As our members know from reading our coverage, the faster payments market in the U.S. started to pick up steam in 2019, with perhaps an unexpected boost from the FedNow announcement that it was developing a real-time system. In this brief posting in Bank Innovation, the author discusses the recent HSBC launch of something the company calls Treasury APIs. This is intended to make it easier for businesses to create an integrated experience between payments capabilities and other systems. This would include faster payments (real-time and other, we assume) capabilities.
“HSBC is improving payments for its business clients through a suite of tools launched last week called Treasury APIs, which are designed to speed up payments for small businesses and large corporate clients alike. ..HSBC’s Treasury APIs embed payment capabilities into other workflows. According to the bank, this allows treasurers to make payments from their own workstations without logging into a proprietary bank platform. Clients receive confirmation that a payment request has been received and can track payments from their accounts to recipients.“
An interesting point made in the piece is that business clients, in addition to paying suppliers faster and with more visibility, can also issue refunds when necessary, which especially relates to e-commerce platforms. So the impact can extend into cash forecasting and so forth, since APIs are connecting various moving parts in cash management for more instantaneous decision making. The author goes on to discuss other FI initiatives around the payments space.
“Other banks are also working to improve the payments experience for business clients. In September, BNP Paribas partnered with Kantox to help corporations automate foreign exchange transactions. Meanwhile, Citibank recently partnered with HighRadius to speed up cross-border payments for its corporate clients. And last summer, American Express acquired business-to-business payments company Acompay to eliminate pain points for its corporate clients.“
HSBC is making the solution available in 27 global markets after piloting in India. Another interesting point is an HSBC quoted comment, suggesting adoption interest by SMEs: “What we find is there’s a lot more uptake from clients on the smaller end of the customer base because they have more flexible and up-to-date systems”
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group