Enhancing Client Engagement Across the Entire Supply Chain | NTT DATA

Fri, 12 April 2024

Enhancing Client Engagement Across the Entire Supply Chain

With investments in customer experience and digital onboarding set to increase in 2024, NTT DATA explores the complexities of corporate roles involving making financial decisions.

The financial services landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. Where corporate banking was once centred around static product offerings and face-to-face interactions, we now see a shift towards dynamic, digitised, and highly personalised experiences that integrate advanced technologies to deliver tailored financial solutions. Morevoer, research by the analyst firm Celent shows that 70% of corporate banks find it a lot more challenging to win and retain customers than 12 months ago.

Banks recognise that no two corporate clients are identical. The specific needs and priorities of a multinational consumer goods company will differ greatly from those of a regional construction firm. Success lies not just in understanding these nuances, but in harnessing game-changing innovations to provide genuine value at every level. This starts with understanding the intricacies within a client's organisational structure.


Navigating corporate complexity

Corporate clients have a web of interconnected yet specialised roles, each owned by executives and managers overseeing niche responsibilities. These responsibilities involve making financial decisions across varying timeframes and dimensions of complexity. For instance, a Treasurer generally focuses on high-level strategic issues directly tied to long-term financial health. Whereas an Accounting Manager deals more with day-to-day functions like payments and reporting.


We can break the decision-making categories down further:

  • Short-term – Daily financial operations like processing transactions, invoices, payroll, etc.
  • Long-term – Multi-year investments, capital planning, expansion initiatives.
  • Strategic – High-risk/reward decisions with a wider impact e.g. M&A.


The exact responsibilities and seniority of each role also depend on factors like subsidiary/headquarters delineation, degree of centralisation, and shared services adoption.

This organisational nuance matters tremendously. Success in engagement lies in first understanding the intricacies of a client's internal ecosystem. One size never fits all. Only by targeting offerings to align with specialised decision hierarchy and frameworks can banks unlock full relationship value.


The transformative power of technology

Technology is what propels this level of customisation. With sophisticated data mining capabilities, banks can build rich profiles of each customer, identifying behavioural patterns to inform advisory and even predict future needs.

Equally important are embedded banking and API solutions that tear down barriers allowing seamless integration into clients' existing environments and third-party fintech platforms. This reduces friction while enabling valuable data flows in near real-time. In fact, 88% of banks that implement embedded finance report increased customer engagement, and 85% say it helps them acquire new customers.

Additionally, the integration of AI and machine learning unlocks more predictive insights from data patterns detected. This gives banks the ability to anticipate client needs before they arise and deliver hyper-personalised offers aligned with their financial calendars. Advanced analytics applied to industry data also empowers more accurate scenario planning and simulations. This improves strategic counselling and planning.


Innovation in action

Banks are deploying innovative technologies to unlock new levels of value for corporate clients across key financial processes. This leads to optimised working capital, improved visibility into risks, and the ability to simulate various strategic plans. We are already seeing transformed capabilities in core areas:


Cash Flow Forecasting

One large bank is developing an advanced predictive analytics engine that integrates directly with customers' ERP systems. It analyses historical data patterns to generate accurate short and long-term cash flow projections. This provides greater visibility to adjust strategic plans, optimise working capital, and manage liquidity risks based on various "what-if" scenarios.


Syndicated Lending

A leading global bank is revamping its syndicated loan origination platform using end-to-end digitisation and automation. It is also conducting AI-based analysis and creating blockchain smart contracts to provide new enhanced features as part of its services. This simplifies and secures the entire lifecycle reducing friction and costs related to compliance, reporting and transactions. The corporate clients of this bank will now benefit through more competitive loan options, faster funding, and greater access to flexible capital.


The Road Ahead

While banks have made promising strides with capabilities to transform corporate client experiences, the surface has only been scratched in terms of real outcomes.

True success requires a fundamental shift – moving from siloed product offerings to providing full-spectrum financial health solutions tailored to how each organisation operates. This means harnessing embedded technologies not just for data aggregation, but to implement predictive models that uncover hidden insights unlocking the next level of value. And integrating not simply for visibility, but digitising key processes in a way that overcomes friction while retaining security.

The capabilities exist today to make this vision of precise, customised financial management a reality. But it remains incumbent on banks themselves to fully leverage these innovations through strategic partnerships, development resources and most importantly – a commitment to placing client needs at the centre.

By getting engagement right and enhancing differentiated value at the ground level of strategic financial decisions, banks reinforce centrality in the corporate finance ecosystem. The fundamentals must now catch up to the technical art of the possible.

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