As the new year begins, we asked our executives what were their predictions for the coming year. This is what they had to say about this year’s most pressing topics for CFOs and IT departments.
Finance Trends: Cloud, Blockchain and Managed Services
“The biggest trends in the FinTech industry for 2019 are the cloud, Blockchain, and managed services. These technologies will help companies establish a more modern, flexible payments process that will enable them to scale and adapt to the rapidly changing nature of business in the future.”
- Sven Lindemann, CEO, Serrala
Cyberthreats & Payment Security
“With constantly evolving cyberthreats, it will become increasingly challenging for businesses to keep on top of the changes from these threats. Therefore, organizations will start to turn to a specialist [cloud] provider that has the resources and experience to handle these threats. An on-premise system can be a known target for criminals whereas, arguably, the relative anonymity of a cloud-based data center provides cover.”
- Ingo Czok, SVP of Cloud Banking Solutions, Serrala
Fraud Prevention with End-to-End Processes
“We will see an increase in the need for end-to-end processes to combat payments fraud. If a service provider focuses on a single function within the chain, it is difficult for them to capture and control information outside of that process. By covering the entire process, companies will be in a better position to manage their client’s security, fraud and compliance concerns.”
- Mickey Vonckx, VP of Managed Services, Serrala
“There will be increasing pressure from treasurers to achieve a single view of treasury information, including near real-time integration with banks, market data, ratings agencies, and trading platforms to inform better treasury decisions.”
– Jaime Ryan, SVP and Strategic Supervisory Board member, Serrala
Data Privacy and Compliance
“The controls that stem from new privacy regulations such as GDPR mean contracts with service providers will be scrutinized for compliance. It will be essential for organizations to make sure their cloud provider is GDPR-compliant.”
- Ingo Czok
Robotic Process Automation
"Organizations will start to learn from their mistakes. As RPA continues to take hold, they will learn that when implementing classic rules-based RPAs, it is best to start by applying the technology to simple and straightforward tasks. RPA is very fast and efficient and if the wrong rules are put in place, you risk gaining efficiency at the cost of effectiveness.”
- Vishal Awasthi, SVP of Technology and Strategic Advisory Board member, Serrala
“Managed services will continue to grow in popularity as businesses will want to benefit from new software solutions immediately, not engage in lengthy implementation cycles. Treasury’s access to the internal technical resources that are required to help deliver a digital transformation are limited. Looking to a managed services group presents a readily available and flexible means of addressing treasury’s pain-points”
- Mickey Vonckx
Payment format handling will continue to be a common pain point across all corporations because it can require niche skill-sets, depending on factors such as location, bank and payment type. While target formatting for a corporation moving in-country from one provider to another is a relatively simple process, the same corporation opening a bank account in overseas countries can experience a serious challenge when seeking to understand different payment types. This is where managed services will be needed the most.”
- Mickey Vonckx
Fintech Solutions for Banks & the Need for Faster, More Efficient Payments
“There will continue to be a rise of electronic banking and fintech for personal banking, which is going to drive change in corporate banking. Corporate customers will look for solutions that will help them centralize the management and oversight of multiple bank accounts, reduce transaction fees, simplify bank communications, and support blockchain initiatives. Banks will outsource these functions to keep the cost of banking innovation low, meet the latest demands from their customers, and not sacrifice their existing customer relationships and their established role as trusted advisors.”
- Christoph Dubies, CSO, Serrala
Not all data is created equal. We continue to see customers with extremely large databases because they think that all the information they gather could potentially be valuable and are reluctant to get rid of it. To take advantage of big data companies need to put a plan in place to control data growth by identifying the information is truly valuable to the company. Much of the older data that companies are holding on to can be archived and eventually purged. By keeping control of big data growth, companies can free up time and funds that can be dedicated to big data projects that will drive the future of the business.
– Dr. Werner Hopf, SVP Data and Document Solutions, Serrala
At Serrala, we are working with customers to integrate machine learning into key finance processes, but customers need to keep in mind that the “learning” process takes time and a tremendous amount of data to become as effective as a knowledgeable staff member. To achieve the greatest process efficiency, it’s often best to combine machine learning components with human oversight.
– Vishal Awasthi
At Serrala, we’ve had a lot of success using machine learning to help our customers detect payment fraud before it happens. Our cloud-based fraud monitor solution leverages a global pool of fraud information, so our customers can quickly detect unusual invoicing patterns or suspicious sources to detect potential fraud before payments are made.
– Vishal Awasthi
Our customers still have a long way to go to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning into their business processes because they are limited by the older enterprise systems they are using. As more companies migrate off of traditional on-premise systems and move towards enterprise cloud solutions with embedded AI components, such as the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we’ll see a rapid increase in the use of AI in daily business operations.
– Vishal Awasthi
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