Transaction Banking Awards 2020 - Transactions & Technology -

This year's Transaction Banking Awards have demonstrated how important the industry is to global business, economy and health. 

This year’s Transaction Banking Awards have demonstrated how important the industry is to global business, economy and health. While the industry has modernised its systems to help treasurers monitor cash positions, reduce friction in cross-border payments, and utilise application programming interfaces (APIs) to simplify the onboarding of new processes, the importance of trade itself has come to the fore as banks have helped their clients in the fight against coronavirus.

Businesses have become ever more globalised and the importance of being able to pull together their cash pools has significantly increased. This was evident in the cash management category, which received entries from banks across the world. The use of virtual accounts has increased as a method of tracking which payments have been made, ultimately allowing treasurers to quickly identify which ones are incomplete or outstanding by seeing which virtual account is connected to which invoice.

The pace of innovation shows no signs of slowing, as the use of artificial intelligence and open APIs are now becoming the norm in helping corporates to execute complex transactions or cash management processes, but with the minimum amount of friction. This has been a huge help to treasurers in their ability to gain oversight of their funds, as new systems can be easily plugged into their existing platforms to access their account positions in real time, and improve payment tracking and reconciliation.

Trade finance has also seen a boost from the use of blockchain technology to transfer documentation. By putting the documents on the blockchain, all parties involved in the transaction are able to see any changes or updates and receive information in real time.

As consumer payments become increasingly diversified and complex, banks have been on hand to help customers implement the different methods and also to keep the back office processing manageable. With smaller clients offering multiple mobile payments and QR codes, as well as the more traditional payment methods, banks have worked to ensure payments can be easily reconciled and companies can get a clear overview of their cash positions.

Supply chain finance has also become more sophisticated, with the use of solutions such as dynamic discounting. This enables the large corporate to offer favourable terms for providing payments ahead of time. This can considerably help in liquidity management, and support smaller companies down the chain who can be assisted without the need for onerous onboarding processes.

However, banks were put under new pressure this year with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. As supply chains were brought to a standstill, and the demand for personal protective equipment and medical supplies became a life or death situation, the importance of banking partners offering good, solid services to their clients has never been more apparent.

Banks had to put their claims of agility to the test by devising new trade instruments, mapping out supply chains to ensure the provision of needed parts, and working in partnership with development banks to get funds to essential manufacturers to continue production. The situation was further compounded by entire bank workforces being forced to work remotely, putting their own technology to the test. In many cases the banks rose admirably to these challenges, demonstrating how important the role transaction banking plays in modern business. 

To read all about the Transaction Banking Awards 2020 winners and watch our engaging webinar, please go to http://thebanker.com/transactionbankingawards

Judging panel

Francesco Burelli, partner, Arkwright Consulting

Eric Li, research director, Coalition Development

Kimberley Long, Asia editor, The Banker

Joy Macknight, managing editor, The Banker

Ronan O’Kelly, global head of corporate and transaction banking, Oliver Wyman

Wim Raymaekers, global head, banking market, Swift

Didier Vandenhaute, partner, PwC

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