Payments Analytics – Analytics to Make Decisions

PABLO PICASSO ONCE SAID: “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

One interpretation I like about this quote is that it isn’t the answers which are important or hard. Answers could be seen as being relatively easy, once you know the question. Asking original questions takes creativity and insight, and pushes the frontiers of our world further.

Businesses are now realizing that they have to move from the era of “generic data visualization” to that of “insightful questioning”.

Decision-driven data analytics emphasizes the importance of asking questions and thus the importance of judgment. The question we ponder about in our real life is – if I do X, can I get Y? Insightful analytics is all about questions and data helping make decisions.

Analytics is normally just done with the data at hand. However that data may be incomplete.

Imagine a gym which has developed a rich data set that describes past and current customers along various dimensions, such as location, timing of attendance, duration, and nature of fitness classes. The gym has also gone beyond the tradition and has developed a predictive algorithm that uses this information to quantify the likelihood when a member is going to be inactive. One can reason that we don’t need algorithms and grey hair wisdom will tell you that membership is high during New Year resolutions phase and tapers down gradually.

However, jokes apart, the fundamental question that the gym business owner should answer is  “What incentive can I offer to the member so he does not churn?”.

This question may not be answered based on the data the gym has already gathered and would require further data collection and analysis.

To make this decision, the gym needs to do a sampling, a randomtest … and then apply the algorithm. So while data is important, it is super important that we find data for a purpose rather than find a purpose for the data ( Cited from Decision Driven Analytics)

Shifting our focus to fintech, let us see the ROI of analytics on payment transactions.

Contextual CX – (Customer Experience)

Banks currently have little or no insight into the business purpose of a payment. There is a blind spot on how customers are similarly restricted of the intelligence – for example, spending patterns or habits – they can extract from their own payments data. In both cases, insufficient or poor quality data limit a bank’s ability to develop relevant, valuable and personalized new services for customers. The rich end-to-end data that ISO 20022 provides can help in developing more compelling value propositions for customers.

Simple Code assessments of transaction purpose categories (e.g. SALA for salary payments, INTE for interest payments, TAXS for tax payments, SUPP for payments to suppliers and CCRD for credit card payments) from ISO 20022 messages enable the analysis of categories and the frequency of transactions. This in turn makes it easy to identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Improved compliance

There is historical data to prove the necessity of improved compliance- 10% of payments typically stopped by a sanctions filter, triggering an investigation and mostly leading to false positives. Refer pain.013 XSD

In the ISO 20022, for example, the postal address (PstlAdr) unambiguously identifies the country. Accurate country information also allows risk and compliance managers to understand precisely where the money originates from and where it goes in the payments the bank handles. Banks can also accurately identify other key information such as postcode (PstCd), which can for example be used to build up demographic data for analysis.

Deeper KPI(s) on Payment

pain.001.001.XX, pacs.008.001.XX, pacs009.001.XX and pacs.010.001.ZZ, are formats which contain business fields such as payment method, number of transactions, amount, requested execution date and requested collection date in message types. This gets the radical insights into the average values and volumes of payments made by each corporate customer and to understand payables and receivables over a specific period of time. As our corporate customers continue to expand operations into new markets thereby boosting the volumes of domestic and cross border transactions, the bank can derive insights and help them with easy access to liquidity, and to mobilize this across geographies becomes ever more important

About The Author –

Balamurali Srinivasan – Head iGTB Digital

Balamurali Srinivasan ( Bala) leads the Digital CoE Practice in iGTB.  Bala has 24+ years of experience in banking product technology. As a part of the Digital CoE, his key area of focus is  leading a very talented team working on the contextual experience services, AI/ ML driven analytics, UX design and DevOps of CBX product https://www.igtb.com/platform/  .

Neoteric allure of Cash Management Automation for SME’s

The neoteric allure of cash management automation for small businesses. It is time for a reality check…

“Making more money will not solve your problems if cash flow management is your problem” Robert Kiyosaki

Living in a rapidly expanding North Dallas suburb, my family is a big supporter of small sized businesses which are in plenty here. I like the fact that their services are unique with an individual identity that define them. Many of these local business owners are good friends of mine, and in recent times, I have heard scintillating stories about “surviving the great cash management crisis of 2020”, and I don’t have to go into the rationale of what caused the situation – we all know…

That said, the ever-resonating theme about managing money “smartly”, is something that I constantly hear from these local businesses, and it resonates so well with the quote above by Robert Kiyosaki, so much so, that I am literally reproducing it from a poster that one of my friends actually has hanging at the entrance to his modest office, and serves as my inspiration to write this article.

So why is this about the neoteric allure of cash management automation?

A typical google search will reveal more than 180 million hits in about 0.68 seconds to what a gazillion experts think about managing cash flows better. So you may want to ask me what really is neoteric (which by the way is a fancy way of saying modern) about this concept, and you may be tempted to caution me about peddling “old-wine-in-a-new-bottle”.

Bear with me while I explain further…

So first off, let us put a pin on some simple statistics that are common knowledge (or in other words, I am not making this up)

  • The US has more than 32 million small businesses,
  • that account for about 99% of all US businesses,
  • and they create 64% of new jobs annually,
  • and about 31% of them closed down in recent times,
  • and almost all of them due to their cash flows being unmanageable

In another intriguing statistic for 2020, the number of new small businesses that opened in the US (4.4 million) was more than the number of new born infants (3.6 million) and about 90% of these businesses closed down, a majority of them citing lack of sufficient cash flows as a primary reason.

That said, a fortunate number of these businesses survived the pandemic, by either –

  • re-structuring their businesses, where possible, to online selling models,
  • focusing on improving their product / service quality,
  • or focusing on better customer retention strategies

But the bigger takeaway was that a significant majority of the surviving businesses realized that their primary focus now would be on increasing stability to their cash flows.

No surprises there. I actually asked this specific question to every one of my local small-business-owner-friends, and got a unanimous YES from all of them on this specific criterion.

So coming to the point of why this is a neoteric allure…

These businesses have been asking, nagging and in some cases, demanding their banks to provide them with the right (and simple) solutions to manage their money and cash flows better. The banks have been listening – Literally every bank that I speak to as a part of my job on a daily basis have shifted their focus (or are in the process of doing so) to this hot segment of opportunity, and the drive to become their client’s principal banker is a mantra that I am sure they chant every morning as they start work.

On the other hand, the mammoth technology solutions that were traditionally driving cash / liquidity management solutions that these same banks provided to their large corporate clients were seen to be way too complex and confusing for these smaller businesses, so….

  • out goes the theory about old-wine-in-a-new-bottle, and…
  • in comes our neoteric allure – Which in this context is literally the re-invention of the compact and simple automation of cash management solutions that are tailored for these small businesses

So what really are these small businesses asking for?

Once again, I am not going to make this up. I actually spoke to literally every one of my local business owner friends and asked them this question. Their responses were predominantly unanimous.

I am a big fan of the Latin principle of “Omne Trium Perfectum”, or what many of us commoners refer to as “Good things are perfect in threes”, and that applies in this case too. So here are the three big asks of these small businesses, and there is absolutely nothing fancy about their needs.

1. “TRUE” CASH VISIBILITY

You may say “my bank gives me an online banking system that shows me the balances real-time, so what’s the big deal?”

Fair point, but what these business want is just a little bit more. They want to –

  • see a simple summary that consolidates all their accounts across ALL their banks (not just the bank’s website they are logging into)
  • see all their DDAs, loans, cards, investments together
  • view all their business and personal accounts in one pace, yet keep them visually distinct
  • view all their accounts across different physical locations in one place (some of my friends have their businesses running in multiple Texas cities)
  • get simple alerts about situations when balances go below (or above) a certain threshold
  • view, and be reminded about all invoices and bills that they have to pay and get paid for

Simple needs, right? Note that almost every one of these businesses do this today on spreadsheets and they spend 60 to 90 minutes every day on just these simple tasks which could otherwise be automated via simple tools that their banks can provide them

2. “SMART” CASH FLOW FORECASTING

Once again, this is a task that in the past (and sadly even in current times) has been achieved through spreadsheets by these small businesses, while those that could afford fancy tools subscribe to them at a higher cost, paying for complex solutions to solve a simple set of needs, which are to –

  • create simple forecasts for one or multiple accounts to create short term (10-15 days) forecasts
  • view easy-to-interpret visual representations of their cash flows, past, present and future
  • and since we are talking about future, a smart use of AI / ML to predict how the cash flow is going to look like in coming days / weeks (not months / years)
  • add these predictions into the cash flows to see the potential impact
  • pull in data from invoicing / accounting data (even excel or manually entered data) to make the data complete
  • play around with the data to create “what-if’s”

3. “AUTOMATED” CASH CONCENTRATION

As I mentioned earlier, many of these businesses have accounts in multiple locations and banks, and what may seem to be simple task to optimize their cash positions across these accounts is a herculean task that takes them multiple spreadsheets and manual fund transfers across multiple bank websites. So what they truly need here is the ability to –

  • setup very simple rules (no complex liquidity management sweeps, please) for automated cash movement / concentration across multiple accounts within or across banks
  • automate the movement of this money at specific frequencies (some of them told me that they even do this daily, and others weekly) and at a specific time of the day
  • get a nice and crisp report that shows the details of all the automated money movements in one view

So what do banks need to do to help their customers with this?

Some banks have already started implementing simple tools to help their customers in one (or maximum two) of these areas, but unfortunately only a very small subset of these banks are truly addressing all the three needs described above as one holistic solution for their customers.

In my view, what banks needs to be doing is to –

  • UNDERSTAND the emotional and contextual needs of the customer and their interactions. Banks are investing heavily in this space and looking at how the digital experience can become a lot more contextual by deriving the right intelligence from interactions and past historical trends of customers (I call this “Consumerization of Commercial Banking” – My earlier article on this topic can be accessed here)
  • SIMPLIFY the solution with very light components enabled through a self-service digital experience that is tailored for smaller businesses and avoid leveraging large liquidity management solutions typically used by large corporates
  • MODERNIZE their ability to integrate with the broader banking ecosystem by reducing dependency on prior file-based data sharing mechanisms like MT940/950, and replace them with API based ecosystems that enable instantaneous and real time sharing of data through an Open Banking framework
  • STRENGTHEN their technology infrastructure to focus on increased automation and customer self-service enablement, thereby REDUCE operational costs significantly

This is one space that I am curious to see evolving in the coming years, and I know that I will hear more about it from my local business-owner friends…

About the author

BalakrishnanPersonal blog of Balakrishnan Narasimhan, Senior Vice President and Head of Solution Consulting, iGTB – Digital, Payments and Cash Management – Americas


Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual

Talk to the Author

Interested in learning how this can apply to your financial institution? Talk to the author to find out. Schedule a brief session to address any questions or thoughts you may have.

Transaction Limits Management

Payments: Just-in-time

Corporate Account Structures, Intra-Day Liquidity Management and Payments Transaction Limits Management

 

The Problem:

The Usain-Bolt-like manufacturing supply chain and logistics supply chain are fast, real- time and just-in-time.  Meanwhile, the financial supply chain lumbers behind them working on T+n.

Need it be like this?

The world of manufacturing has seen JIT (Just-In-Time) for a long time now.  Machine tool operators do not need to keep large inventories of raw material next to their machines. This has improved cash and working capital and ultimately profitability for manufacturing companies.

However, the same is not entirely true in the corporate transaction banking space. Corporates treasurers often have to maintain high balances at BOD. They also have to request their banks for large intra-day overdrafts and EOD overdraft facilities as the nature of their business is such that payments (debits) go out throughout the day while inward payments (credits) are applied only at the end of the day.  This could happen because core banking platforms may apply the debit for the outgoing payment immediately, while they apply the credit of the incoming payment only at EOD or sometimes on a T+1 or T+2 basis. This could also happen because a cross border fund transfer from one international subsidiary to another may itself take 2 days to settle over a snail-paced correspondent banking network.

The lack of real time cross border payments, lack of instant credits into corporate accounts due to  mainframe / batch core DDA systems, the lack of real time intra- day sweeps and the lack of real time balance and transaction reporting forces corporate treasurers to maintain high balances (inventory) at BOD.

Thus, while the manufacturing supply chain and the logistics supply chain are real time / just-in-time, the financial supply chain is still operating on a T+n basis.

The Cost:

For the Corporate, all this comes at a huge cost. To maintain a high BOD balance, corporate treasurers may end up with short term borrowing. To maintain multiple accounts – some in debit balances and some in credit balances – will make the corporate incur higher interest cost. There is also the cost of the intra-day OD facilities and EOD OD facilities. There is also the cost of not being able to clear those high value payments because the account has used up its balance, and for a corporate treasurer, this can get frustrating as he may actually have a large credit balance in another account with the same bank.

“I was once speaking to a Transaction Banking Head at a large bank, who said, ‘listen Tapan, I really don’t want to reject high value payments of these large corporates. They were maintaining very high overdrafts at each account level, and this came at a huge cost to our bank since we had to maintain provisions under Basel 3 for these facilities and it impacted our bottom-line’.”

The Solution:

A world of Just-in-time payments beckons!

The solution that global transaction banks need to consider is to offer real-time balance netting across a group of accounts.

By consolidating 100’s of thousands of accounts of a corporate and its subsidiaries into a CAS (Composite and Complex Account Structure) and specifying net and gross limits at each account, account group, subsidiary and parent level, the bank will be able to save:

  • the bank will be able to save on its Basel 3 LCR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio) requirements
  • and the corporate will be saved of maintaining a high BOD Balance or for requesting high daylight exposure limits.

It’s a win-win for both the client and the bank.


A sophisticated, stand-alone system…ta da!
Which aggregates and computes limits and balances instantaneously, is the need of the hour…

A transaction limits management system could help banks:

  1. Check balances in real time across multiple core DDA platforms, or
  2. Account management systems and check the associated net and gross limits and give a payment decision back to the payment engine.

If funds are insufficient, a system such as this could place the transaction in a referral queue and do an automatic re-try just before cut off or even throughout the day.

Some global transaction banks have built regional balance control systems (RBCS) such as these, while those that have not struggle with even a real time balance view and incur high payment operations cost and end up having larger teams to manage the larger volume of payments in funds-check retry queues.

As banks across the world are modernizing their payments infrastructure for ISO20022, Open Banking, PSD2, Instant Payments Support etc., the need to implement a Transaction Limits Management system become more relevant.

Today, in the case of real- time payments, some countries have removed the upper threshold for instant payments, while some have significantly raised the upper cap.

Example:

  • For instance, UK faster payments has a limit of £ 250,000 with plans to increase it to £ 1,000,000
  • There is no upper limit for intra-bank instant payments within Netherlands

It’s a safe bet to say that corporate treasurers will want their banks to offer them:

  • Real-time Visibility
  • Real-time Balances
  • Real-time Intraday Liquidity Sweeps
  • and Balance Netting

All so that they don’t have to maintain high BOD Balances in multiple banks / accounts. After all, inventory, whether it is in manufacturing or in finance, represents cost.

It is high time that corporate transaction banks started thinking of procuring a centralized payment transaction limits management system that can track exposure and authorize payments by checking limits and balances at various levels such as customer, customer group, legal entity account group, account etc.

This will benefit the bank to process payments with less risk and less cost and the clients benefits from payments that execute immediately!

 

About the author

TapanTapan Agarwal, Senior Vice President, Payments Product Management
Tapan is a banking technology and domain expert, who now leads the payments product management function for iGTB. He has over 2 decades of experience in banking technology, having worked at Oracle OFSS (i-flex), Wipro, MindTree and Deutsche Software. He has worked in roles that range from development, design, consultancy to strategy and operational roles including managing large teams, top line targets and bottom-line responsibilities. He has implemented banking technology in multiple banks and consulted with CTOs and CIOs at banks on technology driven business and operational efficiency improvement.

Consumerization of Commercial Banking: It is way beyond a fad

The world of commercial banking as we have known it is changing… And significantly so!

One of my senior colleagues (and mentor) at Deloitte, always used to tell me – “Bala, just keep watching – the world is going to entirely change based on how the generation of today want to shape it in their image and with their preferences”.

Two years back I was at an intense brainstorming session on what really was shaping up the way banks offer commercial banking services to their clients, when I remember writing on the white board (yes… the good old days of in-person meetings), the very 4 words that are a subset of this article’s title – Consumerization of Commercial Banking, and at that moment, I remembered my former mentor and the connection to those golden words that he graciously gifted to me.

So what exactly does Consumerization of Commercial Banking mean?

It’s quite simple actually… Taking the keyword “Consumerization”, it is literally the way in which the behavioural, operational and technological aspects of an individual consumer shapes up and dominates how businesses think and work, in lieu of adapting to the age old tenets of “how it was done” in years prior. It is a very powerful and all-encompassing phenomenon that will only accelerate over time, especially in the oh-so-digital world of today.

The proliferation of these aspects, which influences and shapes up how banks are now rethinking and redefining their offerings to large corporates and mid / small-sized businesses is pretty much what Consumerization of Commercial Banking is all about

Why exactly are banks thinking in these lines and why now?

There are a few key driving factors for this trend, especially in the current day and age –

  1. Many new and evolving businesses in recent years have been, and continue to be dominated by a newer generation of entrepreneurs (I fondly call them wannabe-corporates) who view the world with a “digital eye”. They grew up in a world where digital technologies were as table stakes as hundreds of TV channels, gaming systems with awesome graphics or a plethora of social media forums. It would be so very naïve to think that they would leave all that behind just because they are “off to work”. No siree Bob… not happening
  2. Engaging, quick, convenient and interactive solutions for consumer banking has created a desire for similar interactions for commercial customers, who after all, are consumers in their daily life, so they know what they want and how to experience it…
  3. Commercial online banking operations, especially payments, are still largely inefficient, process heavy activities, and users like to do a lot of their work “on-the-move”. This is not a generation that is happy with being tied to a desktop or lug a laptop all day long, and they certainly don’t want to look at a long boring set of fields that are to be entered before they send money to someone for a simple business transaction!

So what really is happening to make this a reality?

Banks have been learning… and fast.

They are inspired by examples around them, especially in the retail world where consumerization is a simple and straightforward need for survival. Entities like Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, Netflix, etc., have created (and have been constantly evolving) newer paradigms on interactive engagement, and the spill -over of this desire to commercial banking is just natural.

However, this is still not a level playing field – The larger banks have had a head start on this over the relatively smaller banks, who will hopefully catch up soon. These larger banks have had the advantage of strong technological muscle and big bucks to invest in state-of-the-art tools, setting up their own digital think-tanks, some even buying out AI / ML firms and investing hard dollars into various initiatives, a few examples being –

  1. Increased focus on “unburdening” the commercial banking customers and just “keeping things simple”
  2. Understanding the transactional needs of the customer by “leveraging data and statistical models” is complete passé. The future is in understanding the emotional and contextual needs of the customer and their interactions. Banks are investing heavily in this space and looking at how the digital experience can become a lot more contextual by deriving the right intelligence from interactions and past historical trends of customers
  3. Driving “contextual” experiences in every step of the user journey. The magic is to “think-ahead” into what the customer wants before they get there… and guide them on the best way to get there
  4. “Look ma, no hands…” –There is an Increased focus on moving the commercial client to the mobile / wearable / voice based devices, especially since they are getting used to managing their daily activities with minimal physical intervention
  5. Emphasis on “human” interactions (like biometric authentication, facial ID recognition, voice controls, etc.) to make the experience a lot closer to the consumer world

And many more…

So in a nutshell…

Long live the consumer!

All hail the Consumerization of Commercial Banking!!

This is one space to watch out for in the future…

 

Personal blog of Balakrishnan Narasimhan

 

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual

Talk to the Author

Interested in learning how this can apply to your financial institution? Talk to the author to find out. Schedule a brief session to address any questions or thoughts you may have.


Treasury Management: what hurts the most?

As the second quarter of 2020 gets underway, the news agenda for the year has already been hijacked by one topic. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought much business activity to a standstill and threatened the future of even the best-run companies.

Every pandemic has a pain point and Covid-19 has 5 such aspects of treasury as pain points:

  1. Liquidity and funding
  2. Cash flow forecasting
  3. Credit risk on receivables/supply chain finance
  4. Managing the treasury team remotely 
  5. FX volatility management

Download the detailed report by EuroFinance and The Economist Group supported by Deutsche Bank

read the full report

iGTB’s CBX is an API-first, digital transaction banking platform, capable of integrating with any channel, device, product engine and 3rd party system through APIs. With a rich suite of transaction banking products, across DTB, Payments, Liquidity, Trade and Supply Chain Supply, iGTB is an authority on vertical and integrated products that enable banks to meet their ambition to be the Principal Banker to their corporate customers.

iGTB seamlessly integrates all transaction needs of corporate customers.Digital is the need of the hour. Book an online demo now.

It is the time of social distancing and digital banking

The time of complex, face-to-face, telephonic and operationally heavy corporate treasury processes for banks is past.

The use of APIs and intuitive interfaces that allow banks to quickly roll out digital solutions and enable instant access to treasury management systems, provide payments, liquidity management, and instant analytics capabilities is now.

Greenwich presents original research on how Social Distancing boosts Digital in Corporate Banking.

read the full report

iGTB’s CBX is an API-first, digital transaction banking platform, capable of integrating with any channel, device, product engine and 3rd party system through APIs. With a rich suite of transaction banking products, across DTB, Payments, Liquidity, Trade and Supply Chain Supply, iGTB is an authority on vertical and integrated products that enable banks to meet their ambition to be the Principal Banker to their corporate customers.

iGTB seamlessly integrates all transaction needs of corporate customers.Digital is the need of the hour. Book an online demo now.

 

Time Out for Treasurers

We seem to be in a distant time warp from the environment that we all experienced just a few months back. I was at the fantastic setting of the Kempinski Palm Jumeirahin Dubai in January 2020 for the 1st gathering of iGTB Oxford School of Transaction Banking alumni. There I heard the challenges and ambitions of a group of highly qualified financial professionals across a wide spectrum of industries. I was party to the comments made on constraints of banking partners – getting the operating fabric of day-to-day business right, securing fast decision making and achieving more permanency from the relationship management teams.

I also heard their high expectations of banks to provide more accessible real time account information, better analytics, and to share learnings on how to leverage newer technologies in a more relevant way so that the treasury  function could support businessbetter. We had rare use case insights of how robotic process automation and blockchain can actually improve business logistics and support core cross border trade activity. Such snippets of real life activity were rewarding in their relevancy in painting an environment that was grounded in pragmatism but also forward looking, hopeful and realistic in expectation.

How the landscape has changed today! We are in the A&E ward of hospital care –living off any spare equipment. Treasurers are reeling and going back to the fundamental basics of Treasury Management 1.0.

If ever we had to go back to valuing the soundness of the first principles of treasury management it is now. How to understand the hard way the real significance of working capital management, liquidity provisioning and the need for accurate data to assess the rhythm of collections and payments of the business: The critical importance in having those credit facilities and back stop loan agreements as well as cash in the bank to meet unexpected payment obligations.

For many SME companies growth was always the key parameter. But now locked in a major economic tsunami the panic buttons are being pressed. How to cut costs, how to delay payments, how to explore force majeure contractual conditions to by pass cash deployment. And yes how to re-engage with critical banking partners and maintain the balanced argumentation around invoking contingency support as well as claiming a rightful place in the queue for governmental support schemes.

Tomorrow’s imperatives for many have a time horizon of days. Not even the present quarter is a meaningful calendar reference point. This is a short sentence where survival relies on speed and action. We can only hope that normality returns really quickly and that support schemes are fluid, generous and easy to mobilise. Banking institutions are clearly working hard to unlock all the lifelines they can for the corporate community. Central banks are waiving critical regulatory capital ratios and ensuring liquidity floods the market.

preserving-bank-and-liquidityPreserving bank cash and liquidity levels is a top priority. We remain truly mindful of the challenges that the finance industry faces in an unprecedented point in history. If only we could turn back time…that elusive ingredient that is not unfortunately on the side of many treasurers. Our thoughts go out to our colleagues and friends across the banking and corporate worlds as they navigate this pandemic.

 

As the wise bard said – ‘Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.’

Prediction Proves the Rule: CBX and the Cash-Flow Forecaster

The CBX dashboard is the essence of iGTB’s persona-based workflow and deep learning-driven analytics.

When switch on your CBX and the Cash-Flow Forecaster dashboard, you see a great deal of information, all of which is filtered to focus on key items. CBX has already done that for you.

It has filtered all the trusted data from banks, applied its algorithm, assessed your past behavior, and thrown up a list of insights that require action. All relevant to the current context: amount, currency, validity, and policy.  As a result, you never log in to the same screen twice.

It now asks you to choose between various strategies to deal with the current problem.

CBX does not wait for you to wade through transaction history, it does it on its own and presents its insights in real-time.

This is why CBX excels at cash-flow forecasting and providing actionable insights based on such forecasts. It enables you to avoid exposures, prevent accounts from going into the red, make the most of favorable exchange rates. Thus maximize investment returns.

Suppose CBX and the Cash-Flow Forecasterdetects a forex exposure. It now needs to refine this forecast, and syncs with any third-party tools you use. The forecast will be more detailed, but CBX lets you accept, amend or reject any insights based on new or existing data.

Once you filter the new data, CBX recommends actions based on cost, speed, and risk.

Now you can choose between several carefully curated actions.

With a single click and you can buy foreign currency, enter into a forward contract or take any and all actions suited to deal with a forex exposure.

CBX’s proactive analytics keeps you in control and gives you freedom of choice. As a result, you never log in to the same screen twice.

And you rarely have to make the same decision twice: if CBX detects a forex exposure again, it will remind you of your previous decision, and ask if you want to act as before.

This is the virtuous cycle of AI-enhanced insights and user-driven actions. CBX only gets better with each decision you take – it becomes part of future forecasts.

CBX and the Cash-Flow Forecaster, all is grist to the million.

350 Reasons Why iGTB Creates A Model Bank

In 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to helm Apple, developers lashed out at him for terminating beloved projects like OpenDoc.

In response, Jobs said:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”

Context is everything.

We are only learning from the best: when Celent hailed iGTB as a pacesetter in customer engagement, it focused on our persona-based workflows and user journeys.

What is a persona?

In the transaction banking context, a persona is any actor at the corporation or bank ranging from a business owner, a treasurer or AP clerk, to a product manager, call center agent or a channel manager – who achieves his or her aims with the help of the banks product suite powered by iGTB.

The user journey is a manifesto that drives design and ensures focus on meeting real business needs. The twenty main personas and 350 user journeys are integral to the design & code. The scope and sophistication of these journeys offer tremendous potential for solutions that customers will love.

To paraphrase Jobs, think of a customer striving to maximize returns, and work backwards to the  functions and the tech stack.

Do this 350 times, with 20 unique personas. You now have a contextual banking experience, which anticipates business aims and provides cogent recommendations based on AI, trusted data and user risk appetite.

Whether it is by the AI, or by the highly flexible APIs, data is curated and analyzed to help achieve the user’s aims.

The analysis yields bespoke recommendations “best next action” and “best next offers” because it starts with a unique persona. The insight is immediately actionable because the interface is streamlined for the customer – a few clicks and you have handled a serious forex exposure, set down a rule for such exposures, and thus refined future insights because of the decision you made in one important context.

The persona or user-based workflow is what makes iGTB’s AI, API and cloud-powered solution a virtuous cycle. As the user is guided to make the right choice, the user also guides the AI to providethe right choice in the future.

Netflix can point you to a good show, Amazon to a good product, but iGTB points you to the next best $million. 350 times.

The Real Value of Artificial Intelligence in Banking

After the 2008 financial crisis, banks resorted to technology to survive and revive their fortunes. Compliance and transaction banking became core focus areas for financial innovation, as they could maximize returns in a strict regulatory regime.

iGTB is at the ‘sharp end of customer-facing AI applications’, according to Alenka Grealish of Celent, and one of the ‘few pioneers bringing advanced AI to commercial customers’.

iGTB is embarking on delivering next generation customer engagement by rebuilding its entire platform to be API-first and AI powered. Alenka Grealish, Celent

Grealish visualizes the growth of AI in banking as the ascent of service providers from base camp to summit, where their AI setups are fully mature. Hence, AI in compliance is a crowded summit, but AI in cash management through is still highly experimental.

The Contextual Banking eXperience (CBX) platform can interact with customers to provide contextual insights – about cash positions, currency exposures, payments, and collections and receivables – the best next action, based on context, and the oversight needed to track outcomes, refine strategy and maximize returns.

CBX is a white label digital banking platform for corporate and SME banking, built to anticipate business needs and help corporations achieve their aims. Real-time cash positions and cash flow forecasts help the customer take care of threats well in time, and maximize investment opportunities. CBX uses API handshakes to sync with third-party banking tools, always hungry for data to fine-tune its contextual insights and recommendations.

All insights are immediately actionable: the latest CBX doesn’t wait for you to wade through your dashboard – if an exposure or opportunity is detected, the system provides options based on the customer’s risk appetite.

And these actions are executed with minimum clicks. This is why iGTB was hailed as an Advanced AI Mountaineer by Celent.

But iGTB is not scaling these peaks alone. iGTB’s climb to the summit begins with a user’s journey, the subject of our next blog.