47% of banks will offer an electronic invoicing service and 40% will offer electronic purchase orders in the next three years, according to a survey conducted by research firm Aite Group.

The survey, conducted among 53 selected corporates and banks, reveals that a majority (55%) of corporates now expect their bank to offer them electronic trade (e-trade) financing solutions.

When asked about the extent to which they thought further e-trade finance solutions could affect current revenues, 43% of respondents (both banks and corporates) said that their revenues would increase, with 9% of respondents claiming an e-trade finance platform could increase revenues by more than 25%.

“The results of our survey demonstrate that those banks that make the shift into providing e-trade finance solutions have a competitive advantage,” says senior analyst at Aite Group, Enrico Camerinelli.

GTR was among an audience of industry stakeholders as Camerinelli announced the results of the survey at the Misys Emea Market Forum in Barcelona.

“A move to ‘electronification’ doesn’t necessarily change the products that are offered in terms of trade finance, rather what changes is the way these products are delivered,” he explained.

Camerinelli expects that the progression towards e-trade finance will mean that financial supply chains can be more closely monitored and become more aligned with the physical transactions they represent. “This is where the connection between physical and financial supply chains becomes so important,” he said.

“The more trade finance becomes electronic, the more the physical ‘trigger points’ within a workflow can be recorded and analysed. So being able to detect the moment when a purchase order is issued, or when a purchase order is transformed into an invoice and all the connecting information that comes with it, can be very beneficial.”