Interview: How APIs Ease Treasurers’ Reliance On Banks


Posted on 1st July 2021

Our Chief Product Officer, recently spoke to about how strategies built around APIs can help chief financial officers and corporate treasurers.


Our Chief Product Officer, Adam Bialy, recently spoke to about how strategies built around APIs can help chief financial officers and corporate treasurers. We have shared sections of the interview below.

The complexity of payment workflows within and between mid-market and large corporate entities can be so immense that many treasurers aren’t able to pinpoint exactly where the friction exists.

Financial technology today is on the path to tackling some of the biggest hurdles in B2B bank transfers resulting from complex back-office systems, internal workflow inefficiencies, a lack of agility from traditional banks and more choice than ever in how businesses move funds from one place to another.

In a recent conversation with PYMNTS, Adam Bialy, offered insight into how an application programming interface (API)-first strategy can smooth the friction for chief financial officers and corporate treasurers (and their technology providers) by reducing firms’ reliance on banks to handle payments.

But first, understanding that payment bottlenecks and inefficiencies exist is key to successfully battling the payments headaches.

“At the very bottom of the value chain, it can be very hard to discover that problem,” said Bialy. “But when you discover it, it’s even harder to solve.”

Long-Lasting Complexities

While every company is different, there are some common pain points that mid-market and larger corporates face in managing bank transfer payments, both incoming and outgoing.

Excel spreadsheets and CFD files are common in treasury teams, explained Bialy, forcing finance professionals to manually input high volumes of data and switch between back-office platforms and bank accounts.

“They’re working off of a lot of data, logging into their banking providers — which, if they’re big, they’ll have three or four providers — each with a different login, a different token, some are brick-sized devices you need to take a code from, and they log you off after five minutes,” he said. “When you try to upload a payment file, you get validation errors — it’s just a mess.”

He offered the example of the marketplace business model. An online marketplace will collect and process payments from a consumer into its main depository. Much of the pain occurs, he said, during the payout period, when that marketplace pays the seller or merchant.

Within a single corporation, businesses can struggle to efficiently move money from one area of the business to another. Corporate treasurers often work with bulk CSV (comma-separated values) files, leaving loads of room for mistakes and wasting valuable time on manual data management.

Amid this complexity, corporates and their finance teams must assess which payment networks and rails are most appropriate and efficient for transactions across various scenarios.

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