Smart Survival Tools For The Digital Age

Our supplement looks at the rise of smart finance and the baby steps that banks are taking into cryptocurrencies.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unaccustomed prominence to the role of corporate treasury as businesses large and small across all industry sectors lean on cash-flow management and control, funding and risk management to keep on top of the liquidity issues the Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating.

Cash is king is the watchword of the pandemic, repeated by CEOs, CFOs and treasurers suddenly confronting the reality that cash flow is the lifeblood of business. To explore how banks and their clients are confronting the challenge and its effect on payments, securities, cash management and trade, we are combining our annual Treasury Services Supplement with what would have been our preview of the Sibos conference.

The theme of this year’s Sibos, to be held online October 5-8, is “Driving the Evolution of Smart Finance”: timely for both financial institutions and corporate treasuries as the global health crisis and economic downturn accelerate their shift to digital.

Our supplement looks at the rise of smart finance and the baby steps that banks are taking into cryptocurrencies. Here also are the first-hand experiences of a CFO and an assistant treasurer forced to make changes as a result of the pandemic, insights into the progress of open banking and how it is transforming into open finance, and the role of APIs in opening data for business to improve pricing and other decision-making analytics.

We take a look at machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) models and how they can leverage this data to learn, evolve, help operate a tighter feedback loop and make decisions on these subjects at a faster pace. 

“The next step,”  says Sonny Singh, senior vice president and general manager of the Financial Services Global Business Unit at Oracle, “will be how technology such as AI and ML can help customers come up with the most optimal balance sheet: ensuring an organization is taking the least risk, unlocking trapped capital through better analytics and then deploying this capital in the areas that generate the highest margins for the bank.”

ML and AI open up new vistas for both banks, most of which are still running on systems that are older than the people running them, and corporate treasuries, which have been rather inward looking. If the pandemic has a silver lining, it’s that smart, automated tools and technologies that once appeared futuristic have revealed themselves as survival tools, necessary for weathering the current crisis as well as going forward.