In this digital age, systems integration, data sharing/integrity and straight-through processing fill discussions about virtually every aspect of a corporate customer’s financial ecosystem, writes Rahul Jayakar, Head of Global Transaction Services, Products and Trade, at Mashreq.
Corporates are focused more than ever on technologies and insights that drive consolidation and integration. Today, treasurers and financial managers need quick access to reliable financial data. Toward that end, they demand real-time, or at least near-real-time, details about transactions, cash positions, and liquidity – enterprise-wide. These expectations are directly linked to advances in technology adoption and process re-engineering happening at their end aimed at creating efficiencies, standardisation and better risk management. Corporates are no longer simply using systems to access online banking reports. They are integrated with their banks for a variety of activities, including, but not limited to:
- Initiating, processing, and reconciling payments
- Payroll processing
- Trade transactions
- Facilitating electronic invoices and remittances
- Reporting and forecasting cashflows
- Liquidity management
- User access and role management
- Real-time credit of their collections
Corporate clients’ expectations of digital banking are converging with the expectations of having a unified experience across all channels, be it online, mobile, BCCDM (bulk cash and cheque deposit machines), or host-to-host integrations. Industries working 24/7 such as hospitals, airlines, etc, today are expecting banks to offer them services uniformly across all channels, all the time. Clients are also expecting more than just the digitisation of traditional corporate banking products. They want new, value-adding solutions. The only way for the banks to achieve this is to digitise their product and service offerings across channels and develop custom solutions matching the needs of each industry.
A decade ago, it was internet banking and the development of banking services accessed via desktop computers. With the advent of mobile phones came mobile banking. Now banks are focused on the concept of digital banking, a term that incorporates both of these areas, as well as other electronic delivery channels. Using the digital tools banks are able to consolidate transaction information on behalf of their corporate banking customers, present it via their preferred channels and enable the treasurer/finance manager to manage cash and transact on all their accounts through a single window.
Banks have deep-rooted industry knowledge; this combined with deep analytics of the digital data helps them anticipate the needs of their customers and offer industry-specific custom solutions that help build trust in recommendations and create customer loyalty. These benefits stimulate transaction growth, directly feeding the bank’s bottom line. Digital transaction banking data can help banks identify the behaviour of successful corporates, target product offerings and assist other corporates in emulating their successful peers.
Mashreq is committed to becoming the digital partner of choice for its corporate customers; it is harnessing the latest technologies to provide smart, secure and intuitive channels for its customers to interact with the bank — anytime and from anywhere. At Mashreq, we understand the importance of being able to structure transaction banking solutions in a way that aligns with the customer’s core business processes and systems infrastructure. Seamless and reliable access is crucial to effective working capital management and business planning. With this in mind, we have focused on creating robust and reliable solutions that are flexible in meeting the different business requirements of our wide spectrum of customers. No matter what the size and complexity of the company’s financial operations are, whether operating a centralised or decentralised treasury, a shared service centre, or simply initiating transactions from the desktop or mobile, Mashreq delivers world-class solutions.
Power your trade with supply chain financing
In the current market environment, where securitisation markets have tightened and unsecured bank lines are not easily available, unlocking liquidity has become a significant demand from customers. Against this backdrop, one of the most powerful working capital offerings to facilitate open-account trade on credit terms, particularly on the post-sale leg of the trade cycle, is through factoring. This is asset-backed and offers good solutions for open-account transactions which would otherwise be termed risky. This is especially useful for emerging corporates, and at the same time has high risk mitigation controls for banks who manage the product effectively. On the purchase side of open-account transactions, supply chain finance (SCF) has developed significantly since the credit crisis. Previously seen as a source of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises or companies in distress, an increasing number of firms, particularly large multinationals with strong credit ratings, have recognised the potential of SCF to help unlock liquidity and increase the robustness of the financial supply chain. In many cases, SCF was considered a stop-gap financing technique during a period of market turbulence, but it has rapidly become apparent that it is not simply a technique for troubled times. As markets start to ease globally, the value of SCF remains undiminished, and its importance could be even greater in the coming years. With more conservative credit models and more stringent banking regulations, credit will not be as cheap or accessible as in pre-crisis days, while optimising liquidity will remain key to funding future investments
Mashreq recognises that efficient management of supply chains gives customers a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. That means having access to steady financing is a critical responsibility. Our trade & supply chain team has developed a range of factoring and buyer/vendor finance services that ensure adequate funds to deal with daily expenses, cost-effective sales and receivables ledger management and collections, and assured supply channels.
This business is supported by a highly professional team. Both the back-office and front-office staffs are FCI (Factors Chain International)-certified. Mashreq has been an active member of FCI since 2009. The international awards received, together with the achievement of ISO certification for our back-office operations, are an important endorsement of the quality of these services, as well as recognition of the professionalism of our in-house specialists. Using our local network and FCI membership we can finance both domestic and export open-account trade.
Established in 1967, Mashreq is one of the oldest banks in the UAE. Being in one of the world’s leading logistics hub, it is uniquely placed to connect businesses globally. The bank’s heritage is closely linked with the creation of the modern UAE; it is therefore no surprise that Mashreq has established itself as one of the region’s leading commercial banks with a focus on cross-border trade finance, providing innovative solutions to clients for their day-to-day as well as holistic financial services needs.
Our geographic footprint and focus is entirely consistent with the UAE’s role of being at the centre of Asian, Middle Eastern and African trade. It is present in 12 countries with 23 overseas offices including branches in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and the financial hubs of Dubai, New York, London, Hong Kong and Mumbai. These are supported by representative offices in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal and a global network of correspondent banks covering 81 countries. So, if ever a client needs to trade in the world’s fastest-growing economies, they know who to call. Mashreq has been and continues to be a pioneer in the transaction banking space in the UAE and Middle East.
We make possible
At its core, Mashreq’s culture is relationship-driven. The bank’s success depends on establishing lasting, mutually-beneficial partnerships. Mashreq clearly understands its role in the financial ecosystem where it is a banker to most local banks in the fastest-growing emerging geographies and, at the same time, being a very important service provider to its corporate clients in the financial value chain connecting domestic businesses globally. The broad range of products and services, which act as building blocks while meeting our customers’ business requirements, underline Mashreq’s philosophy of ‘We make possible’.
“Mashreq is committed to serving its customers by anticipating and exceeding their complex needs. The bank prides itself on creating customised innovative solutions that create value for its clients, and to be the primary bank for its chosen customers. The bank’s client-centric solution approach uniquely positions it to deliver excellence, while serving as a trusted partner. Mashreq’s innovative and easy-to-use transaction banking product suite enables corporate treasurers to optimise and streamline their day-to-day operations. Mashreq’s broad array of transaction banking products and services, including online banking, payments, cash management, liquidity management, trade and supply chain, allows it to offer comprehensive and creative solutions for our clients,” says John Iossifidis, Executive Vice-President, Group Head of Corporate & Investment Banking.