Channel Strategy for Corporate Banking: Is Your Bank Paying Enough Attention?

Channel Strategy for Corporate Banking: Is Your Bank Paying Enough Attention?
According to the GTNews 2016 Transaction Banking Survey Report, 91% of North American corporates are evaluating their cash management partners. Of those, 27% indicated that improving availability of online and mobile banking tools were a major reason for reviewing their bank relationships, and 55% cited the need for an improved customer experience. Clearly, these responses are evidence that large numbers of corporate clients are less than satisfied with the channel tools and the overall digital client experience being offered.  Most of the banks we interviewed for recent research on this topic are hearing loud and clear that clients are looking for more streamlined, convenient, and faster access to banking services and information.  Our recent report, Strategies for Enhancing Corporate Client Experience: The Future of Attended Channels looks at strategies that leading North American and global banks are adopting to achieve the following goals:
  • Build out integrated portals to make invisible the organizational and product silos inherent in corporate banking.
  • Simplify the user experience.
  • Establish an omnichannel approach to providing consistent data and access to transactions across channels.
  • Enhance authentication options, including biometrics.
  • Expand self-service, including the ability to securely exchange documents and open accounts and new services.
While we found broad agreement on importance of the themes described above, we identified other aspects of digital channel strategy that varied widely from bank to bank.  The graphic below summarizes those opportunities for differentiation. Celent recommends that banks take the following steps to optimizing their future investments in attended channels:
  1. Define the Digital Strategy for Corporate Banking, Not Just the Digital Channel Strategy.  In the current environment, attempting to implement a successful strategy for digital channels in the absence of an overall digital transformation strategy for corporate banking is short-sighted.
  2. Understand How Attended Digital Channels Fit into Clients’ Daily Workflow.  Product management and strategy executives at many institutions are driving prioritization in channels based on a set of assumptions about client preferences that may not be valid. Mapping those client digital journeys from onboarding to servicing to managing exception situations for each client persona is critical.
  3. Reexamine the Role of Partners.  In reality, the delivery of services through attended channels has always involved multiple partners, whether the bank has developed an “in-house” solution or offers one or more off–the-shelf vendor solutions. As demands for “non-core” banking functionality grows and technology evolves to enable easier integration with multiple partners, the importance of the bank maintaining control of the user experience layer that is seen and touched by the client becomes even more critical.
The decisions being made today about attended digital channels — whether as a part of a larger digital transformation initiative, enhancing the channel user experience, or establishing a corporate banking portal — will have a significant impact on the ability of corporate banks to attract and retain clients.
Susan Feinberg About Susan Feinberg

Susan Feinberg is a senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and is based in the firm's Boston office. Her research focuses on digitizing the corporate client experience with a focus on transaction banking services.

With over 30 years of experience, Susan is a recognized thought leader and trusted advisor in the corporate banking technology space. Before joining Celent, she led Feinberg FS Consulting, a boutique consulting firm providing insights on the challenges facing corporate banks as they respond to a host of disruptive forces.

Previously, Susan was a senior research director in CEB TowerGroup’s Wholesale Banking practice, where she published groundbreaking research on a wide range of topics including mobile and tablet solutions for corporate banking, business-to-bank integration, supply chain finance and the integration of cash and trade, electronic bank account management (eBAM), and commercial loan monitoring technology.

Susan has also held product management and industry marketing executive positions at several leading Fintech providers. She started her career at Bank of Boston, where she spent over a decade in corporate banking in a variety of key positions in domestic and international cash management, commercial lending, and banking operations.

Susan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences including SIBOS, the AFP Annual Conference, and NACHA Payments.

Susan holds a B.A. in Latin America studies from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is both an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) and a permanent Certified Cash Manager (CCM).

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