Success factor for banks: Modular corporate customer portals

While companies in general are embracing digitisation at an encouraging rate, the corporate banking world can often feel one step behind. Today, banks have to meet growing demands for speed and networking. By offering portal solutions that offer convenient multibanking, including comprehensive liquidity management, you – as a bank – make life easier for your corporate customers. This enables you to position yourself as a digitally networked partner for this target group.

Payment transactions and cash management are central elements of corporate management. This is because companies – whether large, medium or even small – usually maintain relationships with several banks. 80% of all SMEs have several banking relationships, and around a quarter of those even work with more than five banks. Multibanking is therefore not some fancy add-on in corporate banking today, but increasingly mandatory!

In October 2018, the consulting firm zeb published a study on the “corporate business of the future”. The study names the following expectations that corporate clients have of their bank:

  • Understanding your own business model and transformation (“We need real implementation partners!”)
  • Networking from payment to ordering goods to financial reporting (“We need platform and networking experts!”)
  • Solutions without loss of time, precisely tailored to the customer’s needs, just like the company’s own solutions (“We expect the same from our partners!”)

Digital banking portals for corporate customers

In terms of user experience and multibanking, the corporate customer segment still has  a lot of catching up to do. While private individuals today click their way effortlessly through their gamified banking, their everyday working life in accounting often looks dull in comparison. The online portals of the various banks where a company is a customer must be controlled individually. File by file is uploaded manually, but a complete overview is missing. New technology and open platforms enable financial institutions to develop online banking portals for corporate customers that are multi-bank-capable, and thus offer a complete overview of the current actual liquidity. After all, payment transactions are the foundation of all economic activity.

In addition, modern portals today offer many innovative functions beyond mere payment transactions. These features allow corporate customers to enjoy a better overview, more effective planning, and more convenient cooperation. For example, banks can provide their customers with customised dashboards, data rooms for the secure exchange of documents, cash pooling, liquidity forecasts and much more.

Networking through multibanking

Today, corporate customers can conveniently and seamlessly manage different bank accounts, retrieve account information and make payments. They no longer have to log into different banks. The smooth processing of payment transactions takes place simply and securely via a single portal that you, as a financial partner, can make available to your customers. In the background, highly secure integration platforms that complement online banking with multi-banking processes and services make this all possible.

Comprehensive liquidity management to optimise financial management

Open banking and the overview of liquidity across all accounts form an important foundation in state-of-the-art corporate banking. In addition, payment transaction triggering and distributed electronic signatures (ESS) play an important role in customer-bank communication in the multi-bank-capable standard EBICS. A core function consists of releasing and triggering payments that were fed in via SAP or via another accounting solution, for example, the corporate customer portal.

In addition to these basic functionalities, companies today are faced with the question of how, in the next step, they can overview, plan and control their entire liquidity across all bank relationships in a corporate finance portal. Banks can score points not only by displaying current liquidity to their customers, but also by offering comprehensive liquidity management including liquidity forecasting functions. This can enable corporate customers to group bank accounts, as well as manually or automatically create account transfers. Plan data and cash flows can also be integrated and managed, taking into account the recorded payments. Cash pooling functions such as zero balancing or target balancing allow optimum allocation of liquidity. Depending on the cash pooling agreement, companies can trigger direct automated or manual account transfers from one bank to another. Precise liquidity forecasts can be created based on existing data. This makes liquidity management even more efficient and effective.

Understanding the customer better

The comprehensive business banking portals give banks a better understanding of their customers’ financial situation. Client advisors can act faster and more specifically to provide even better advice. The advisor automatically receives notification of unusual activities on the client’s accounts and can react accordingly. One example: If a German company suddenly has significantly more pounds in one of its British bank accounts, your advisor can contact them directly to discuss what should happen next: What do we do with the money? Do we exchange it? Do we want to secure it?

This opens up many new opportunities for you as a bank to better understand your corporate clients in the future, and to optimise your services and the quality of your advice.

Modular design enables versatile use cases

The banking landscape in corporate banking is as diverse as its corporate clients. It ranges from banks that primarily serve commercial customers, to multinationals that offer solutions for all segments and areas of corporate banking. Accordingly, a digital corporate customer portal must cover a multitude of facets and offer a broader range of opportunities. While one customer attaches particular importance to digital payment transactions, another may require a solution for collaboration.

Modern portals cover a wide range of customer requirements. Helaba, for example, offers its major customers in the real estate and corporate customer segments digital customer portals that provide a 360° view of existing business relationships via intuitive dashboards. Helaba’s customer portals also enable the processing of real estate financing, and simplify collaboration via the DocShare data room. Credit Suisse, on the other hand, uses its existing e-banking solution in the frontend, but employs CREALOGIX NovaCore in the backend – an integration platform for multibanking-capable processes and services thatintegrates third-party providers in the sense of Open Banking. The modular structure of a corporate customer portal such as the CREALOGIX Business Banking Portal offers the right solution for every type of situation, enabling banks to meet the requirements of their corporate customers:

  • Understand the companies better and be a real implementation partner!
  • Networking of all processes and services on one platform!
  • Tailor-made solutions that are geared towards the needs of corporate customers!