Insight & Analysis

Press release: ACT: treasury must do more to utilise emerging technologies

Published: Nov 2021

22nd November 2021 – The ACT, in partnership with Deutsche Bank, has released the findings from their inaugural International Treasury Peer Review, incorporating survey responses from more than 200 multinational corporates globally. The review has been designed to help treasurers benchmark their practices and operations against their peers – with a focus on the geographical and industry-specific factors involved in decision-making.

Newspaper press release

Highlights from the inaugural ACT International Treasury Peer Review include:

  • 70% of respondents have automated visibility of 75% or more of their cash balances
  • though application programming interface (API) connectivity is on everybody’s agenda, its actual use for bank connectivity is still very low, with only 7% of respondents utilising the technology
  • 47% of respondents are already using virtual accounts to optimise their treasury operations, while another 26% are considering using them
  • 61% of respondents are yet to apply machine learning and robotics in their treasury
  • 30% of respondents are yet to leverage a treasury management system (TMS)
  • 78% of respondents have already implemented e-commerce solutions
  • 41% of respondents are operating with shared service centres (SSC).

“The results of the questionnaire portray a clear picture of where treasury departments are heading in these transformative times, but also showcase the scope for development in areas such as efficiencies, data use, and embracing new technologies,” said Raphael Jansa, Cash Management, Structuring, Deutsche Bank.

For example, the findings of the survey highlight that the first steps to developing a data-driven treasury are well underway, with treasurers opting to utilise a variety of new technologies, including virtual accounts, shared service centres, in-house banks and various automation tools. Interestingly the often talked about APIs are currently used to connect to bank systems by just 7% of corporates. This could be seen as a clear sign that banks and corporates alike still need to do more in in this regard – and standardised API formats across banks would help expediate this journey.

The impact of COVID-19 – and the accelerated transition from in-person sales to online – is also reflected in the review, which reveals that 78% of respondents are currently engaged with e-commerce, with over half operating their own B2B or B2C marketplace.

To complement the research the ACT, with the support of Deutsche Bank, has also put together a best-practice guide to treasury, which features a series of articles, interviews and case studies. “We are delighted to be able to share this guide, which takes real-life cases from seasoned treasurers, complemented by articles from Deutsche Bank and other thought leaders, and is curated by the ACT policy and technical team. I think it’s a really good read and certainly should offer something for everyone in the treasury community,” says Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive of the ACT.

“The guide covers a lot of ground, from how to set up your department and how to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements into your operations, to how data is the key to unlocking potential for real-time treasury operations,” says Ole Matthiessen Deutsche Bank, Corporate Bank, Global Head of Cash Management. “As you look to adjust your treasury operations to keep pace with the digitalisation of the wider business, we hope this guide acts as a useful companion on your journey.”

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