SWIFT: 64% of Corporate Treasurers Want Real-Time Payments Tracking

Corporate treasury professionals place real-time tracking at the top of their list of enhancements, followed by more consistency between bank payment processes and better visibility on banking fees, according to a recent survey released by SWIFT and EuroFinance.

Unveiled at the EuroFinance International Conference in Barcelona, the survey, The future of payments: a corporate treasury perspective, gauged the views of 300 treasury professionals from corporations worldwide, ranging from SMEs to global corporations, in 18 different industries.

The survey results identify pressing issues such as the current lack of payments traceability and confirmation of credit, the lack of visibility on the bank fees deducted from transactions and the inconsistencies between the amount sent and amount received by the beneficiary.

“Corporates expect greater transparency in cross-border payments,” says Wim Raymaekers, Head of Banking Market and SWIFT gpi at SWIFT.

“They want to know what is happening with the payment and when it has been credited on the beneficiary’s account. Until now, this has not been the case. This survey confirms the relevance of SWIFT gpi, because of its ability to address these key pain points.”

Treasurers also gave their views about working with alternative payment providers.

Despite the hype surrounding this topic, only 8% of participants are currently using alternative payment providers for their cross-border payments.  Also, the majority of respondents have no plans to use alternative solutions.

The main concern they see with new payment solutions are scalability, security, regulatory oversight and standardization.

The study also revealed that 64% of treasurers said they want real-time payments tracking, while 42% are looking for instant payments.

Gaining visibility on the cost and deductions from a transaction (47%) and reducing and optimizing exceptions and investigation handling (41%) are also high on the list.

When choosing a bank partner for cross-border payments, 86% of treasurers cited the need for efficient payment processes and effective customer support. Other criteria included competitive pricing and transparent charges, as well as extended global coverage.

Payment innovation was referenced as a priority when selecting a bank by only 30% of treasurers, suggesting that innovation for its own sake is a relatively low priority compared to innovation leveraged to address  fundamental concerns and needs.