Treasury Professionals Look to Blockchain for Payments Enhancements, TD Bank Survey Finds

Treasury and finance professionals anticipate more operational challenges in 2019 than in previous years, according to a recent survey conducted by TD Bank. The risk of payments fraud/cybersecurity topped professionals’ list of concerns, with 44% naming it their top operational challenge, a 14% year-over-year increase.

The ability to adapt to or process faster/electronic payments is an obstacle for 37% of survey respondents, also rising 14% year-over-year. This concern is likely to cause some anxiety for finance professionals, as commercial payments continue evolving. In fact, the majority (60%) of respondents expect to see the largest amount of growth this year within faster or real-time processing, an 8% increase from last year.

Technology continues to influence treasury operations, and the majority of survey respondents (90%) feel that blockchain/distributed ledger technology will have some type of positive effect on the payments industry. The top impact of blockchain/distributed ledger technology is its ability to create stronger audit trails (29%), respondents said. Additional positive outcomes include:

  • Speeding up the payments process (22 %).
  • Improving efficiency of cross-border payments (21%).
  • Reducing payments fraud (18%).

Finance professionals appear to be split on the use of another technology type to facilitate payments: open APIs. Half of respondents (50%) claim that their organisation currently uses or is in the process of integrating open APIs into company operations, while 49% do not use open APIs and nearly a quarter of that group does not have plans to do so in the future.