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On the path to innovation

Innovation is on everybody’s mind and many wonder whether it’s actually more than just a buzzword. BNP Paribas’s response is clear and strong: innovation is a continuous journey, it goes beyond technology, is already underway and bringing progress at multiple levels and the Bank is also now working hand in hand with its clients to rock the treasury house. From blockchain-based solutions to SWIFT gpi and Virtual Account Management, the evidence is blooming.

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Author

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Bruno Mellado,
Head of International Payments and collections with BNP Paribas Cash Management

When we say that innovation must help corporates move up the value chain, we mean that we aim to bring some tangible value by - for example - digitalising existing processes or else designing solutions from scratch. To achieve this, the BNP Paribas Cash Management teams are already fuelled by a new way of thinking and doing things that transform the relationship with corporates, namely co-creation. Doing things differently can take multiple forms - from rethinking existing services to making them more convenient, more accessible, efficient and/or effective; but it can also be about changing your internal functioning to enable you to build services quicker, at lower cost, better aligned with corporate expectations, and that are more reliable.



But the context in which innovation must accelerate today remains a challenge, with legacy systems and layers of regulation putting a curb on the rapid delivery of new value propositions. Meanwhile, corporates wonder what to do with the likes of blockchain and big data, which carry tremendous potential but whose use cases are still scarce.



In today’s world, co-creation, co-design, collaboration and coopetition are not empty words. They actually describe the new relational mode between the players of the innovation ecosystem, e.g. banks; fintechs; systems vendors; consultants and corporates. The recent outcome of this renewed vision that is already adopted by BNP Paribas is astounding, with great improvements of the user experience and corporates showing enthusiasm at joining pilot initiatives to get the innovation they need.

The keys to success

To succeed, BNP Paribas integrates fintechs to its backbone while continuing to be the guardian of the operations.  The bank engages in strong and constant dialogue with its clients, thinking together, working shoulder to shoulder, and identifying its clients’ painpoints. Its engagement goes from blockchain to virtual account management and instant payments, and it has adopted new ways of working to design the new Connexis user interface, create the Blockchain Lab, run the Bizhackathon and manage the co-creation sessions aimed for the Cash without Borders proof of concept.



Innovation also means working with external stakeholders as part of the transformation of industry initiatives. For instance, SWIFT gpi, an initiative of 92 banks that has had BNP Paribas in its leading group since the start, provides a new efficient and transparent way to execute international payments with more predictability and cost control as a result. Naturally, digitisation is at the heart of BNP Paribas’s innovation strategy, with new solutions such as Connexis Cash, SWIFT My Standards and eBAM that enhance the client journeys. eBAM is now a reality, and BNP Paribas is the first bank to offer fully dematerialized mandate management to a leading, global French corporation.



No border for cash

With Cash without Borders (CwB), BNP Paribas shows that blockchain is a true game changer. For the record, Blockchain is based on a few key principles, like the fact that all users of a shared distributed ledger are owners of the same database; that no central authority approves transactions made on that ledger; and that transactions are irrevocable. Based on this, BNP Paribas built a value proposition as part of its “Bizhackathon” initiative – a 2-day session designed to unearth concrete use cases applicable to the bank’s cash and trade models. CwB brings real time clearing and settlement, real time reporting as well as full cash visibility and usability. After the proof of concept, a pilot has been run with Panini, DFDS and Amcor, all clients of BNP Paribas and the roll out is about to take place as we go to press. For more on this topic, visit https://group.bnpparibas/en/press-release/bnp-paribas-completes-real-time-blockchain-payments


Focus on MyStandards

MyStandards provides the bank’s file format specifications and ensures that they are easily accessible and up-to-date. The self-service standards testing capabilities of MyStandards allows corporate treasurers to access the usage guidelines and validate messages against the specifications. In addition, support is provided by BNP Paribas implementation team to help users master the tool.





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