A bit of a misleading headline in the particular posting, appearing in Ledger Insights, which touts a recent BNY Mellon survey of 55 corporate financial professionals about payments and treasury tech. While blockchain is on the list, it is not the ‘most’ impactful but one can look at the top line survey results in the article. Actually, those responding ‘no impact’ outrank those who say ‘very high impact” for BCT.
Earlier this year BNY Mellon conducted an in-depth survey with 55 corporate clients across a variety of industries. The questions covered the impact of several new payment technologies for corporate treasurers. These include more run-of-the-mill innovations such as moving vendor payments from check to electronic, to the more advanced technologies such as blockchain and DLT as well as bots and AI. The impact of DLT is only significant over the medium to long-term.
I am currently at the AFP annual conference in Chicago, and the hype around BCT is much lower than in the 2017 event. This year it seems more around faster payments (real-time more specifically) which in this same survey has only 11% indicating ‘very high impact’. However, there is a great deal of discussion and the senior FPs at the conference have varying levels of understanding in the faster payments realm, but the tech is here, can be deployed and some already are, so a realistic proposition versus the sort of limited and somewhat opaque nature of BCT (or distributed ledger; DLT). So this survey essentially underscores what is the general expectation that BCT will have a major impact 5+ years out, but not particularly visible yet to this group. There is a lack of resources to deal with the potential of BCT among other things, so when real scalable solutions become more plentiful, perhaps we’ll see an interesting adoption curve.
In the sub-three-year time frame, AI and bots both score higher in importance than DLT at more than 50% each. It’s only when looking at five years and beyond that blockchain is cited at the most impactful initiative.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group