A new light on cash management
Digitalisation is having a profound effect on the way we communicate, commute and consume services, including banking services. In today’s digital world, the question for a bank is not whether to create a digital solution and service offering, which clients expect. Instead, the issue is how to leverage digital channels and capabilities to transform and enrich the client experience, provide new perspectives into treasury challenges and opportunities, and take a multi-faceted approach to exploring potential solutions. This is at the heart of our strategy at DBS, and the inspiration behind the development of our innovative dynamic digital solutioning and advisory platform, DBS Treasury Prism.
The birth of DBS Treasury Prism
DBS Treasury Prism was designed to enable clients to model current and potential cash and liquidity management structures, taking into account regulatory and tax considerations in each country where there are business operations and the various cash and treasury management solutions available globally. However, what distinguishes DBS Treasury Prism is not only the multi-faceted functionality and insight that it offers but the way it has been developed, which places the client’s needs and journey at the core of its development. This included a "design-thinking '4D'" approach to development: discover; define; develop and deliver, a commitment to ensure that the platform delivers strategic value to treasurers and their organisations.
The 4D Development of DBS Treasury Prism
Discover - We formed a multidisciplinary group to work with 70 current and prospective clients to understand their banking and cash management challenges in detail. This was refined through a process of detailed in-person studies to understand and incorporate functional, emotional and social dimensions into the design of the solution.
Define - Based on this input, we crystallised the feedback from participants into the five key insights (challenge areas), and designed the functionality, scope and usability of DBS Treasury Prism.
Develop -The team followed an iterative process of developing prototypes in conjunction with an innovative US technology/user experience (UX) company, seeking client feedback on their impressions and how they might use it in practice, and refining on a continuous basis.
Deliver - We are now in the delivery stage, with DBS Treasury Prism in beta phase is now available to our clients; however, this is far from the end of the journey. We continue to engage in a constant process of re-evaluation, feedback and refinement to ensure that the platform continues to offer value to our clients and reinforces our digital relationship with them.
The result is a highly functional, pragmatic and insight-led design based on in-depth engagement and feedback from a deep pool of both existing and prospective clients. This research and insight emphasised:
- Time challenges. Treasurers say that it takes too much time and preparation to define and deliver an optimal cash management solution, leading many to postpone or cancel the implementation of new cash management initiatives, particularly given competing business priorities.
- Uncertain benefits. Many companies – and indeed banks find it difficult to quantify the cost and productivity benefits of a new cash management solution, which is a major obstacle when trying to develop a compelling business case.
- Keeping up to date. Given the diversity and speed of change across Asia, treasurers and finance managers lack the time and resources to navigate and keep up to date with the plethora of regulatory and tax changes that have an impact on cash management decisions. This creates challenges when trying to position a new cash management solution, and treasurers may ultimately decide not to implement a new cash management strategy for fear of noncompliance.
- Stakeholder engagement. Treasurers typically need to work with a large number of stakeholders across the business, including central functions such as legal, tax and other finance teams, as well as operating units. Consequently, the easier it is to collaborate and share knowledge, such as the ability to create a dynamic visualisation of account and liquidity structures, the more likely that a cash management project will be successful.
- Implementation risk. Implementing a new cash management solution, even with an existing bank, is a highrisk project for corporate treasurers, often with significant internal scrutiny. Treasury functions are often small, so it can be difficult to balance resources across day-to-day activities and specific projects. Hence, treasurers tend to be sceptical about implementing new cash management solutions unless they have assessed and are fully assured of the benefits of doing so.
Treasurers often express frustration that they are not necessarily able to replicate the solutions that they read about in the treasury media or bank brochures due to regulatory or tax considerations. DBS Treasury Prism however, enables them to model potential solutions and gain clarity on the outcomes for their business to devise a compelling business case. Furthermore, they can manage project risk and complexity more effectively using DBS Treasury Prism's dynamic guidance on the latest restrictions, regulatory implications and documentation requirements.
Design, delivery and differentiation
We have adopted an iterative, client-centric approach to keep these priorities at the forefront of the design and development of DBS Treasury Prism. One of the benefits of this approach is to understand how clients will use the solution in practice, and their level of satisfaction. In addition, subsequent engagements with clients quickly revealed the degree of enthusiasm with which treasurers have embraced the new tool and the scale of its potential value.
"Sixty five percent of participating treasurers said that they would be happy to use DBS Treasury Prism as the first step in their relationship with the bank, and a far higher number of people noted that it will play a valuable role in their cash management decision-making and identification of potential solutions to optimise their business."
Anirudda Joshi, Vice President, DBS Global Transaction Services
The outcome is not just a transformation in business solutions for treasurers and finance managers, but a change in culture too, with an emphasis on directing client insights towards the development of banking solutions that shine new light on treasury challenges and opportunities.
"This is a powerful demonstration of the value of our approach which is not only client-centric at a corporate level, but people-centric, with a precise focus on the needs and experience of individual users. This approach is crucial to the bank’s innovation strategy as we continue to extend and enhance our digital relationships with our clients, and support their current and future needs in a convenient, efficient and value-rich way."
Iain Taylor, Managing Director and COO, DBS Global Transaction Services
About DBS Treasury Prism
DBS Treasury Prism is a dynamic digital solutioning platform that enables corporate treasurers to simulate cash and liquidity management scenarios within the context of risk, return and regulation. It provides an interactive interface for modelling structures, benchmarking of solutions, guidance on regulatory and tax implications, as well as insights on local market and cultural practices.
What can it do for me?
- Simulate cash management structures across multiple geographies, and analyse the impact of different balance and flow solutions.
- Optimise your cash management structure, and compare optimised outcomes to find the most appropriate cash management structure for your business to achieve cost savings, and optimise liquidity, yield and operational efficiency.
- Access dynamic insights on different tools that are available, and how they can be used in each country in line with its banking and payment systems, tax and regulatory conditions.
- Share your customised simulations with your colleagues and enhance your business case.
Why is it unique?
- Single source of information and advice. One of the challenges for treasurers when devising and analysing cash management solutions is that they rely on information from different sources. DBS Treasury Prism brings together treasury’s own data with tax, regulatory and market practices to provide a single source of information with which to visualise strategies and inform decision-making.
- Cloud-based global solution. DBS Treasury Prism is developed as a global, cloud-based solution that offers easy, convenient and secure access.
- Bank agnostic. Multinational corporations typically choose to work with a panel of partner banks to cover their international footprint, but their cash management requirements extend beyond the remit of each individual bank. Consequently, DBS Treasury Prism is bank-agnostic and enables treasurers to independently model their cash management structures domestically, regionally or globally.
- Compare and contrast. It is said that two heads are better than one, so DBS Treasury Prism facilitates the creation of strategies independently or collaboratively, and provides a commonplace to compare and contrast potential solutions to harness the rich experience and expertise across the team.
Discover a spectrum of opportunities
Explore DBS Treasury Prism today to start building your own cash management simulations.