Organisations must ensure their teams are prepared for a more technology-focused future, as innovation is gaining momentum in treasury management.
While advancements in automation and artificial intelligence are radically altering how work gets done and who does it, technology’s larger impact will be in complementing and augmenting human capabilities, not replacing them.
‘Deremi Atanda, Managing Director of Remita Payment Services Limited (RPSL), a leading financial technology firm in Africa and a subsidiary of SystemSpecs Holdings, proposes that organisations will benefit more from communicating their technology decisions to mitigate conflict.
“There are unintended consequences of automation”, Deremi says. “In a situation where workers don’t know what to expect, conflict can arise”. He advised therefore that “people along the value chain must know how automation will impact them and this also has to do with internal and external processes”.
He further emphasised the need for collaboration among financial service providers and technology service providers, which he described as the new reality and future of the industry.
He made this call while speaking as a panellist at the 2023 Treasury Leadership Forum organised by Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, held recently in Lagos.
The panel session themed: ‘Harnessing Technology for More Efficient Treasury Management’ brought together treasury professionals, financial experts, regulators, and technology providers to discuss the latest trends and best practices in treasury management.
The move towards new technologies such as APIs, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning or advanced analytics, big data, blockchain, and cloud computing to drive innovation is enabling rapid experimentation and new product development. However, the key challenge is knowing where to start.
‘Deremi said organisations must have a clear idea of their objectives to ensure that every project sets out to bring value to treasury management, and ultimately improve other areas of the business.
“Not all businesses will be on the same technology maturity level, hence your treasury requirements should be need-specific. Where there is a disparity in your internal capacity versus the supplier capacity, the automation will likely fail. Systems exist everywhere but they are not meant to be used the same way everywhere”.
“In today’s fast-paced business environment, there is the need to deal with the challenges of automating treasury management. Having a grand clarity of what the objectives are will help analyse the financial environment and manage conflicts,” he said.
According to ‘Deremi, the focus should be to implement technology into specific projects with targeted goals such as risk management, cost alleviation, or improved efficiency, and then integrate processes and platforms into a Treasury Management System (TMS).
While advanced automation tools can facilitate real-time financial insights and mitigate risks, ‘Deremi stressed that selecting the right partners and technology to work with will help to minimise operational costs. Furthermore, corporate treasurers must ensure all stakeholders reskill and secure buy-in from other teams in the organisation.
Nigeria is at a unique tipping point where treasurers have an opportunity to influence the treasury solutions of tomorrow. As banking relationships continue to evolve, ‘Deremi said financial and technology service providers must collaborate to leverage next-generation treasury technologies, while proactively engaging clients along the innovation journey.
He said: “What represents the next wave of thinking should be systems that make it possible for customers to manage all types of assets even across borders. Also, we must explore how we can co-create and collaborate anywhere to make it easier for customers to become digitally enabled for treasury management.”
In 2012, Remita worked with the Nigerian government to implement Africa’s largest Treasury Single Account (TSA) project. This was on account of its operations in building multi-bank solutions and partnering with several financial institutions.
Speaking on digital assets and what is next, Remita is currently working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the eNaira, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). “We are building rails that the entire industry will be consuming, and we are building for the banks, retail, and for merchants.”, he said.
‘Deremi Atanda is a renowned business leader and innovator. Known for his extensive industry experience and expertise, his forward-thinking approach and commitment to collaboration have helped to address the social and economic challenges in the financial technology ecosystem. Under his leadership, Remita continues to provide cutting-edge payment solutions to diverse organisations across various sectors.
Leveraging advanced technology, Remita Payment Services Limited is a leading provider of electronic payment solutions in Nigeria and across Africa. With a commitment to simplifying financial transactions and a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, Remita has helped businesses streamline their operations across the board.