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Digitization, tech upgrades priority for Indian Treasury heads

Heads of Indian corporate treasury departments have described ‘digitization’ and ‘technology upgrades’ as their top priorities for the year ahead. This has been brought out in a recent survey by Greenwich Associates. The research firm has come out with a report titled ‘Digital Prowess will determine winners and losers in Indian corporate banking’. The priorities hold true for both the largest Indian companies and mid-cap corporates, the study found. It said: In India and around the world, banks and a growing group of technology companies are helping companies transition their corporate treasury and banking functions to digital applications. This requires massive investments in technology to help minimize burdensome compliance demands but in the long-term, mobile and online applications are expected to dramatically reduce cost to serve.  As a result, India’s public sector banks are likely to lose corporate banking relationships and market share if they are unable to make sizable investments in technology.” Gaurav Arora, head of Asia Pacific & Middle East, Greenwich Associates, and author of the study, said in the new era, wholesale banking is a scale business, and now is the time to put in place the technology infrastructure that will enable scale, and banks that fail to do so will be at risk of being left behind. As much as 60% of the corporate treasury departments participating in the Greenwich Associates 2019 Large Corporate and Middle Market Banking Studies have identified opportunities to improve internal and banking processes with emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. However, less than 5% have adopted and implemented emerging technologies. The primary reason given is security. Two-thirds cite security issues, and many are hesitant to challenge the status quo and sometimes lack the infrastructure readiness to plug in the emerging technologies.

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