Building Deeper Commercial Customer Relationships: Unlocking the Power of Treasury Services

In the post-COVID-19 era, banks have gained valuable insights into the evolving needs of commercial customers. Businesses now seek more than just financial services; they desire advice and guidance on how to navigate market challenges and effectively manage their operations. For banks, the ability to become trusted advisors to their commercial customers has never been more critical, especially since it is easier than ever for customers to switch banks. To better retain customers, institutions must rise to meet customer expectations and provide comprehensive treasury services that foster deeper relationships.

Developing Treasury Services for Commercial Customers

According to Deloitte's assessment of digital trends and solutions in its 2022 global corporate treasury survey, businesses are keen on improving cash forecasting activities and increasing operational efficiency. Automation and visualization technologies, such as dashboards and analytics, are top concerns in 2023. This highlights the growing importance of offering robust treasury services that address these commercial customer needs.

Commercial customers, particularly retailers, are actively seeking banks that can advance their digital experiences, provide valuable guidance and act as strategic partners. To meet these expectations and foster stronger relationships, banks must develop and expand their treasury services offerings. This includes enabling commercial customers to have increased visibility to their payment transactions, providing ancillary services such as SLA management for secure cash-in-transit providers, automating audit and compliance reporting and ensuring complete Point of Sale (POS) balancing. In addition to improving the customer experience, Treasury Services can offer new revenue-generating solutions that address the specific needs of their commercial customers.

Overcoming Cash and Check Challenges

Managing cash and checks efficiently can be a complex task for commercial customers. Navigating multiple touchpoints and services, from receipt to deposit and availability as working capital, requires knowledge and bandwidth that many businesses lack. Issues such as internal or cash-in-transit theft, posting delays and inaccurate verification can adversely impact their operations. While customers may perceive these challenges as bank-related issues, they often stem from third-party providers. Banks currently lack detailed visibility to effectively support their customers in resolving such issues.

PwC highlights the amplified need for strategic cash and liquidity management in response to the pandemic, which exacerbated and highlighted the ongoing challenges commercial customers were facing and had been tolerating for some time. In their report, "Responding to demands to optimize cash," they emphasize that cash management remains a top priority for treasurers and CFOs, indicating the broader business's recognition of the value of strategic cash management. 

Expanding Treasury Services Offerings

To deepen their relationships with commercial customers, banks can expand their treasury services offerings to include check and cash automation solutions. Key features such as provisional credit, CiT SLA management, consulting services and cash forecasting can empower businesses to optimize their operations, mitigate cash losses and improve profitability. By providing comprehensive solutions, banks can position themselves as trusted advisors to their commercial customers, offering expertise and support beyond traditional banking services.

AiteNovarica's report on bank priorities in 2023 reveals that 44% of banks believe their digital treasury management and cash management experience falls short of their commercial customers' expectations. This highlights the urgent need for banks to enhance their treasury services to meet customer demands. By expanding their offerings and improving the digital treasury management experience, banks can not only address these expectations but also strengthen their relationships with commercial customers.

Benefits for Banks and Commercial Customers

Offering robust treasury services enables banks to benefit from improved efficiency, streamlined employee experiences and enhanced customer relationships. Becoming trusted advisors gives banks the ability to play a more strategic role in their customers' business growth. For commercial customers, the expanded treasury services provide solutions to critical challenges, leading to operational improvements, reduced cash losses and increased profitability. Ultimately, the entire customer experience is elevated, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

In a rapidly changing financial landscape, banks must act swiftly to meet the evolving needs of their commercial customers. Failure to offer comprehensive treasury services and provide managed services may result in the loss of valuable business relationships. Through the expansion of their treasury services offerings, banks simultaneously enhance their non-interest revenue as well as forge robust and long-lasting alliances with their commercial customers. To navigate the future successfully, banks must embrace the role of trusted advisors and continuously enhance their capabilities to drive the success of their commercial customers.

About Author:
Shawn Kruger, SVP, Marketing and Strategy for Avivatech

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