Speranza Systems: Harmonised Banking Relationships - Glen Solimine
Automated banking relationships improve efficiency, strengthen the financial supply chain and give companies a clear view of their banking services, Glen Solimine of Speranza Systems tells Jim banks.
Though the financial services sector has been a keen adopter of new technology to automate many financial processes, corporate relationships with banks still rely heavily on paper-based processes. However, this is no longer appropriate for the modern business world, where efficiency and speed of implementation are critical.
It is for this reason that Banking Relationship Management (BRM) solutions to streamline such processes are starting to prove popular.
Technology developers such as Speranza Systems are already rolling out solutions to meet the demands of companies keen to adopt BRM applications. They are discovering that they not only greatly improve the efficiency of their account management processes, but also create a more level playing field on which to structure their banking relationships.
Glen Solimine, CEO of Speranza Systems, explains: ‘Large, multinational companies may work with hundreds of banks around the world and may have thousands of accounts, all of which carry different levels of authorisation for individual employees.
Most of the activity behind closing, updating or opening accounts, authorising people to use them, and all of the processes around them are paper-based, so they are unwieldy at best. Furthermore, in an increasingly regulated environment, it is important to know your paperwork is in order and be able to show that your controls are in place.’
Speranza Systems’ solutions, working with ERP and treasury management software, provide a central repository where all information relating to banking activities can be integrated and coordinated. This provides the platform for the automation of paper-based processes, authorisation controls and audits.
The first benefit of BRM that companies notice is the improved efficiency of banking processes, but over time other advantages soon become apparent.
Solimine says: ‘The value to a corporation is obvious right away, even from the efficiency gains alone. However, these systems also give companies the ability to stay current with regulations. Audits that once took months can now be completed in minutes. That gives the CFO peace of mind, knowing that efficiency is improved and that audit controls are in place.’
BRM: STRENGTHENING THE FINANCIAL SUPPLY CHAIN
The move towards real-time sharing of information with banking partners enables advanced BRM applications that allow companies to apply metrics to their banking relationships, resulting in scorecards for each bank that can be analysed by country, service type, cost or any other criteria an organisation configures. This correlates with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes.
Banks, after all, use CRM principals to evaluate customers on a risk-adjusted capital basis. Corporate customers using advanced BRM can now have a 360° view of their banking partners and evaluate just how much a particular bank means to their business. This puts them in better position to choose new partners or to improve their relationships with banks that provide good service.
Solimine explains: ‘Companies have focused on better ways to manage their bank relationships for many years, but they only had the tools from the last century, all of which were decentralised. Now there is a tool for global organisations that gives visibility, controls and auditability in a hub that brings information into a centralised location.’
BRM could play a vital role in strengthening the banking link in the financial supply chain by highlighting identity management issues that have to be addressed. There is a need for global standards for communicating changes to banks in order to ensure efficiency on both sides of the banking relationship, but even as work on this progresses, the appetite for BRM is already starting to grow.