Sponsored statement: HSBC - Delivering the value of innovation and expertise to corporate clients
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Sponsored statement: HSBC - Delivering the value of innovation and expertise to corporate clients

Marcus Treacher, head of e-commerce and client experience, Global Transaction Banking at HSBC, explains how its innovative ClientSphere solution delivers value to corporates operating on a local, regional or global scale.

Marcus Treacher, head of e-commerce and client experience, Global Transaction Banking at HSBC
Marcus Treacher, head of e-commerce and client experience, Global Transaction Banking at HSBC

The opportunity We are in a new global business environment where cash management providers can no longer rely purely on products and pricing to compete. Equally, treasurers select a cash management solution based on its ability to deliver strategic value to their business.

Whether a treasurer is seeking to realize greater efficiency through straight-through processing or higher returns through maximizing working capital, expedient implementation of the new cash and treasury management solution is critical to realizing the expected benefits. For businesses that are often tasked to do more with less, ensuring that any new solution implementation doesn’t drain existing resources is also of critical importance.

System and process changes can have a significant impact on a company, its subsidiaries, vendors and customers alike. Each of these stakeholders has different objectives, perceptions and motivations which need to be considered – some of which may be conflicting. Add in different geographic locations, varying business processes and today’s fluid business environment and the cash and treasury management solution implementation and onboarding process can become very complicated.

That’s why, when selecting solution providers, corporates are increasingly emphasizing the need for a well-managed process that is focused on saving time, reducing effort and optimizing resources, and one that underwrites a compelling client experience throughout.

The innovation - ClientSphere

Understanding that the implementation and onboarding process is increasingly the ‘moment of truth’ for solution providers, when promises made during the sales process must be delivered, HSBC set out to:

•Provide all participants in the implementation process with greater visibility through more timely access to project details •Automate key implementation and onboarding tasks to reduce implementation project times and eliminate onboarding errors •Improve communication among stakeholders by providing a platform to facilitate exchange of project documentation

Although technology was an obvious enabler, we realized that it could only improve, not replace, open dialogue during onboarding. The result of this thought process is a first-in-market online client on-boarding platform, ClientSphere, which amplifies our implementation expertise and accelerates the delivery of new solutions and the resultant benefits to corporate clients.

The results
Following the introduction of ClientSphere, first in Asia Pacific and subsequently globally, HSBC clients, HSBC staff and other project partners reported three key benefits:

Time and resource savings

ClientSphere eliminates wasted time and energy throughout the implementation of a new solution. Using the dashboard feature, stakeholders can uncover outstanding issues, slipped milestones and overdue tasks, thus ensuring that exceptions are surfaced and escalated to management for close monitoring and prompt resolution. A large industrial client based in Indonesia recently remarked, "We like the outstanding issues and task management functions most. Throughout the implementation and transaction monitoring stage we have full visibility of all outstanding issues and upcoming stages that need to be done by the team. The control and visibility ClientSphere offers gives me more time to focus on the business."

Swift, seamless and consistent experience through improved communication

Catherine Yu, regional controller, Asia Pacific, at British Telecom Global Services, was particularly impressed by ClientSphere’s ability to facilitate communication. "ClientSphere provided us with full visibility of country activities and document status at any time we needed it. The latest progress reports were readily available, which made it a very useful tool to facilitate our internal management reporting."1 ClientSphere makes documentation and reporting functions even more simple with pre-defined documents, checklists and implementation materials that are automatically generated according to the solutions a client has selected. Automated routing of workflow also allows information to be captured and passed from one party to another based on their assigned roles, ensuring swift information flow and seamless execution across teams and geographies.

Faster realization of solution benefits

The bottom line? According to clients, the right combination of technology and people expertise can make implementing cash management solutions easier and allow corporates to accelerate access to their new services, and the value that they bring. "HSBC’s professional advice and tailored solution, together with the clear project milestones from ClientSphere enabled us to realize central control of cash flow in different subsidiaries in a timely manner," says one finance executive for the China headquarters of a large multinational corporation.

Key opinion formers in the industry are also noting the extent to which ClientSphere has reshaped the implementation and onboarding experience. "The internet is emerging as the dominant service channel for corporate and commercial clients across a range of businesses," notes Marc Harrison, a Greenwich Associates consultant and programme manager for the Online Services Benchmarking study, who adds, "HSBC’s ClientSphere workflow tool shows expected timelines and who is responsible for each service request – this information is fully integrated into HSBCnet and is clearly a competitive differentiator for HSBC."2

Launched in Asia during 2010, ClientSphere has been accessed by over 5,000 domestic and multinational companies across 18 countries. Early indications are that the solution is delivering upwards of a 20% saving across implementation and onboarding timelines – from the implementation kick-off to full solution enablement. On the back of this success, HSBC is in the process of rolling out ClientSphere across North and South America, Europe and the Middle East, with the aim of global coverage by the end of the year.

The future

With the global rollout out of ClientSphere under way, HSBC expects that a much larger number of its international customers will derive immediate and sustained benefits from the improved experience that its combination of award-winning technology3 and implementation expertise provides. The initial rollout has also served as a catalyst for changes which will further improve and standardize client experience regardless of where clients do business with the bank.

For HSBC, successful realization of one innovation project is satisfying but the effort to identify new and better ways to deliver the value of its expansive network and cash management expertise continues – always with a focus on the client first.

1. HSBC’s Guide to Corporate Connectivity, third edition, 2010.

2. Press release, "HSBCnet – A Best of Breed Leading Online Corporate Banking Platform according to Greenwich", February 2011.

3. HSBC recently won the global Financial Insights Innovation Award for "Excellence in Client Servicing", specifically recognizing ClientSphere as a key business enabler.

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