics paints a vivid, constantly updated picture.
  • Treasurers can ride the wave of instantaneous data, adapting on the fly to market changes and unexpected economic stimuli.

The adoption of Real-Time Treasury would mean an era where treasurers are consistently plugged into the heartbeat of the market. The advantage? Unprecedented agility and an unparalleled capacity to respond in the very moment a change occurs.

However according to Kate,  understanding cash flow, liquidity planning, and managing working capital from end to end requires information that is not just instant but also relevant and accurate. It’s about delivering the right information at the right time, making the concept of “just-in-time” more practical and efficient for treasurers.

Just in time

On the other side, we have Just-in-Time Treasury—a vision borrowed from the efficiency-driven methodologies of the manufacturing world. As this approach comes into clearer focus, its proponents argue for:

  • Curated, tailored data delivered right when it’s needed.
  • An environment where treasurers pivot from being reactive to proactively strategizing.
  • A more structured approach, emphasizing the timely relevance of data over its sheer volume.

The adoption of Just-in-Time Treasury promises a balance. Treasurers would not just be informed; they’d be equipped with pinpointed insights at precisely the moments of critical decision-making.

Kate’s take-aways

Kate draws several essential conclusions:

Connectivity and Timely Information: The speed of business operations today demands that enterprises have robust connectivity. Timely information is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Treasurers should be empowered to act swiftly, making informed decisions about their cash and liquidity positions.

The Power of Cooperation: The age-old divide between banks and fintechs is blurring. Kate envisions a future where collaboration between these entities is not just beneficial but essential. Whether they are start-ups or scale-ups, fintechs partnering with banks can pave the way for comprehensive, innovative, and cost-effective solutions for clients.

The Rise of Multi-Bank Platforms: The future looks promising for platforms offering multi-bank and bank-agnostic services. As businesses diversify their operations and expand globally, the need for such platforms becomes even more crucial. These platforms promise flexibility, customization, and ease of use, essential attributes for modern enterprises.

The Evolving Role of Banks: Amidst these shifts, one might wonder about the role of traditional banks. According to Kate, their role isn’t diminishing; it’s evolving. Banks still hold a vital place in the financial ecosystem. However, to stay relevant, they must adapt, innovate, and more importantly, collaborate.


As the global financial landscape matures, the choice between these two models will become pivotal. It’s not just about speed or volume; it’s about optimizing the role of data in treasury management.

Will treasurers lean towards the exhilarating pace of Real-Time, immersing themselves in a continuous data stream? Or will they gravitate towards the strategic depth of Just-in-Time, prioritizing the precision of timely relevance?

As we stand at this juncture, one thing is clear: The decisions made now will sculpt the very fabric of tomorrow’s financial landscape, steering the course for generations of treasurers to come.

Read more:

Cash is Queen is here! This e-book stands as a testament to the remarkable achievements of women who have boldly navigated the treasury sector, making invaluable contributions along the way.

Read the stories of the pillars of this e-book:

Kate PohlAimee CullenLee-Ann Perkins and Sara Þorsteinsdottir.

Within these pages, you will read about a blend of professional milestones and personal philosophies. How they melded technology with finance, their forward-thinking approach to global market trends, and their innovative strategies that have steered their respective organizations to success. Get you copy now!

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