North America's best bank for transaction services 2017: HSBC

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Awards for Excellence 2017

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© 2017 Euromoney

It might not have the same level of market presence across North America as some of its international competitors, but HSBC’s push forward in the region over the last 12 months has secured it Euromoney’s award for North America’s best bank for transaction services. 

The goal of the bank over the period was to streamline its operations and make its services more efficient for its customers. In some cases, this meant bringing services back in-house; in others it meant recognizing how using external services would be more beneficial. For example, the bank underwent a programme of in-sourcing its custody business in the US to provide greater transparency to clients.

This philosophy also applied to its third-party collaborations. In fintech, the bank saw how working with external providers would be faster and easier than focusing on its own internal developments. It put in place partnerships with Tradeshift and Kyriba. The bank was selective in its decision process, working out which partners were most pertinent to solving specific client problems. 

HSBC was also sufficiently clear-sighted to recognize that, where it was tough to make headway, resources might be better used in other areas. Realizing that corporate treasurers in the region were not using mobile technology for cash management, the bank shifted focus away from this to prioritizing work on real-time payments and a reduction in the use of paper cheques and invoices. 

The bank is still developing mobile cash management as a longer-term strategy, but is more actively pushing mobile technology in trade finance, where it has seen a bigger response.

Recognizing that not all of its customers across the region have easy access to a branch, it launched virtual adviser and webchat services. Providing video calls and instant responses, the service proved so successful it has now been rolled out internationally. 

Two other banks that were under serious consideration for this award were Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. Among other innovations, BAML sought to expand its services through connecting with Modo Payments, enabling the bank to expand its connections to worldwide payments networks. Meanwhile, Citi has created the Transition Team in Canada, a specialist team comprising sales, product managers and customer services that assists with transitioning new clients to the bank.