SWIFT Survey Reveals Treasurer Wish List

Real-time tracking is at the top of a wish list among corporate treasurers when dealing with cross-border payments. In a recent survey conducted by EuroFinance and financial messaging provider SWIFT, pressing issues confronting corporate treasurers include the lack of payments traceability and confirmation of credit, the need for visibility on bank fees, and inconsistencies between amount sent and amount received.

Titled The Future of Payments: A Corporate Treasury Perspective and revealed at the EuroFinance International Conference in Barcelona, the survey collected the opinions of 300 treasury professionals from around the world in 18 different industries. A majority of treasurers, 64%, named real-time tracking as the enhancement they most sought, followed by increased consistency between bank payment processes and better visibility for banking fees, SWIFT said in a recent release.

“Corporates expect greater transparency in cross-border payments,” said Wim Raymaekers, head of banking market and SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) at SWIFT. “They want to know what is happening with the payment and when it has been credited on the beneficiary’s account. Until now, this has not been the case. This survey confirms the relevance of SWIFT gpi, because of its ability to address these key pain points.”

Other findings include concerns surrounding alternative payment providers for cross-border payments, citing problems with scalability, security, regulatory oversight and standardization. Forty-two percent of treasurers seek instant payments for their transactions. In regards to choosing a bank partner for cross-border payments, 86% of respondents mentioned the need for efficient payment processes and better customer support. Competitive pricing and extended global coverage were listed as other desired criteria. Innovation for its own sake was a low priority; rather, innovation put to use to confront fundamental concerns and needs was desired more, according to SWIFT.

“SWIFT is continuously engaging with corporates in order to understand their priorities and challenges,” said Marc Delbaere, head of corporates and supply chain at SWIFT. “The recently launched SWIFT gpi service addresses many of the main topics cited by treasurers, in particular, real-time payments tracking. This is the ideal foundation to make international payments more efficient for corporates and we are working very closely with banks and corporates to fully embed SWIFT gpi into their core processes.”

– Adam Fusco, associate editor

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