Global technology research and advisory firm, Ovum, recently published the results of a Corporate Treasurer survey, developed in partnership with Swiss financial services software specialist, Temenos.
Founded in 1985, and headquartered in London, Ovum is part of Informa Group, a global provider of business intelligence. Ovum has 23 offices on six continents. Its global team of 180 analysts offers analysis and consulting services across the IT, telecoms, and media industries. Its data and consulting clients include business leaders, CIOs, vendors, service providers, and regulators.
Temenos Group AG is a leading provider of banking software. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Geneva, the company processes over 500 million daily transactions, for more than 2,000 firms worldwide, including 38 of the top 50 banks.
From July to September, Ovum interviewed 200 corporate treasurers in 23 countries spanning five regions; Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and the US. The survey focuses on five industries; Automotive and manufacturing, Food and drink, Technology, Pharmaceuticals, and Retail.
“The purpose of the study is to understand exactly how corporate banks must re-think their products and services in order to remain relevant to today’s corporate treasurer,” Ovum explained. Corporate Treasurer’s serve as financial risk managers, and protect a company’s value during business activities.
“The role of the corporate treasurer, and the banking services they need to meet their responsibilities, have changed fundamentally since the financial crisis.”
In a June interview, with Caitlin Long, the CEO of Seagate Technology, Dave Morton, explained how blockchains can help corporate treasurers. His company manages a global supply chain and global customer base. He began researching blockchain technology in 2014, and how it could solve several “pain points” for treasures, such as supplier payment latency and transparency.
“We pay upwards of +100,000 invoices a month” Morton said, and Seagate manages hundreds of bank accounts. “It is extremely clear to us that corporate use of blockchain technology will simplify corporate treasury operations and improve efficiency.”
John Rowland, executive director of Cicero, an integrated communications agency, also believes that blockchains can help treasurers, “If you need to know what your position is and how quickly you can provide liquidity to your company or to the market—that’s very important and potentially blockchain does help that.”
According to a global provider of cloud treasury solutions, Kyriba, treasurers can reduce costs by using blockchain-enabled payment apps coupled with digital currencies. This will reduce the expensive role of intermediaries, saving treasurers foreign exchange costs as well as minimize currency risk. “This will be especially useful as corporates expand into new markets,” the firm claims, citing the ability for them to bill in local currency.
Kyriba states that there are many other opportunities for blockchain in trade finance and remittance services which will interest others in the organization, “making treasury a valued partner to leverage blockchain technologies for the company’s supply and customer chains.”
CEO of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) Cash Management, Colin Tyler, believes that treasurers should be discussing the potential impact blockchain on the company’s business and financial strategies with their CFOs and CEOs. “This change that’s coming down the track is going to be disruptive to business,” says Tyler.
According to Deloitte’s strategy leader for their Rubix team, Oris Valiente, “The first step toward wider blockchain adoption is knowledge, and the logical entry point is to first understand how bitcoin works.” Valiente recently said that making “bitcoin more accessible so that users can experience blockchain technology first hand will deepen their understanding and ultimately increase adoption,” while unveiling aBitcoin ATM machine in the lobby of Deloitte’s Toronto tower.