Treasury services are a large source of fee revenue for banks – selling payment rails, wire services and other traditional offerings. But, when it comes to small and mid-size companies, banks can be a source for more than just payments and transfers. There is a huge opportunity to generate more revenue. And perhaps more importantly, make them an indispensable part of the client’s business operations.
Historically, treasury services professionals didn’t need to understand their customers’ finance and accounting situation. They sold traditional bank services, which they knew well. However, today’s increasingly complex fintech environment means there is a huge opportunity for these professionals. There are far more technology products and solutions that banks can offer to improve their customers’ lives. And the advantage of offering them is that your customer is less likely to go somewhere else to get them. If they understand customers’ business operations pains, they can offer technology that eases headaches and drives incremental bank revenue.
Accounting Systems–The Heart of the Company
For growing companies, the right accounting system is vital. Everything from payroll to accounts payable runs through it, meaning mistakes or inefficiencies can lead to everything from cash flow problems to security breaches. For these reasons, every treasury services professional should have a basic knowledge of the major accounting systems. And the sales process should start with asking what system a company uses. From there, they can begin to understand the company’s workflow and how to improve it.
Increase Incremental Revenue
Treasury services pros who understand “accounting language” can identify and offer solutions that streamline processes, save time and increase security. Perhaps the customer is spending hours each week manually inputting invoices. Offering that customer an automated invoice capture solution will save the accounting team time and resources. Perhaps the customer still is filing receipts in a filing cabinet and could use a document storage system to enable faster search functionality.
Deliver End-to-End Solutions
By fully understanding accounting systems and processes and up-selling additional services where appropriate, the bank can deliver an end-to-end solution for the customer and generate more fee income for the bank. For example, if the bank is a credit card issuer, there is the opportunity to drive more payables onto those cards and drive more interchange revenue to the bank.
Everything from invoice capture, to accounts payable, to payments and payroll can all flow seamlessly through the central hub. Offering multiple products together ensures proper integration and means that systems aren’t cobbled together or require work-arounds. And, these solutions offer added benefits such as fraud protection, increased visibility and cash flow management and security controls.
However, the treasury services professional’s job doesn’t stop after they make a sale. By keeping in touch and nurturing the relationship, he or she can identify when it’s time to upgrade systems. For example, a small business who starts with QuickBooks can outgrow the system and graduate to a more robust accounting platform like Intacct or NetSuite. Keeping an eye on data that indicates account health, such as the volume of payments or other activity, is a good indicator of when to check in with them.
Make Your Bank Sticky
It’s easy for a business to switch banks–especially if it is using the bank only for payments and transfers. Customers can be fickle and easily lured away by a slightly better rate or lower fee structure. But a treasury services professional can be at the front lines of customer retention and show value that makes it difficult for customers to leave.
Studies show that online bill payers are twice as likely to remain active banking customers and as high as 70 percent less likely to leave the bank. So it stands to reason that the more products and services a bank offers, the harder it is for customers to leave. As a treasury services professional, this is crucial to keep in mind–closing sales is about more than just fee revenue. It’s also important to client retention, and it all begins with understanding the customer’s accounting systems and processes.