New products make life easier for treasurers

Deutsche Bank's FX and mobile authorisation solutions migrate from pilot status to an Asia-wide release.

On a set-up reminiscent of iPod Touch, a Deutsche Bank representative demonstrates the ease of the bank's FX4CASH solution through interactive and video displays. The demonstration marks the end of multi-month pilot programmes for both the enhanced FX4CASH product and mobile authorisation, and the beginning of their Asia-wide full release.

To the din of numerous treasurers and bankers at this week's EuroFinance conference in Singapore, the Deutsche representative goes through the various features of FX4CASH. Among them are real-time exchange rate quotes -- good for a brief 15 seconds -- that, with just a click of a button, can be locked in for treasurers' exchange transactions. It's a nifty set-up for sure.

Mobile authorisation goes much the same way. After a bit of two-finger touch screen zooming, the demo for the mobile solution runs through log on, batch review and payment approval. Thus far, mobile authorisation is the clear leader in terms of the interest it has generated. "We've already had at least three people ask for it this morning," the representative said.

Deutsche is banking on continued strong demand for the product. Since launching the pilot in December, the bank has implemented the solution at 80 clients and partnered with Luup International, a Norway-based company specialising in mobile payment services, to shape the nascent market.

KPMG estimates that the global mobile money transfer market will be worth $21 billion by 2011.

"Mobile technology moves on apace and we believe that now is the time to take a solution to the global market," said Daniel Marovitz, global head of products at Deutsche Bank global transaction banking. "Around 61% of the world's population has a mobile phone and the penetration of mobile continues to increase, while the use of cash continues to decline globally."

"Investing in technology and focusing on making banking and payments easier for clients and their customers is at the core of what we do," he continued.

Deutsche first launched the FX4CASH Asia pilot programme at China Citic Bank last September, while the mobile authorisation pilot was implemented at the Singapore office of the International Air Transport Association last December. During the pilots, the bank actively sought client feedback on bugs with the product, and addressed the applicable compliance and legal issues in each country.

FX4CASH and mobile authorisation are now available in Deutsche's 14 Asian markets, with the exception of Korea where mobile authorisation is waiting for final regulatory approval. FX4CASH was previously available outside Asia but mobile authorisation is indigenous to the bank's regional coverage. Both solutions utilise Deutsche's db-direct internet web platform.

"In an increasingly global and regulated economy, clients seek greater choice in managing their cross-currency payments," said Kefei Chang, Deutsche Bank global transaction banking's director of cash management. "The FX4CASH enhancements provide clients with more flexibility and choice in their FX dealings and payments, a highly valued service in today's challenging market."

In connection with the Asia-wide launch, FX4CASH has been enhanced to 125 payment currencies across 160 countries from 75 currencies previously.

Deutsche has more new products in the offing for Asian treasurers. Being piloted in the US is an online, single domain portal that allows multi-banked treasurers to view balances real time in all of their accounts, not just those at Deutsche. The service is scheduled to launch in Asia by the end of this year.

Taking the long view, Deutsche sees significant potential in the future of a "mobile wallet" as one bank executive calls it. Giving the example of companies chartering planes monthly to fly in cash for salary payments to their remote operations, he foresees a mobile wallet future where the payer simply deposits the money to a phone that can then be used for purchases or withdrawn as cash. No bank account required.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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