Digital acceleration


When it comes to digital acceleration, few sectors feel the pinch as much as the banking industry does. There are clamors for banks to modernize their systems and become more digitally driven—and many of those calls may pertain to the banks’ corporate offerings in particular. It may be quite apparent to the leaders of a financial institution that their systems for cash and liquidity management, treasury management, foreign exchange, trade finance, and other corporate banking services are in need of a revamp. Faster, more efficient, and more innovative corporate banking solutions could make the bank more competitive and secure for it the patronage of lucrative corporate clients.
But even if the need to modernize is clear, banks may still face some significant challenges to their digital acceleration goals. If you’re due to innovate your corporate banking offerings soon, you might also run into several challenges. Here’s a list of five hurdles that you can anticipate during your modernization efforts, as well as some helpful advice on how to ease your company into a new and efficient corporate banking solution.
Addressing Cultural Inertia within Your Company
A major overhaul of your corporate banking system is sure to inspire some initial dissent within your ranks. The fact of the matter is that some people are afraid of change and of doing things differently. Some may be hesitant about the processes that come with a tech overhaul, while others may not think that the sizable investment spent on digital acceleration is worth it.
If your bank has a legacy system—and a legacy culture to go with it—you may have a hard time winning over some staff members about whether you need to upgrade your tech stack at all. It will be your responsibility to reassure your staff that the change will be for the better, and that new technology is a justified investment for something as important as your corporate banking operations.
Countering the “Add-On” Mentality for Any New Technologies
In contrast, some people in your organization may be more accepting of the new corporate banking technologies, but think of them as nothing more than cosmetic changes to your existing system. It may initially be difficult to change their perspective and to help them see the technologies as transformative of their workflow—capable of modifying the speed, efficiency, and thoroughness with which they handle your corporate clients.
During your transition and integration of new corporate banking technologies, staff education is key. If your staff can fully understand the new capabilities that the technology will impart on them, then it won’t be long before they get excited about revisiting their work.
Overcoming the Initial Learning Curve for Complex Operations
Corporate banking services are typically harder to implement than retail banking services because, unlike the latter, they are not as linear or productized. Even one corporate banking client can come with the burden of handling hundreds of accounts. The processes that constitute corporate banking services, like tracking liquidity and overseeing trade finance activities, are also quite complex. Knowing that, some of your staff members may be afraid that transitioning to a new system will make the hard work even harder.
It is extremely important to acknowledge the existence of a learning curve with the adoption of any new technology, and to allow your staff to gradually acclimatize to the new system. It is not realistic to expect everyone to become an instant master of the newly adopted solutions within the first few months of your digital acceleration. Be patient, afford extra support, and be ready to troubleshoot the initial difficulties.
Answering Your Bank’s Risk Aversion for Its Corporate Offerings
For many banks, corporate clients represent a significant share of earnings. It also takes both time and meticulous effort to win the business (and loyalty) of a corporate client. That’s why it makes sense that most banks retain a conservative position and avoid risk when it comes to corporate banking matters.
It will surely be a challenge to wean your bank’s stakeholders off the legacy corporate banking system that won clients over in the past. But everyone must come to an understanding that the same system, the same methods, and the same standards for managing corporate clients may not be as effective in the future. For your bank to keep its corporate business and bring new clients into the fold, you must be able to set a higher bar. You will be able to do this in terms of innovation and quality of service with new corporate banking technologies.
Staying True to the Bank’s Commitment to Satisfying Corporate Customers
Lastly, it’s also possible that your bank will fully embrace the digital acceleration but focus so heavily on the digitalization part that it neglects the customer side. No banker should forget the core values that should be present in corporate banking service delivery, like being up to date with the client’s industry and showing a human touch to corporate client relationship management.
The tools that you gain during your digital acceleration are not the only things that deserve your attention. Make sure to balance out your focus on the tech side with equal focus on corporate customer satisfaction.
Final Words
Digital acceleration may be just what your bank needs in order to revitalize its corporate banking program. But don’t forget that onboarding new tools and transitioning into a new, digitally driven paradigm won’t always be easy. Enter into the process with your eyes open, and be ready to address challenges like the ones detailed above. If all goes according to plan, your corporate program will steadily improve and welcome fresh business from corporate clients.

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