A survey has revealed a lack of trust in fintech companies among corporate treasurers.
A poll of 700 treasurers and CFOs around the world, conducted by BNP Paribas and the Boston Consulting Group, found that 22% do not trust fintech companies as service providers. The figure rose to 33% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) and 30% in North America.
Those surveyed in Latin America appear to be most trusting of fintech, with only 10% viewing them suspiciously, compared to 14% in Asia Pacific.
Third-party financing providers fared even worse. Globally, 25% of those polled do not trust such vendors, which are becoming more prominent in the trade finance sector. In Emea, this figure rose to 33%.
The survey shows that generally, companies trust their internal IT systems more than any service provider. Transaction banks fared second best, with 14% of CFOs globally trusting the services they provide.
In Asia Pacific and Latin America, however, those surveyed trust transaction banks more than their internal systems. This, the report’s authors claims, shows that banks need to capitalise on their trusted status among corporate clients.
Jacques Levet, head of head of transaction banking for Emea at BNP Paribas, says that if banks do not wish to lose this position of trust, and potentially part of their client base to digital rivals, they must improve their service offering, both in terms of engagement and delivery.
“As treasurers operate in an increasingly complex world, the complete trust they are able to place in their key partners becomes an ever-more critical success factor,” he says.
The report claims that treasurers “see banks as a safe harbour because they are highly regulated and command significant institutional strength and budgetary resources” – despite the myriad banking scandals to have broken in recent years.
One treasurer responded, as part of the survey: “Trust is almost a given when you’re dealing with banks, especially since they need to comply with rules in order to conduct business and protect their business and assets.”
On the other hand, fintechs cannot claim to have the same regulatory oversight: “I trust people who trust me. I am more likely to buy products from someone who has already proved their trustworthiness to me. There’s no such bond with services contracts,” said another.