By Lawrence Buettner
SVP Product Innovation
Treasury 3.0 represents a challenge for both banks and practitioners. David Waltz’s article, Treasury 3.0 from a Practitioner's Perspective: Opportunities and Challenges, laid out the challenges for corporate practitioners. The challenges faced by banks are no less daunting. Treasury Strategies appropriately projects, since we are just entering the 3.0 phase, characterized as “payment and liquidity solutions offered by banks, as opposed to specific product sets put together by companies”, it will take time for the results to be realized.
In their article Treasury 3.0: Challenges and Solutions, Treasury Strategies has articulated well the maturation of bank provided treasury services over the last 40+ years. They ably point out that much progress has been made during this period. Efficiency has improved tremendously and yet the sophistication of treasury services, by their 3.0 definition and most other yardsticks, remains rather rudimentary.
The challenge for most banks is how to remain relevant to their customers in providing state-of-art treasury services as the pace of innovation quickens by the largest banks and other non-bank providers, namely ERP and other non-bank treasury services providers.
Banks are faced with a number of challenges in meeting the needs of their corporate customers.
Regulatory Burden- it has been well chronicled the amount of regulatory burden imposed on banks as a result of Dodd-Frank and other legislated changes as the result of the fallout of the “great recession”. These burdens are being felt by banks in their cost for compliance. Compliance is diverting funding from the development of new products into the remediation of existing platforms, products and services to address regulatory mandates. The amount of discretionary R&D funding available for new customer facing products is thus scarce, in an industry where R&D expenditures are already historically low[i].
Historical Impediments- the development of Treasury 2.0 bank cash management products was a dis-jointed, fast-paced process in reaction to competitive pressures. Products were invented and developed utilizing disparate technologies and architectures. Today’s larger-bank architectures are a collection of single purpose product platforms bound together by extensive spaghetti-code interfaces to deliver services to customers. The silo nature of the systems makes it difficult for banks to effectively rise to the Treasury 3.0 challenge for combining payment and liquidity products.
Industry Consolidation- the U.S. bank industry consolidation has created unintended consequences well beyond Too Big To Fail (TBTF). The scale achieved by the largest bank treasury service providers has impacted the rest of the industry’s ability to justify the costs to remain competitive.
Industry consolidation has also created new larger players, who until recently were viewed as smaller regional banks, who must now re-tool their back offices to address scale and product feature gap issues, if they want to be perceived as viable treasury services providers.
Clearly, no top-50 U.S. bank can afford the time, cost and risk to rip and replace multiple systems to facilitate the Treasury 3.0 end-state. Without a thoughtful strategy, all banks stand to be further dis-intermediated by non-bank providers and be left with true commodity products and prices. Lacking the scale of the largest treasury services banks, smaller banks are going to be faced with the hard questions raised by Treasury Strategies: “the life cycle decision, the business driver decision, and the value proposition decision” as they struggle to fund products to remain competitive.
Then how do the largest banks make progress and the smaller players afford to remain competitive? To compete, all banks need to develop products with a three dimensional view:
- Aggregation – avoid the need for replacing product factories through aggregation of data into central data stores; thus reducing the integration burden.
- Automation – customer facing products need to be more than web accessed “list-reports” but be enabled by rules engines and workflow that easily meld into the back office of clients.
- Acceleration – no longer defined as speed of transaction processing but the ability to harness the underlying data and provide constructive insight so that customers can better manage their business.
If technology were the only hurdle faced by banks, the task would be manageable for most. The fundamental hurdle for all banks may be cultural organization inertia. The silo bank product factories used for delivery of treasury services also restricts line-of-business and product managers thinking across the organization to develop the products envisioned in the “3.0” world. A new breed of thought-leaders, who have the ability to become span breakers, are required to convince executives to make the required investments as the industry goes through transformation.
To create momentum toward Treasury 3.0 product delivery, banks will also need to look externally to form new partnerships with thought-leaders and providers who understand that tomorrow’s products are no longer solely defined by “feeds and speeds” but integration and innovation. The payment and liquidity product combinations envisioned in Treasury 3.0, in which banks are the integrator, not the company, will stretch the boundaries of current bank services into the back office of the corporate customer. This is an area that banks have dealt only on the periphery.
In the treasury services industries with an annual spend of $1 trillion, non-bank providers, unburdened by compliance and regulation; stand to reap the largest rewards in the Treasury 3.0 world. Banks need to figure out how to develop thought-leadership, partnerships and allocate the resources necessary for change.
By Tracy Dalton
Senior Product Manager
Traditional payment processing is overhead-intensive, with high fixed costs for space, processing hardware and software, and staffing. Remote Lockbox provides an alternative solution that increases flexibility and provides unique advantages.
Take the example of First Commonwealth, a $6 billion bank based in Pennsylvania. By deploying Remote Lockbox, the financial institution was able to grow its lockbox business 350% while reducing transaction costs despite supporting over four times as many lockboxes as they had previously.
Our new infographic clearly illustrates how Remote Lockbox helps financial institutions and other organizations overcome the limitations of traditional lockbox payment processing with benefits such as:
- Converting fixed overhead costs of hardware, software and space requirements to variable costs, scaling with processing needs
- Ability to expand geographic reach and branch out into new areas
- Easily enter new profitable vertical markets such as property management or medical payments
Download our complimentary infographic to visualize how Remote Lockbox compares to traditional lockbox.
By Jason Olson
RDC Product Manager
What is the best way to price, sell, or implement RDC services? How are you enrolling your customers to effectively manage the risks associated with RDC?
In our latest white paper, Happy State Bank & Trust Co., Susquehanna Bank, and American Chartered Bank answer these questions with their own tailored, winning strategies to approaching and implementing mobile and merchant RDC services that are helping them lead the way and achieve tremendous results.
Complete with detailed, perspective–filled interviews from each financial institution, the white paper demonstrates that successful RDC services don’t always follow a one-size-fits-all roadmap. Despite using very different strategies, each organization mentioned above has achieved success with RDC:
Happy State Bank has been successfully offering RDC for five years and continues to grow its number of users.
American Chartered Bank’s mobile users surpassed the number of desktop users that they have and their deposit volume is split evenly between consumers and small businesses mobile users.
Susquehanna Bank surpassed their first-year offering projection in two months with 6,000 mobile RDC users.
The key to RDC leadership is for financial institutions to aggressively implement the strategies that they believe best meets the needs of their customers, as well as their bank.
Download our complimentary white paper, One Size Doesn’t Fit All for Remote Deposit Capture Success to help develop a winning RDC strategy that works for you!
By Mike Tallitsch
SVP - Integrated Receivables Solutions - Corporate Markets
Business-to-Business payments are complex. The vast majority of B2B payments are still check-based, and corporate receivables management has traditionally been a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
With payments coming in to many organizations through agents, remote offices and other sources, keeping track of it all has become a difficult task.
Faced with these challenges, most organizations have chosen to outsource their lockbox to a bank or other provider. Even with this arrangement, however, keying fees, matching invoices to payments and handling exceptions and deductions still end up costing large companies hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - or more.
Companies themselves acknowledge these drawbacks - a recent Aite Group survey reported that 60 percent of organizations were not fully satisfied with their receivables processes.
For many businesses, deploying an integrated receivables hub to automate payments processing can be the solution. By capturing payments from multiple channels and locations, automating exceptions handling and consolidating outputs, many organizations have made clear gains with these systems.
In fact, corporations implementing an integrated receivables hub have reduced their in-house labor costs associated with payments processing up to 75 percent and virtually eliminated lockbox fees.
Download our new white paper and learn how integrated receivables can help your organization speed receivables and improve business efficiency.
By Joe Pitzo
Vice President, Paperless Enterprise Solutions
Treasury departments today are facing heavier compliance duties than ever before to ensure all documents are signed and accounted for.
This can be challenging for financial institutions, especially when completing large, multi-service client transactions. Purchasing a suite of treasury services can generate over 100 pieces of paper in just signature agreements alone!
When large amounts of paper are involved in the on-boarding process, the opportunity for duplicate data entry or misplaced/misfiled documents is great.
Knowing this, most people would assume it would make sense to spend even more time than they already do, focused on the paperwork to ensure compliance.
But what if all of this time and vigilance wasn’t necessary? What if you could actually spend less time chasing down pieces of paper and enjoy an easier, more accurate audit?
Find out how by reading my article on Bank Systems and Technology’s website, Paperless Treasury Management Helps Ensure Compliance.
After reading the article, take a look at how going paperless in Treasury can remove the risk of error from manual on-boarding.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PAPERLESS TREASURY ON-BOARDING
By Joe Pitzo
Vice President, Paperless Enterprise Solutions
Your treasury sales team often starts the day staring at the photocopier, assembling large stacks of agreements for their client meetings. After your client takes time signing dozens of multiple service agreements, your team must manually track the status of the forms to prepare for and meet the implementation’s go live-date.
Often times, a document may get misplaced, forcing your staff members to scour the office, making phone calls, sending emails, and, in desperate situations, looking beneath potted plants for the missing agreement. The operations department claims no record of it, your go-live date is pushed back and in the board room there’s concern that you won’t meet your numbers for the quarter.
If you're like most financial institutions, you'd agree that this scenario is all too common with treasury on-boarding, a process often plagued with mass amounts of paper.
But not anymore for Washington Trust Bank, who teamed up with WAUSAU Financial Systems to streamline their treasury onboarding process.
Since the Pacific Northwest’s oldest and largest privately-owned commercial bank adopted WAUSAU’s paperless treasury solution, they have eliminated the need for sales teams to manually prepare, print, carry and mail the documents necessary when meeting with clients.
Breaking free from the paper-push process has yielded a 10 to 15% reduction in the time spent by staff members on fulfillment processes, improving their turnaround by two business days from signature to delivery.
Click here to download a visual primer to see how WAUSAU can push the paper out of your treasury department, helping you accelerate sales and exceed your revenue goals.
By Tracy A. Dalton
Senior Product Manager
For decades, the wholesale lockbox market has been dominated by large institutions that have flexed their financial might to invest in the infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of corporate clients.
But in the battle for wholesale lockbox business, small and medium size banks have a new weapon that helps them compete on the playing field and create new revenue streams: wholesale lockbox outsourcing.
For example, CoBiz Bank, a $2.4 billion financial institution operating in Colorado and Arizona, launched outsourcing with WAUSAU in May 2011. Since outsourcing, CoBiz has added 65 new lockbox, including customers in the lucrative healthcare and property management verticals. Not only that, but CoBiz was able to immediately position itself to compete against the largest banks in the country.
"In our opinion, it makes more sense for banks our size to partner with companies like WAUSAU and get the bells and whistles required to compete against much larger institutions." - Rod Young, senior vice president, product solutions, CoBiz
By outsourcing with WAUSAU, the bank was able to gain new capabilities including:
- Online Decisioning, allowing the bank's customers to handle their own exception items intra-day for faster cash application.
- Access to WAUSAU's national capture network, with 40 capture sites located within 150 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population.
- Full Imaging, allowing the capture of any size documents plus all documents linked to the appropriate transaction for reference.
- Access to new software features and updates as soon as they are available.
- Integrated Receivables: WAUSAU's Receivables360™ enables CoBiz to consolidate lockbox and ACH files to provide clients with a single posting file and single place for researching transactions.
New features provided by outsourcing have allowed CoBiz to retain and enhance their offering for medical payments, which represent the majority of the bank's lockbox volume. In addition, CoBiz can now offer a solution tailored for the needs of the property management market, which has already helped the bank win a sizable new client.
Is your bank ready to level the competitive playing field for lockbox customers? Download our complimentary case study to learn more about wholesale lockbox outsourcing.
By Sara Zenner
Marketing Campaign Manager, Strategic Solutions
Mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) has experienced a more gradual adoption rate than merchant RDC, but for financial institutions that have “pulled the pin” on the technology, the pay-off has been explosive: thousands of enrollments within the first month of implementation, Day Zero risk analysis and a more cost-effective way to process check deposits. Moreover, the rapid growth of mRDC combined with shifting consumer preferences mean that banks can’t afford not to deploy mRDC.
Eastern Bank is one of the growing numbers of financial institutions benefiting from mRDC.
The bank then introduced mobile deposit for its retail customers in August 2012.
From the start, consumer adoption of mRDC has “far exceeded” Eastern Bank’s expectations. “Within the first month, 20 percent of our mobile banking users made mobile deposits,” said Julie Colarusso, vice president, MIS technology, Eastern Bank. Eight months after launching mRDC, the bank was processing 12,000 mobile deposits per month, representing $3.5 million.
Importantly, the bank is experiencing “growth every month.”
Susquehanna Bank also has achieved high mRDC adoption soon after deploying the technology.
From Day 1, the bank received positive reviews for mRDC, said Brett Miller, assistant vice president, product development manager, Susquehanna Bank. In the first six weeks after beginning live production, the bank processed 4,400 mobile deposits, representing $2.8 million.
Incredibly, the bank originally hoped for 4,000 to 5,000 enrollees by the end of Year 1. And, the bank’s mobile deposit volume is growing each week, and the bank had more than 400 customers enroll for mRDC who were not users of its mobile banking application, Miller said.
So what’s the secret the tremendous results these banks are experiencing, and why can’t your financial institution afford to wait much longer before “pulling the pin?”
Click here to read, “The ‘Big Bang:’ Explosive Mobile Remote Deposit Capture Benefits for Financial Institutions.”
By Sara Zenner
Marketing Campaign Manager, Strategic Solutions
Mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) is the “hot topic” in RDC, surpassing desktop consumer RDC. And it’s the small business segment—a largely untapped market with banking preferences, check volumes and business needs suited for mRDC—that has captured the attention of banks.
But cracking the code on the opportunity afforded by small-business mRDC will require financial institutions to tailor their marketing and sales efforts to the unique needs of the segment.
There are seven steps banks can take to drive adoption of mRDC among small businesses:
1. Don’t skimp on education: Educating small businesses on mRDC is a sure way to drive adoption. One tip: make use of tools offered by solutions providers for educating small businesses on mRDC.
2. Consider ease of use: Banks must invest in mRDC solutions that offer a user-friendly experience. Beyond system capabilities, banks should consider holding in-branch demonstrations and webinars on mRDC, and dedicating a team to support small-business clients.
3. Know your customer: Banks have found that knowing their customers can help tame fraud. Many banks establish a risk and management policy for small business mRDC users, and an approval and escalation protocol to review and approve applications.
4. Highlight your fraud safeguards: Security concerns are often the number one reason why a business customer is not willing to bank via mRDC, Aite Group finds. Banks should offer educational resources such as webinars and white papers highlighting their fraud safeguards.
5. Emphasize mRDC’s value proposition: Banks should market the benefits of mRDC to small business customers, train front-line employees on the benefits of the technology, and consider sales contests for front-line staff who sign up the most new users.
6. Remember that one size does not fit all: Success in the small business segment requires flexibility, taking the time to get to know the customer and their evolving needs, and the right balance of technology and hand-holding.
7. Keep the pricing simple: Small business customers want a pricing model that is easy to understand and budget.
Want to learn more? Click here to read our educational white paper, “Small Business Mobile Remote Deposit Capture: Cracking the Code.”
Banks don’t need to be sold on the opportunity in healthcare payments automation.
Many financial institutions already are repurposing their lockbox processing services – designed to automate the processing and posting of remittance receivables – to convert paper checks and EOBs into images. In many cases, institutions will either manually key or automatically capture data from the EOBs. Other institutions merely present an image of the EOBs to providers for them to key.
Financial institutions benefit from new revenue streams, deeper and stronger relationships with healthcare clients, and improved competitive positioning in the lucrative healthcare market. And with healthcare representing a top-four vertical market for bank deposits, even small gains in healthcare market share can have a significant impact on a financial institution’s bottom line.
But these services may not go far enough in addressing the challenges healthcare providers face.
Financial institutions can strengthen their value proposition to healthcare providers by offering extended healthcare services beyond standard lockbox processing. These extended services include:
- Extending lockbox services to include conversion of paper EOBs to electronic files
- Facilitating the delivery of electronic remittance advices
- Matching claims and remittances (paper-based and electronic)
- Reconciling payment of claims and remittances (paper-based and electronic)
- Reconciling payments and remittances (paper-based and electronic)
- Providing secondary claims processing and denial management
- Archiving payments and remittances in a HIPAA-compliant archive
Far more than transaction processing, these extended healthcare services position banks to help reengineer a healthcare provider’s business processes. The services address paper and electronic payments, allowing banks to capture electronic payments that would have bypassed traditional lockbox services. And they can generate a stout $1 to $2 per transaction and create a “stickier” customer relationship.
Importantly, these services also lay the foundation for lucrative liquidity services, such as A/R management, A/R factoring, and card processing, where a bank could reap a percentage of the total dollars transacted.
Leveraging extended healthcare services from a financial institution can help healthcare providers accelerate collections, streamline reconciliation, improve Day’s Sales Outstanding (DSO), lower operating costs, reduce processing errors and write-offs, and maximize their use of full-time equivalents. Most important, it frees providers focus on their core business providing patient care.
Best of all, financial institutions don’t even have to shoulder the cost and burdens of building out a systems infrastructure for delivering extended healthcare services to their customers. Partnering with an outsourced services provider enables financial institutions to quickly go to market with a full suite of extended healthcare services, without a significantly capital outlay or implementation burden.Want to learn more? Download our free white paper, ”Grow Revenue With Healthcare Lockbox Services."