Technological change in corporate banking is here to stay, meaning corporate bankers must constantly assess how best to utilise technology – and how the competition might be using it, too.
At Intesa Sanpaolo, much of that work falls on the desk of Stefano Favale, Global Head of Global Transaction Banking and a member of the European Central Bank’s Digital Euro Market Advisory Group.
“The journey has just started,” says Favale. “We have accelerated so fast during the pandemic. It is relevant for customers: the market moved online and corporates cannot avoid considering their presence on digital channels.”
Intesa Sanpaolo ran a survey of corporate CFOs and treasurers which showed that more than 70% of respondents are looking for a full digital approach in their day-by-day operations. This goes some way to show just how fast things will continue to change in corporate processes.
The speedy implementation of digitalisation has revealed just what tech can help achieve, from digital signatures all the way up to data analysis. Now people have to catch up.
“It’s not just a question of technology, it is a question of habits and behaviour,” says Favale. “These are harder to overcome and reset. One of the challenges in the digitalisation space is the building up of new competencies and new approaches. This is why we are investing a lot in training, to boost the adoption
He predicts that in three to five years’ time, Intesa Sanpaolo will have a fully digital relationship with its corporate clients – through an omnichannel structure that offers digital advisory services within an online branch.
Fintechs are pushing traditional banks to change, too. They may be challengers to the old ways of doing things, but they needn’t be in opposition to banks.
“Fintechs can be the most important enabler for banks,” says Favale. “We have an observatory of fintechs within our innovation departments and the most successful ones are those who are partnering with banks.”
Listen to the podcast to hear more from Stefano Favale on digital transformation in corporate banking and what the future holds.