Survey: Why tech investment remains vital when resources are pinched

Be the first to comment

Survey: Why tech investment remains vital when resources are pinched


This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.

The proliferation of various payment networks for moving money domestically and internationally means financial organisations must deal with many gateways, messaging standards, processing and settlement rules and regulations. This proliferation has led to fragmentation and duplication of payment systems within organisations. It has also limited reachability and interoperability.

To manage this, financial institutions are obliged to invest in technology with capabilities that allow them to access and function within the increasingly intricate web of payments models. Yet, constant pressures weighing on banks means allocating financial resource to these projects can be challenging and ROI is of utmost importance.

This is an excerpt from Finextra Research and Volante Technology’s recent survey report ‘Payments Modernisation: The Cloud Imperative.’ 

Modernisation plans and investment

Any digital transformation and IT investment plans in 2021 need to be considered alongside the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. There is widespread agreement that the lockdowns, restrictions and new working practices forced on us by the pandemic have greatly increased understanding of the value of digital transformation and accelerated it. Segments of the financial services sector that have held on to physical manual processes – lock boxes, cheques, wet signatures – have been forced to move with the times. But even where processes have been supported by digital initiatives for years, business continuity needs have highlighted the need for greater agility.

Our survey found that 68% of organisations have seen changes to product and service delivery models accelerate since the pandemic took hold in 2020. And 70% have seen digital adoption dramatically increase in the customer base. The downside of all this change is that it is expected to be executed with smaller budgets and more stringent project approval processes.

This makes the ROI on any proposed project particularly important. What customer pain points would be solved and what would be the resulting revenue and retention upside? What costs can be cut from the business through deployment of better technology and processes? This survey finds that for most banks and payments services providers, investing in modernising their payments infrastructure passes these tests.

For customers of these organisations, the two biggest pain points by far are having access to real-time or intraday liquidity management (35% ranked this number 1), and the cost of payments processing (33%). Corporate treasuries have themselves been readying for the greater impact of real-time payments on their liquidity management as caps on the value of transactions permitted over instant payments networks are increased. They are challenged to accurately forecast their liquidity management needs as real-time transacting spreads, and they expect their banks to help them with this visibility

While cost and liquidity management were the clear dominant themes bank customers are discussing with their banks, there is also significant pressure on improving the efficiency of cross-border payments. This pressure will only increase with the rise of alternative business models outside the correspondent banking network putting more focus on the cost, speed and transparency on offer.

These customer pain points are translating into the main requirements respondents have for their payments business cases. Reducing maintenance cost and complexity is the number one requirement for 37% of respondents, and was ranked in the top three by 74% of them. By reducing their own cost and complexity in delivering payments services to customers they can be more responsive to price competition and invest in new business models to generate fresh revenue and novel customer experiences.

Keeping up with competitors’ offerings and improving time to market for new products and services was the next most important requirement for investment in payments systems. As the leading banks provide advanced capabilities to their corporate and SMB customers, others are pressured to follow. And as new overlay services are specified, piloted and rolled out on top of real-time payment rails around the world, having the ability to become an early adopter or fast follower of those that prove popular is an important criteria for business success.

Improving the ability to meet customer demands was the third biggest driver for investment. These customer demands have been identified as mostly around cost, real-time liquidity management and the efficiency of cross border payments. But all investment business cases for payment modernisation should be centred around the customer, across the full range of their requirements.

You can download a copy of the report ‘Payments Modernisation: The Cloud Imperative’ here.


Comments: (0)


This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.