Modernizing Transaction Banking In The Cloud: Q&A With Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking’s Eduardo Vergara

Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking’s global head of product and sales, Eduardo Vergara, shares his thoughts on why engineering talent and client feedback are vital to cloud-based corporate banking success.

Global Finance: What advantage do you believe being 100% cloud-based and API-native gives you over traditional corporate banks?

Eduardo Vergara: Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking [TxB] built an API-enabled platform from scratch and in the cloud—instead of layering it on top of legacy systems, as is the case at many other large transaction banks. This removed constraints in reimagining the complete end-to-end user experience and consumer-grade user interface. Moreover, TxB is continually improving our platform by incorporating client feedback when adding new features that enhance the user experience.

David Solomon, chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, said the following about TxB’s cloud-based platform: “The reason our transaction banking platform is, I think, accelerating in its success is because the quality of the offering for our clients is differentiated and better meeting their needs than the existing offerings. And part of the reason…we could do that so quickly was because it’s easier to build in the cloud and transition.”

GF: What is the key to designing good software that meets treasury needs, and what are your recurring design goals?

Vergara: TxB’s design and engineering teams went to great lengths to take client feedback into account from the start—putting UX and CX design front and center during every step of the platform build. When the platform was launched in June 2020, we outlined the following goals to improve the client experience and user interface:

• Simplify complex decisions for our users.

• Ensure our platform is customizable, provides unique and personalized experiences and capabilities, and incorporates direct client feedback.

• Incorporate human-centered design to build our platform and user experience.

The result is a built-from-scratch platform that has no legacy technology and provides clients with a smooth client experience and journey.

GF: What is the secret to better integration?

Vergara: Design thinking and human-centered design, an agile engineering team and a cloud technology stack each have a role to play in improving integration. TxB’s iterative design process and goals help us keep the needs of clients front and center, enabling us to design and build products and solutions that integrate seamlessly with their existing systems. We’re constantly prototyping with clients and obtaining their feedback, allowing us to launch minimum viable products more readily.

Our cloud-native platform enables advanced capabilities, such as deploying security architecture based on explicit technical controls or integrating transaction banking services directly into treasury workstation software. But none of this would be possible without our talented engineering team with deep technology expertise and a strong sense of ownership over the design and implementation of our products and solutions.

GF: What do you predict will be the most beneficial digital banking offering for corporates within the next five years, and why?

Vergara: We expect to see tremendous corporate banking innovation in the following areas over the next five years: Real-time payments: The US market is moving toward real-time payments across TCH Real-Time Payments and the FedNow Instant Payment initiative. These payment rails will benefit corporates by enabling faster collection and settlement times, improving liquidity management, and unlocking direct-to-consumer payment flows. Open-banking protocols will provide comprehensive account access and ubiquity across business and consumer deposit accounts.

Embedded Finance: Corporates will have access to a full suite of financial services—including payments and deposits—directly through the platforms they use at the “point of sale” or moment of need, which will require minimal adoption efforts due to prior onboarding. These offerings will continue to expand and include capabilities ranging from subscription billing to tax management.

Multicurrency accounts: With multicurrency accounts, clients can hold a physical account with multicurrency virtual accounts below it. This revolutionary concept enables transactions in multiple currencies through one bank account, reducing FX costs and improving liquidity management.