How does conversational AI help e-commerce companies improve their business model?
The rapid transformation of technologies, changing business landscape, heightened competition, and increasing customer demand have pushed businesses to revamp their business model to stay ahead of their peers.
As subscription-based purchases are increasing in e-commerce across various channels such as Google Business, Whatsapp Business, Facebook Messenger etc., customer-brand interactions are becoming even more critical than ever. Conversational AI will carry out these interactions intelligently on customer-preferred channels and drive engagement. It shows subscription offers to customers analyzing historical data of previous customer purchases or interests. It also provides options to customers to manage their subscription form changing, to editing, to stop, or to reactivating their plans.
According to a report by McKinsey and Company, over the past few years, the subscription-based e-commerce market has risen by a whopping 100% percent every year.
While the global pandemic has accelerated the digital-fast engagement, companies have struggled and are still struggling to meet the unprecedented demand in customer support. A recent study by Zendesk reveals that they observed on average a 48% rise in support ticket requests Since February 2020.
Now the question is how businesses can ride through this unprecedented demand without overburdening their IT help desk or customer support. Conversational AI has the power to transform help desk operations while ensuring business continuity and high employee productivity. It offers round-the-clock self-service platforms in the form of a chatbot, voice bot and email bot fueled by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to automate customer interactions significantly. It ensures that most of the customer issues are resolved on the first level without any need of communicating with agents. It reduces the pressure on employees and also boosts customer engagement during this challenging time.
Deploying conversational intelligence to customer interactions is not merely an easy method of communication; it also helps to get an in-depth understanding of each customer journey enabling the development of a closer customer engagement.
What differentiates modern chatbots from the glitchy, difficult to use bots of the past?
Chatbots are used globally, from retail to delivery to consulting, finance, banking, travel, etc. But not all chatbots can simplify and drive customer engagement to the same level. Just speeding up the interaction and providing accurate responses are not enough; it needs to make it natural as much as possible.
Click-based chatbots are a thing of the past. No, we’re not exaggerating. Click-based chatbots, though they save time, lack in-depth contextual understanding and flexibility. These chatbots automate specific situations based on their previous learning, such as order status, refund status, or product or services catalog. They function on pre-programmed keywords or U/X features or suggested responses to take the conversation forward. It shows up options to choose from and limits the interactions only on button clicks. This lack of free-form communication impacts the user experience significantly as they don’t prefer having interactions following a linear path.
AI chatbots come into the picture here as it allows free-form communication. Powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP), it performs real-time sentiment analysis to understand context and send natural responses to users. It carries out unique conversations, providing solution-based responses to boost customer satisfaction.
Can you discuss the benefits of chatbots both internally and externally? For example, how do they help existing customer service agents to do their jobs? And how do they contribute to customer experience?
The benefits of chatbots are multifaceted. While it is becoming an integral tool for easing customer service operations, its benefits for internal communication often go unnoticed.
An internal chatbot equips your employees with self-help. They don’t need to go by the old way of dropping an email and waiting for responses for days, and again following up. Implementing virtual assistants in your internal process will help employees get answers to standard queries within a second. It also reduces pressure on the HR team by eliminating redundant tasks from their plate. A company-wide virtual assistant makes accessing information super-fast and super-efficient.
The conversational AI-powered by natural language processing (NLP) and robotic process automation (RPA) amplifies the efficiency of HR teams by automating repetitive HR operations with accuracy and speed. AI-powered chatbots analyze the intents without any prior context to ensure multilingual communication with employees addressing their queries real-time. Empowering HR with AI not only enhances your employee experience but also saves your time and budget. – Enterprise Bot
AI-Powered HR Workflow Automation – A Win-Win for HR and Employees
An internal chatbot helps individual team members work according to their schedule, distributes the responsibilities to avoid clash, and helps with documentation.
Chatbots also play a significant role in uplifting employee productivity. Let’s discuss this with the scenario of Covid-19 earlier this year. The unprecedented demand in digital channels since the lockdown has created significant challenges for businesses, especially in customer service. As a result, companies have implemented cloud-based technologies to successfully run their operations amid this crisis. In a time when employees are overburdened, they lack sufficient time to learn, adapt and utilize the new technologies. Trying to do many things at a time negatively impacts employee productivity. Chatbots function as a personal trainer to guide the employee throughout the training process. It splits the materials systematically in different modules based on priorities to make the learning effective and fast, also not hurting the productivity of employees.
Looking at the job of live agents in customer service; most of the work is redundant. This impacts the cost-efficiency of an organization significantly. If the team is working hard, but they don’t have the right technology and applications in place, the work is not giving you enough value. Enabling conversational AI applications can automate responses to 80% of the customer queries by taking off the mundane, repetitive, low-value tasks from live agents’ plates. It allows help-desk agents to concentrate on resolving critical queries and boosting customer satisfaction. Conversational AI learns from previous interactions, and it goes through continuous updates, and the same response is automated for future interactions.
To briefly touch on the external benefits of chatbots in customer service, as businesses are more familiar to this:
- Provides round-the-clock support to employees
- Boosts the issue resolution speed by quickly tapping into the database and sending instant responses
- Cuts down operational costs by reducing resource staffing needs
- Drives customer engagement by providing omnichannel support
- Offers multilingual support across regions
- Gathers data from every interaction to bring out actionable insights
- Reduces IVR frustrations among users by engaging them in natural, personalized conversations
- Boosts the scalability of support
- Eliminates the chances of mistakes from manual conversations
- Delivers consistent and accurate support
What are some of the customer experience/customer services challenges that e-commerce companies face?
Global e-commerce sales are growing by leaps and bounds, especially in post-covid situations, when everything is going virtual.
Shopping couldn’t be any easier for consumers. Though online shopping has drastically transformed the buying experience for consumers, it has brought unique challenges for ecommerce companies. Multichannel sellers face the difficulty of managing customer communications across various sales channels. It leads to poor customer experience and hurts brand reputation.
Challenge #1: Providing real-time answers to customer queries
Customers expect a faster resolution to their issues. A survey conducted among 3000 buyers reveals that 80% of customers seek responses to their emails within 24 hours. Late responses frustrate customers and violate SLAs when you are on a big marketplace like Amazon, tagging you as an unreliable seller.
Conversational AI applications are enabled with NLP and ML that understand human language and shoot up appropriate responses to users in seconds.
Challenge #2: Delivering Omnichannel Customer Experience
Customers today reach out to a brand via any channel, be it a website or social media or live chat etc. Companies need an integrated application to manage customer interactions effectively across all platforms. AI-powered chatbots and voice bots integrate and optimize across these channels to provide personalized responses to users anytime.
Challenge #3: Getting a 360 Degree View to Customer Journey
Companies miss critical insights into customer behavior and buying patterns. Deriving actionable insights out of customer data help in developing the right strategies for business growth. AI-powered chatbots capture customer information, store it and bring out critical insights.
Another challenge companies face with proper segmentation of user data. The right segmentation will help companies identify and segregate users into specific groups based on behavioral similarities and carry on communication based on user preferences. AI chatbots communicate with users based on their past conversations, understand their needs, and offer personalized services.
The challenges don’t end here; there are many more. Let’s take a look at those precisely:
- Sustaining through the competitive business landscape
- Reducing shopping cart abandonment by simplifying the process
- Strengthening customer relationships by building trust and loyalty
- Ensuring data security
- Keeping the product price lower than competitors
- Dealing with higher product return rate and refund
Conversational AI solutions leverage sentiment analysis to measure the satisfaction rate of customers. In case it fails to understand the query, it immediately passes the issue on to a support agent.
How has COVID-19 impacted the demand for chatbots, particularly in e-commerce?
In a post-covid world, consumer behavior and expectations have drastically changed. It has led to rising demand for e-commerce services worldwide, be it grocery or clothes or other essentials. Gradually adapting to the ‘new normal,’ wary consumers turn to online purchases while maintaining social distancing and ensuring safety.
- In March 2020, the US has noticed a 58% growth in e-commerce sales from the previous year.
- 20% of consumers said they have ordered groceries online for the first time ever.
Now the question is do the businesses have the right technologies and applications in place to run smoothly amid this growing demand while at the same time keeping up to the customer expectations.
In March, when the lockdown was announced, essential stores noticed an all time surge in demand. While managing that gigantic volume of customer requests, the call center costs crossed the predefined budget. It also created backlogs in processing customer requests. To successfully win through such a situation, companies needed to find an efficient and cost-effective solution to increase their customer handling capacity in the long run.
The hour’s need is to formulate an effective strategy to manage the growing influx of requests they receive daily without causing a delay in responses. Moreover, when speed and convenience are driving the consumer agenda over product and pricing, conversational AI will help you catch up to the speed by automating responses to 80% of customer queries and freeing up your customer service team to concentrate on more complex issues. To streamline customer service and meet consumer expectations, more and more retailers are turning to chatbots.
These virtual AI-powered assistants are enabled with advanced NLP and ML that frame personalized responses to make the conversation natural and boost customer satisfaction. Chatbots never sleep; they engage customers 24/7 by offering instant responses.
Previously, e-commerce lacked one-on-one interaction. Thanks to conversational AI, personalized interactions are bridging the gap. More and more companies are deploying chatbots, making them the first point of contact in customer interactions. The intention is to resolve the maximum number of issues during interaction with chatbots so that live agents don’t get overburdened.
Before deploying chatbots, Nykaa’s customer service executives spent 32,000 hours in a month addressing user queries. The table turned entirely when they integrated chatbot into their systems. They engaged 99.7% of their customers within 1 minute, and it was a significant cost saving.
Just making an online presence is not good enough in today’s context. Thousands of companies out there are struggling to acquire customers despite having an online presence. You need to ensure personalized experiences for consumers to engage them. And there is no better alternative than AI-powered chatbots in achieving this.
Have you seen a change in the way e-commerce companies interact with customers? How has this impacted their business model?
Over the past few years, there have been drastic alterations in how e-commerce businesses interact with customers. As technology has taken over almost every facet of the business, customer service is no exception. The constantly changing customer expectations, the surge in demand, the highly competitive business space, etc. have pushed e-commerce businesses to revamp their customer engagement strategy.
Modern e-commerce cannot succeed if they concentrate only on sales or taking orders on websites, it is more about having interactions with customers and building relationships.
Today customers expect to interact with a brand anytime per their suitability. To provide support outside business hours while the customer base is spread across time zones, companies are leveraging AI’s power to ensure self-help support for customers 24/7, automate responses, and eliminate wait times.
Convenience today plays a critical role in driving purchase decisions from the consumer end. Ecommerce leaders are leveraging Conversational AI to extract consumer data. AI helps companies engage consumers by showing related items of their interest and offering discounts based on their purchase and browsing history. This creates a great customer experience and boosts sales.
E-commerce companies no longer limit their customer engagement initiatives within the website. They have developed a multi-channel engagement strategy to connect with consumers from chat, email, phone to mobile apps, online marketplaces, and social media.
Mark Wright – No Longer an Apprentice
Just for context, you won The Apprentice and became Lord Sugar’s business partner in 2014 – you set up your digital marketing business Climb Online and are continuing to successfully grow this business today.
With the beauty of hindsight, would you have started your business journey differently?
When growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be in business and that I wanted to be successful. It wasn’t until I was working for a personal training college in Australia that I realised the true power of digital marketing, as the website I built and ranked on the first page of Google for key search terminology enabled them to accelerate revenue from $2,000 to $240,000 per month.
After I travelled to the UK, I wanted a bank loan to help launch my first business, but I wasn’t able to secure one. A friend suggested I try out for BBC’s The Apprentice as an alternative, which was something I hadn’t heard of, let alone watched before, and the rest is history. I don’t believe in regrets and certainly wouldn’t have changed how I started my business journey. The show provided me with an excellent PR and lead generation platform, and I have had the unique opportunity to meet and learn from some incredible business people, particularly Lord Sugar, for which I am very grateful.
The X Factor winners are often lambasted by the press and not taken seriously as artists by the music industry after winning the show. Have you experienced parallel treatment from the business community after your win?
I would certainly say that I experienced parallel negative treatment from the digital marketing industry when I first won BBC’s The Apprentice; where I was even booed going onto stage to speak at a trade event. However, I am always a big believer in the fact that how people treat and respond to others is more a reflection of themselves and it wasn’t something that I let impact me. The best people in business are those who can support and celebrate other people’s successes and that’s what I always strive to do, regardless of the treatment I receive in return.
Do you feel you have had to work harder to prove your credence as an entrepreneur?
Yes, on some level I do think I initially felt like I had to work harder to prove my credibility as an entrepreneur and a business owner. A lot of people audition and make it on to BBC’s The Apprentice out of a desire for public recognition and 5 minutes of fame, whereas I only wanted to go on the show to secure investment for my business having been rejected from a number of UK banks due to my nationality.
I still hold the record as the only Apprentice Winner to turn over in excess of £1 million during my first year in business and to actually make a profit, and this was largely due to the fact I was so focused on building a large business with strong foundations from the outset.
You became a UK Citizen earlier this year, why have you chosen to stay permanently in the UK?
Australia will always have a special place in my heart and I still have a desire to return and even open a Climb Online office there, but the UK has really become my home. I have made some amazing friends and have created a number of brilliant businesses and am very excited about what the future brings here.
What have been your stand out moments since launching Climb Online?
I have been very fortunate in that I have had many standout moments since launching Climb Online, from being listed twice on Forbes 30 under 30 to creating and hosting CLIMBCON in 2019.*
However, my real stand out moment is quite simple, and it happens almost daily and that is being in the office with my team, receiving positive feedback from clients and helping and mentoring other business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs with their own challenges. There is no feeling like helping someone else succeed or realise their own ambitions and I feel incredibly fortunate that I am able to support and give back to others in such a way.
Have you ever just wanted to throw the towel in and head back to the beach?
All business owners at some point will have that feeling of wanting to throw in the towel, particularly on the days when nothing is going right, and everything feels impossible. However, the true marker of success is the ability to continue to show up each day and work through every single challenge. The ones that do will come out on top, maybe not immediately, but eventually.
I am from a small town in Australia where my Dad owns the local car garage and my mum owns the local hair salon, so when we were all sitting round the table at dinner time, they would discuss the challenges of running a business and I would gain real insight into the hardships. So in starting and continuing to work through my business journey I have always had this in the back of my mind. The power of persistence cannot be underestimated and even on days when I feel like it, I wouldn’t ever head back to the beach.
2020 has been a tough year for business. How was your business affected?
I can honestly say that the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was the hardest period I have ever had to work through in business as like the majority, we lost clients and were forced to make challenging decisions. However, I would also say I have learnt the most about business this year and worked hard to implement an effective survival strategy. This not only meant we were able to continue to navigate through the first difficult three months, but in taking the time to look at our costs, our staff and our processes, have had the opportunity to make vast improvements that have enabled us to thrive beyond pre-COVID levels and really come out on top.
What do you think the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be? Will the economy bounce back quicker than predicted?
I think the figures from Q3 were very promising and show that a ‘bounce back’ is possible. However, with further reports revealing that UK borrowing is now at the highest since records began, it means we have a long way to go and it certainly won’t be easy.
Although there haven’t been any changes to taxes as yet, I do think these will come as we start to see economic recovery and hope any increases don’t impact business owners too heavily, particularly as they have worked so hard to survive this unprecedented period.
How has COVID-19 changed the digital marketing industry?
Although there was an initial hit at the start of the pandemic, with businesses cutting digital marketing spend as a cost-saving exercise, I would actually say the pandemic has since played into the hands of the digital marketing industry by emphasising the importance of having a strong digital presence to sell your product or service online.
There will still be agencies who will be down on a revenue. However this won’t be because the business and sales opportunities aren’t out there, but because they aren’t pushing hard enough and are ultimately using COVID-19 as an excuse. At Climb Online we have won many new clients recently just because we were the only agency to actually answer the phone, which is quite unbelievable and shows that many are still operating remotely and haven’t got the right virtual infrastructure in place.
What advice would you give for business owners struggling to drive new sales?
This is going to sound very simple, but the first thing business owners struggling with sales should do is hire a salesperson to implement a clear and consistent business development strategy. I’ve met thousands of business owners over the years and it still amazes me that the vast majority don’t have any form of sales operation to keep the pipeline full and to proactively sell the product or service. Often the business owner is hesitant to hire a salesperson due to a bad experience or because they believe no one will be able to sell the business as well as they can, and whilst the latter is likely to be true, you still need additional people on the ground generating as many leads as possible. Without a sales team, any form of sales strategy becomes inconsistent and ineffective, limiting the opportunity for growth.
Will you ever retire? Absolutely not. Never.
*CLIMBCON is the only business summit dedicated to teaching businesses how to grow and scale from real life successful entrepreneurs
in an authentic and empowering live event
The evolving payments landscape
Q&A with Prajit Nanu, Co-Founder and CEO, Nium
- The global pandemic has negatively impacted economies around the world, but we’re also seeing an acceleration in e-commerce and consumer behaviours. What trends are you seeing, and what is the takeaway for Nium?
At the start of the global pandemic, no one had a clue on where things were headed. But luckily for Nium, we have a 360-degree view on how different industries are adapting because of the number of industries we serve. For instance, we saw that there was a rise in gaming, e-learning, and e-commerce while the travel industry was significantly impacted.
According to Newzoo, the leading global provider of games and esports analytics, the games market will to grow to $217.9 billion by 2023, representing a strong +9.4% CAGR between 2018 and 2023. This is up from a previous forecast of $200.8 billion. The sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe also led to a rise in e-learning adoption, where schools have had to distribute gadgets to students to ensure they have access to learning materials. Schools in New York, US for example distributed around 500,000 laptops and tablets to their students in early April.
To cater to these sudden shifts in consumer behaviour, banks are coming to Nium with an accelerated timeline to leverage and implement our services, including instant real-time cross-border payments. This is positive because banks are reacting to new consumer behaviours promptly.
That said, while these are positive trends, we need to think about how we can sustain this momentum into the future. Initially when the pandemic hit, we saw a huge shift of revenues from offline to online channels. However, now that countries are gradually re-opening, we see that many consumers are preferring to go back to offline channels. The question now lies in how we keep up with these changes and continue to deliver great customer service.
- The world is shifting to an API economy, how is this going to impact your customers?
Our definition of an API economy is one that deploys best-of-breed products seamlessly and efficiently – and this is a core mantra of what we believe we are powering at Nium. If you think about it, banks today are being unbundled at a rapid pace. 15 years ago, if a customer wanted a loan or a travel card, they would have had to walk into a physical bank. Today, customers can turn to a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lender or any pre-paid travel card business.
Nium is actually leading the charge in this rapid unbundling through our banking-as-a-service (BaaS) offering. For instance, E-commerce companies no longer only provide e-commerce as a service but instead have tapped onto a new range of services within that ecosystem. Companies today can choose partners for their payment solutions – for instance, they can use X for payments, Y for card issuance, and Z for lending. The API impact that Nium makes goes beyond just a few customers; we make it easy for everyone to plug in and rapidly deploy our service.
The future of the API economy is all about how to make APIs easy to understand, and that is where Nium is driving our vision forward.
- What is Nium doing to cater to the under-penetrated segment that may not have access to payments today?
Nium is providing an infrastructure platform catered for anyone – from everyday customers and businesses, to large banks, and even to fintechs – aimed at levelling the playing field through the provision of financial services to all members of the population. In other words, our platform enables our partners to reach out to the population and provide greater access to payments than ever before.
To take a recent example, Nium partnered with Aptiv8, an IT and manpower solution provider, to launch a remittance service called MyRemit. This service allows migrant workers in Singapore to conduct digital remittance transactions via a mobile app, anywhere and anytime. This has been particularly vital during this year’s strict social distancing and lockdown measures, as migrant workers can still remit money back home for their family’s needs through a digital channel.
Similarly, Nium recently partnered with Cebuana Lhuillier, the Philippines’ largest microfinancial services provider, to launch their mobile remittance app, Quikz, in Singapore. Powered by Nium’s Remittance-as-a-service (RaaS) solution, this app allows thousands of Filipinos based in Singapore to send money to their loved ones back in the Philippines. Our platform ensures the transactions are processed securely and in real-time – providing more customers with a safe and more affordable way to make transactions.
- What was 2020 like for Nium and what is it going to be like in 2021?
This year has been interesting for Nium because the pandemic forced us to rethink and review our company playbook for success. At the peak of COVID-19, I gathered my leadership team together to reflect on the impact the world had faced, how the world is going to change, and what we, as a company, need to consider when adapting to these changes. This exercise was extremely useful and it has formed the basis of a refreshed playbook for us.
Our team members came up with many different stories on how we need to over-communicate not only to our clients, but also internally with our colleagues. We also spoke about product prioritisation. For instance, travel used to be an industry that most of our products served, but it has become much smaller today, while other industries such as e-learning and gaming have burst through the scenes. So, do we still create products for the travel industry knowing that it will come back in the next two years, or do we focus on the growing industries right now? The good thing is, because we work with clients across a large spectrum of industries, we have been able to observe these changes panning out early and react swiftly.
Come 2021 and 2022, product will be key for us. There is a lot of pent-up demand across industries that were restricted due to the pandemic, such as travel, and we are looking forward to capturing this new demand, which I believe will definitely come back once we tide over these difficult times. At Nium, we will continue to focus on growing our revenue and expanding our team worldwide.
At the same time, we are also aware of the impact that the pandemic has had on our employees this year. I want to take a brief moment here to acknowledge the efforts of our employees worldwide. They have rallied hard over the past few months, putting in the extra hours as they work remotely, to ensure they deliver quality work. Ensuring that our employees remain engaged and prioritising their mental health will also be a focus for us in the new year.
Treasury’s digital revolution: How corporates can ensure stability in uncertain economic conditions
The digital revolution in treasury may have been under way for some years now, but the past few months have shown there is plenty of room to improve and refine. We talk to Frank Nicolaisen, UniCredit’s Head of Global Transaction Banking, Americas, about how the coronavirus pandemic has intensified the need for corporates to upgrade their treasury infrastructure and what they can do to get started.
Q: The pandemic looks to have added significant impetus to the digital push in treasury. How has the use of financial technology in the treasury space evolved in recent years and where does this fit into the story?
The narrative of innovation around treasury has been building for some time – and for good reason. A host of recent innovations, such as application programming interfaces (APIs) and optical character recognition (OCR), are already live and streamlining treasury processes for corporates of all sizes.
At the core of this is the rise of e-banking – following experiences in the retail sector, corporates have moved away from branch-based or over-the-phone banking to platforms, with many banks, including UniCredit, investing to make this a seamless, fast and more efficient experience. This, in turn, paves the way for other efficiencies, such as virtual accounts – a concept that sees corporates hold a single physical bank account that can be sub-divided into “said virtual accounts, which work much like real ones, with their own budgets, permissions and account numbers, all whilst feeding into the physical parent account. This solution is growing in popularity and is especially beneficial to corporates with multiple banking relationships and complex account structures, minimising the number of physical accounts they need to maintain.
While these technologies have been around for some time, they have seen a spike in adoption during the recent economic downturn, enabling corporates to rationalise accounting processes, cut maintenance costs, increase transparency over funds and efficiently optimise their financial assets from a remote basis.
To take treasury management to the next level, even newer technologies are emerging, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which promise to bring a raft of benefits, including the streamlining of bureaucratic processes in a safe and secure manner.
Q: What should a successful treasury set-up look like today?
For some time, a digital, real-time treasury set up – with fully-automated routine processing – has been the vision and the gold standard. This has the capability to turn the sheer amount of data that many treasurers handle on a daily basis from an administrative burden to a source of strategic insight.
With the right technology, corporates can automate a huge range of previously time-consuming administrative tasks, such as opening, closing and managing accounts, generating cash-flow forecasts, executing routine payments; reconciling incoming payment flows, calculating FX exposures and even executing FX conversions. All of this frees team members to focus on more value-adding tasks, while reducing human error in the workflow.At the same time, the data captured in these digital systems can also be reviewed and mined for valuable insights, helping treasurers further refine their processes.
Implementing such a system, of course, will be easier for some businesses than others. Young companies, for instance, will not have to overhaul any legacy infrastructure, and can simply implement a new, modern system. Older or larger companies, on the other hand, will likely be less agile, and have to undertake the more time-consuming process of updating existing systems, while managing operational risks during the transition.
Nevertheless, establishing a robust digital set-up remains central to most treasurers’ strategic vision. Once complete, this switch-over promises benefits to corporates of all kinds – and an opportunity to future proof their business against economic shocks, the likes of which we’ve seen over the last year.
Q: How can corporates yet to initiate the transition to digital treasury get started?
The first step is to investigate the process. Treasurers can speak to their banks and other potential partners, asking questions such as: What are the stakes? What can be achieved? What treasury set-up best suits my business? What benefits is the transition likely to bring in the long-term?
This conversation typically begins either when a treasurer notices the benefits the transition has brought to other businesses, or when triggered by an urgent business need. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be prompted in this way. Starting the conversation now means treasurers are forearmed should necessity arise.
Q: How will you leverage your position as UniCredit’s Head of GTB Americas to deliver these treasury solutions to corporates?
Broadly speaking, my mandate is to continue to develop the Group’s unique, digital Global Transaction Banking (GTB) offer – helping US multinational clients thrive in Europe, and European clients access the US markets.
As part of this, I’m looking to facilitate the delivery of UniCredit’s proprietary GTB solutions from our core European markets to businesses operating in the Americas. Having previously played a key role in the expansion of UniCredit’s Tech Team in Germany – which focused on serving fast-growing technology companies – I am hoping to draw on this experience to oversee the first step in this process: the roll-out of the bank’s global e-banking portal. Once complete, this innovation promises to vastly improve the banking experience for our corporate clients in the US.
It’s one of a number of digital tools corporates can leverage to help them through the many challenges of the current environment. Over the next few years, I think we’ll see adoption continue to climb across the board and I’m looking forward to playing a part in it.
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