Intesa Sanpaolo: in the vanguard of cash management

This article is sponsored by Intesa Sanpaolo

In an ever-changing and competitive sector, industry accolades become all the more relevant in highlighting innovation and excellence. The past two years, in particular, have been a time of great recognition for Intesa Sanpaolo, regarded as one of the most innovative banks in Europe.

The Italian banking group has twice been named winner of The Banker’s Bank of The Year Awards (part of the Financial Times Group) for its overall standards of banking excellence, along with its strategic approach to solid economic performance, its effectiveness in responding to the challenges posed by changing market conditions, for the attention given and services provided to clients, and for its consistent delivery of digital innovations and technologies.

One of the Group’s greatest commendations came in late 2017 at the BAI Global Innovation Awards. It won the Innovation in Human Capital Award with a partnering fintech. The project was conceived by Intesa Sanpaolo’s Innovation Center.

Also in 2017, Forrester Research ranked Intesa Sanpaolo as the third-best digital bank in Europe.

Building on excellence

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group specialises in providing a comprehensive and ever-growing offering for corporate treasurers, including multi-channel payment factory services, virtual accounts, Euro clearing and cash pooling, through its broad international network. Its award-winning e-banking platform, Inbiz, is fully integrated for digital cash and trade products, covers more than 20 countries and gives experienced treasurers access to its highly regarded Liquidity Dashboard: a cash-consolidation and forecasting platform that is flexible in meeting the needs of different type of companies.

The Liquidity Dashboard is the bank’s response to increasing customers’ demand for easy-to-use, flexible tools to monitor, manage and intervene swiftly on the liquidity of a company belonging to a group. By developing this new offering the bank has entered the market space of Treasury Management Systems (TMS), a circumstance that is now possible, and will be even more in the upcoming future, thanks to the Open Banking paradigm.

Although cash flows in domestic markets are treated with a good level of clarity, cross-border cash flows involve a high level of uncertainty. Innovation introduced by SWIFT gpi is changing dramatically this paradigm. The tracker allows real-time visibility on the status of payments, allowing rapid intervention should informative obstacles arise during the payment processing. In fact, thanks to the use of the various status codes, originating banks are warned, for example, when information is missing or additional documents are required.

Results achieved so far are beneficial to the internal processes of intermediaries and have already started facilitating import/export flows. By increasing the SWIFT gpi community, benefits will become material.

Future developments of SWIFT gpi will be even more focused on treasurers’ needs. In future, the visibility of incoming payments will change forecasting systems adding more certainty about expected balances. The role of the treasurer will be entirely reshaped through the gradual worldwide deployment of instant payments in different currencies and real-time cross-border payments.

Intesa Sanpaolo was also one of the first banks to deliver the instant payments (SEPA Instant Credit Transfer -SCT Inst- scheme) and has seen a rapid rise in volumes and high interest from all clients’ segments – from financial institutions to corporates to retail. In July this year, the Bank recorded one million SCT Inst processed, offered with a “value pricing” scheme.

Intesa Sanpaolo is also committed to the advancement of fintechs. Through its Innovation Center, it fosters the growth of fintechs and, in several cases, partners with them to create innovative products. Its current investment in Open Banking far exceeds the mandatory requirements of Europe’s PSD2.

Improving the customer experience

Leading banks know that the first step towards becoming a fully integrated and interconnected group at international level is to give clients a seamless experience via a single-access API portal. As such, VUB, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s subsidiary in Slovakia, has been live since January 2018 with the portal; the other banks of the Group will follow.

We are also enabling new services, for example for our intermediated banks, to allow smaller banks to have access to SEPA Instant payments.

Although blockchain in payments will not give great efficiency, until Central Banks decide to provide banks with "blockchain based" Central Bank money, the technology is becoming interesting in payment-related activities, such as trade contracts, import/export documentation and so forth.

Along with its commitment to, and partnerships with, fintechs, Intesa Sanpaolo also partners directly with the most prestigious universities. In doing this, along with its many other endeavours and innovations, it continues to provide the ultimate offering for its clients and the best working environment for its employees.

Promotional message: For the contractual conditions, please consult the relevant information sheets available on the Bank website as well as in the Bank Italian branches.