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Finance Providers Vie for Top Position in Digital and Technology Corporate Solutions

Finance Providers Vie for Top Position in Digital and Technology Corporate Solutions

(29 October 2023 - Global) “None in particular” is the most common refrain from top-100 revenue ranked enterprises across eight key global markets when asked which provider is at the forefront of digital and technology advisory for corporates in their experience.

  • New research shows that 84% of Top-100 revenue ranked businesses highlighted a front-runner in digital and technology advisory, spread across 21+ international and domestic provider names. Globally the most common response however was “none”
  • Businesses are looking to use digital advancements to reduce costs rather than enhance their balance sheet with technology innovations designed to improve process efficiencies outweighing working capital priorities in terms of need
  • 60% of corporate trade finance customers globally highlight electronic letters of credit and digital guarantees above inventory, receivables, and supply chain finance needs. Regional differences persist with receivables finance a key need in Australia and China and innovations in supply chain finance a clearly stated need in Australia and the UAE.
  • Study of largest 747 companies by revenue across eight key country markets

New research shows while Citi is the forerunner in terms of named providers at 14.2 percent, for 15.7 percent of corporate treasurers, when thinking about who is best at digital and technology advisory, they come up blank.

Level of “No Provider” Nominated at the Forefront of Digital and Technology Advisory for Corporates - % of Total

Corporates in regions such as the UAE and Australia are even more prone to dismissing the providers they have experience with, with over one in three and one in five respectively unable or unwilling to nominate a best of breed provider experience.

For those solution providers wanting to deliver best practice digital and technology advisory services for corporates, the research shows globally the ability to integrate third party and fintech solutions on corporates’ behalf, followed by the sharing of learnings and insights from their own investing experiences in technology are the key differentiators. Significant variance exist by country.

Digital innovations focused on process efficiencies, rather than working capital priorities, came out as the top need for global top-100 enterprises across their treasury and trade finance functions.

For the world’s largest businesses, process efficiency improvements in treasury and trade finance are not only the most sought-after need but are also expected to provide the greatest benefits as a direct result of technology innovation over the coming 18 months.

The research shows one in two corporates view core trade finance functions benefitting the most from technology innovation by Q2 2025 (52.3 percent) with corporates looking to take advantage of various new legal frameworks underway providing holders of digital assets the same legal protections and benefits as the holder of a paper document, as well as enabling the transfer of digital assets.

Martin Smith, Global Head of Markets Analysis, East & Partners, said, "Enhanced process efficiency is fast becoming non-negotiable functionality for CFOs and treasurers grappling with working capital constraints that are only set to be exacerbated by 'higher for longer' interest rates.

“Treasurers have always been focused on the benefits technology can bring to their day-to-day business, whether it is reducing complexity or streamlining processes to enhance efficiencies. If banks can also lean into this way of thinking, rather than focusing on the newness of the technology itself and the theoretical ways it could be applied, we could start to see some brilliant, industry changing innovations.”

Michael Vrontamitis, Founding Partner of T3i Partner Network, commented, "Trade digitisation has just been further accelerated with the highly anticipated UK common law changes, stimulating providers to move from theoretical discussions to long overdue real world solutions providing tangible benefits that corporates can readily utilise in the future."


-- ENDS --


Notes to Editors

Areas explored in the research

Areas of treasury and trade finance in most need of technology innovation
Greatest benefits expected as direct result of forecast technology innovation
Funding opportunities stemming from law changes enabling digital transfer of documents
Bank by bank rankings of ‘best’ digital and technology advisory services
Drivers of ‘best’ digital and technology advisory services

Country coverage

Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA

Total corporates interviewed 747


This research is based on primary research executed by East & Partners over a two-week period ending 15 September 2023. The Top 100 revenue ranked corporates in each of eight key global markets were targeted for interview. A total of 747 corporates participated in the research, with the individuals responsible for their firms’ day to day banking relationship(s) directly interviewed by East & Partners.

East & Partners

Founded in 1987, East & Partners provides market research and insights into the dynamic and complex global B2B financial services and banking markets. Our analysis and advisory services inform the decision-making of leading commercial, business and institutional banking providers, globally.

T3i Partner Network

T3i Partner Network is a global collective of industry-leading specialists in trade, treasury and technology, committed to driving transformation through innovation. With around a millennium of combined experience, the network offers advisory and consulting services as well as a go-to-market growth accelerator for clients across the trade ecosystem, including fintech companies, corporates, banks, non-bank financial institutions, investors and industry bodies.

The 30-plus members of T3i Partner Network are widely recognised as pioneers and frontrunners in their respective domains. Working together, they aim to be the first choice for businesses seeking unparalleled expertise and guidance in navigating the complexities of digital transformation and scaling in the trade finance and treasury industries.

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