Will mobile banking treasury become mainstream?
Many corporates are still uneasy about using mobile banking for treasury management due to concerns over cybersecurity and safeguarding sensitive information
5 Jul 2019 | Darryl Yu

From purchasing groceries to checking our personal banking statements, smartphones undoubtedly play a significant part in our everyday life. Yet despite their convenience, mobile means of managing a company’s corporate treasury have failed to entice CFOs and treasurers in Asia.

That’s according to results from Asset Benchmark Research’s (ABR) 2019 Treasury Survey, which found that 56% of survey participants had no plans to use the corporate mobile banking services of their respective banks. In contrast, only 34% were using corporate mobile banking services, a slight increase from the 33% recorded in ABR’s 2018 Treasury Survey.

“As of now we don’t use the mobile banking services of our banking partner because the regional office dictates the banking services we are exposed to. So if the regional office does not use mobile banking, then we won’t as well,” explains a treasurer of a manufacturing company based in Taiwan.

According to ABR’s 2019 Treasury Survey, an overwhelming amount of respondents cited concerns with cybersecurity and the safeguarding of sensitive information as the top reason why corporate mobile banking was unappealing to them with 76% of respondents selecting this option. This was followed by a lack of information and awareness of mobile treasury solutions from service providers.

Nevertheless, many institutions have pushed ahead in crafting their own mobile solutions for their clients. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a mobile version of its cash management portal CashPro while DBS has a mobile version of its IDEAL platform to cater to SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) clients.

“An increasing secure mobile ecosystem is one factor driving business interest and creating more confidence in mobile access. Mobile has similar security safeguards as a desktop environment, with the added bonus of built-in-biometric authentication that requires a fingerprint or retina scan to unlock the device. This feature isn’t widely available yet for office desktop computers,” states Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a note.

Of the 33% of participants that mentioned using corporate mobile banking service, the majority of them said they used it as a tool for basic functions such as account/transaction inquiries and the transfer of funds rather than applying for loans or trade financing. While still a minority, there were some ABR respondents that shared that they would start to use corporate mobile banking in the next six months. 

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