Sunday, October 31, 2010

Will banks do their part?

For most of us it is self-evident that unstructured and invoicing is an anachronistic relic that will soon be history. It is also obvious that the solution to getting the enterprise mass market and consumers onboard is to get the banks to take their responsibility and see the more than evident business case.

The arguments are well known:

1. invoicing is a part of the payment process – especially for SMEs

2. banks can and should use the e-bank or e-bank-linked portals  (providing economy of scope, economy of scale, economy of, reuse, economy of trust and ready strong e-id tools) for sending, receiving,paying and archiving

3. banks can provide richer customer value by linking financing, fx-hedging, TSU, cash management, accounting etc tools – better than most alternatives

4. banks have powerful sales networks and local customer relations – certainly needed when the entire 23m enterprise base will have to change and understand why it is so beneficial for each of them and especially for society at large

5. banks are good at standards, running networked services and stiff competition in 4-corner models

6. banks should return favors to taxpayers whenever possible – especially with a decent business case – and driving a Single Market in this Extended Payments can be of crucial importance for many corporate customers

7. banks should realize that failing to go up the value chain will certainly lead to a crowd of PSD-empowered new competitors will come down – not only into payments – but also transactions accounts

So will banks do it? Yes – if you listened to thought leaders like Nordea and Deutsche at SIBOS: “If you are going to be a serious player in payments in the future – you have to be in e-Invoicing” . Encouraging to hear the third panelist – representing Logica – fully agreeing: “Banks should take care of the SME-segment.”

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