Corporate clients express high satisfaction with their banking providers, but there is still room for improving those corporate client relationships by offering more information-based services, according to a recent survey of 263 corporate banking clients. The survey, conducted by gtnews and sponsored by CGI, found that 70% of the respondents were highly satisfied with their banking relationships. But far fewer respondents said they were highly satisfied with services related to trade finance (45% satisfied), liquidity (45%), and forecasting (22%).
Banks can increase the satisfaction rates in these areas by improving access to information for clients, says Penny Hembrow, CGI’s vice president for global banking. “Corporates want value-add information-based products and services such as more forecasting information. They want to be able to access more of that information through their online corporate portals.”
Increasing access to information was a common theme among the respondents when asked how their banks could improve their service. Access to more timely information (cited by 49% of the respondents), integration of data across multiple banks (41%), and improved payment remittance tracking and reconciliation (41%) were among the top five needs cited by the respondents.
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However, providing that kind of information for clients can be difficult for banks, given their complex IT infrastructures and organizational silos that often prevent easy access to data. The survey also asked banking providers about their biggest barrier to growth in corporate banking. Fragmentation and silos of IT systems and platforms was the second most oft-cited barrier (45%) behind only regulatory compliance (59%).
“Often banks haven’t rationalized their systems through mergers and acquisitions. Now they have highly complex systems, and sometimes duplicate systems,” says Hembrow.
Given the difficulty of sharing information across such complex IT environments, banks are increasingly turning to SaaS solutions that offer better data capture and sharing capabilties.
“The big driver behind SaaS is cost, but there’s also a need to make data more available. Banks need to unbundle the customer data locked in their silos. By moving to SaaS solutions they can expose servers and re-architect” to achieve that.
With SaaS solutions that can simplify the flow of customer data across the organization, banks can start to deliver on those information-based products and services that corporate clients are looking for, Hembrow notes. “Clients want to be able to access cash payment information and data on trade finance positions. They can start to rethink about how to borrow money, and can forecast where their cash and receivables are.”
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Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio