Transaction banking faces brave new world

Published: September 27, 2021

The transaction banking services departments of major banks have found themselves in a tricky spot coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, with the rapidly advanced shift to expensive digitalisation butting up against a rock bottom interest rate environment that is gnawing away at revenues.

The start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 kickstarted something of a digital revolution in the notoriously resistant to new technology world of transaction banking, as signatories could no longer meet in person to put pen to paper. 

“Global transaction banking businesses saw the client adoption of our digital services rise significantly through the pandemic,” Karen Braithwaite, global head of transaction banking at Barclays Corporate, told EMEA Finance, “driven by the necessity to access services remotely and safely”.

The switch to digitalisation has happened across both banking practices and the processes used, Braithwaite added. This meant digital methods such as finding alternatives to physical cash, allowing application forms to be signed digitally, and creating access to online banking platforms through tablets and mobile phones – as working from home meant these devices are now the new normal for working practices.

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