Corporates are yet to embrace mobility
These days’ mobile apps seem to be everywhere – there are apps for just about anything! However, a closer look at the mobile revolution would show that the majority of apps are geared towards P2P and B2P segments – B2B apps are few and far between and it seems that this technology is yet to catch the attention of corporates in a big way. There are some mobile options available today for use by corporate executives for business purposes – but for the most part these are either generic apps that are rolled out across multiple clients (one size fits all model!) which limits their functionality or else these are desktop apps that have been retrofitted for mobile use which makes them cumbersome and not easy to use.
Many tech pundits argue that in the not so distant future, mobile technology is expected to make PCs obsolete and redundant – this may be true, but treasury (and finance) seem to be a long way away from getting there! For this to even come close to becoming a reality in this domain, the entire ecosystem needs to start moving in this direction – key treasury and cash management products like TMS systems, FX trading platforms, etc. need to be built with mobile access as a prime design feature!
5 areas for mobile adoption in treasury & finance without big disruptions
Despite, the challenges addressed in the preceding paragraph, we feel there is still considerable scope in leveraging custom built mobile apps for various treasury and finance functions to streamline and make their operations Lean. Let us look at some areas where mobile solutions can be used effectively.
There are a bunch of approvals that treasury and finance executives are required to process on a day to day basis – FX trade approvals, payment approvals, bank account administration approvals, workflow approvals, etc. In many cases these approval requirements tend to become process bottlenecks especially when senior executives are traveling. Mobile apps can greatly simplify the process by securely integrating with key finance and treasury systems and platforms to enable approvals through mobile devices.
KPIs & Dashboard
Another strong use case for mobile apps is in the area of treasury and finance executives being able to access their dashboard and key KPI’s over their mobile devices – this can be especially useful for real time reports and decision making where such solutions can empower executives to stay informed and take decisions while on the move! This can be accomplished either by integrating an already existing reporting solution with the mobile app or else developing a mobile centric reporting and BI solution (See LeanCash™ reporting solutions)
Integrated apps can allow users to manage all aspects of their workflows from mobile devices – view workflow status, take action on workflows and tasks, assign new tasks and view all reports associated with workflows. This, again can be accomplished either by integrating with an already existing workflow management and BPM solution or else developing a mobile centric or mobile friendly workflow/BPM solution (See LeanCash™ workflow and BPM solutions)
Alerts and Notifications
Mobile apps can also be a powerful tool for receiving real time alerts and notifications. These alerts could pertain to multiple functional areas and/or process updates – new approval requests, updated report availability, key market updates, workflow updates, etc. The mobile apps can be integrated with the key treasury and finance platforms and processes to enable seamless real time alerts and notifications. These alerts can be fully customized to suit the executive and organizational requirements – definition of who receives what alerts, level of alerts, notification options, privacy settings, etc.
As digital wallets/e-wallets are gaining traction amongst corporate users, this is another application that can be integrated very effectively within the custom built app. Integrating eWallets with custom built mobile apps is relatively much simpler since this technology has been developed with mobile access as a key factor.
We expect the use of mobile apps in the finance and treasury space to continue to evolve in the coming years, but it’s still not too early to start using this technology to add substantial value to key activities – this utility is only expected to grow as the ecosystem evolves and over time more and more functions can be integrated with mobile apps.
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Blog post by: Tejnain Singh. Reach Tej @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tej is a seasoned treasury and finance professional with over 17 years of extensive experience across organizations like GE, Deloitte, SABIC and Valeant Pharma. He has held senior positions in treasury operations and cash management and has led multiple strategic initiatives in the areas of payment automation, treasury system implementations, business process simplification and shared financial services among many others. Tej is a Chartered Accountant from India.