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Of Orchestras and Global Transaction Banking

15 March 2014  |  1833 views  |  0

The role of a chief executive at a global transaction bank, I’m inclined to believe, is more complex than that of a conductor of an orchestra, even one with a considerable heritage of musical excellence.


In an orchestra, all instruments are tuned to a common pitch. And, a certain competence with the score to be rendered—the single source of truth—is a given. Moreover, all instruments are sure to have been maintained for peak performance. While, admittedly, all this may not guarantee a Furtwangler-like interpretation of the score, there is a fair chance that an aurally accurate representation of it, much like a Karajan, is achieved.


Now let’s move over to a transaction bank. Here, the members of the orchestra function across multiple locations and time zones. The instruments at a CEO’s command are the technology pieces, which are often in different states of repair. The data she receives could be discordant, if not completely contradictory: be they about product revenues, portfolios, costs, productivity or customer profitability. Moreover, a plethora of regulatory signatures could dictate (indeed constrain) the phrasing and the tempo of business in different locations.


So is the picture bleak for transaction banks? Is it possible for a global bank to derive a coherent picture of its business? Can it adopt strategies to pursue opportunities, safe in the knowledge that its decisions are based on sound, accurate, data regarding its products, relationships and past performance?


The simple answer is yes. By implementing an advanced revenue management and billing system, your bank can lift the curtain on its entire transaction business and enable a world class performance that you as well as clients will want to experience. Banks such as Citi have seen such success by implementing these systems. They have understood that tailoring the performance, processes and implementations relative to regional requirements can be done without compromising their enterprise vision.

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