Grape Vine Article
A NEW online platform is set to save the companies it hosts thousands of euro by inviting banks to compete for their day-to-day transactional business.
With his service all set to take off north of the border, Treasury Delta’s founder Pádraig Brosnan is now forming an alliance in the south with John Finn of Treasury Solutions. They believe companies will instantly see the value of their service, whereby a company and a financial institution can communicate in a discreet and confidential channel which is all carried out in a highly secure IT platform.
The concept is easy to grasp. The companies register on TreasuryDelta.com, initially submitting topline information on turnover, sector and the nature of their current banking transactions; then the banks compete for their business.
It’s somewhat like a B2B variation of the many competitive online hotel booking services with which people are widely familiar.
“This initiative will cause banks to up their service levels with their clients,” said John Finn. “If banks want to up their game, they can hold onto their clients by providing a better service at a better price. My job is to mind the interests of borrowers and SMEs. If the banks were already looking after them properly, this service wouldn’t be needed.”
Thus far, Treasury Delta has signed up one large corporate banking group and a selection of competitive financial service providers. Despite the ‘treasury’ tag, the initial service is focused on daily banking transactions. The likelihood is that the banks who quote for the company’s day-to-day banking will also hope to entice the company into taking other services in due course.
“For companies who register before the end of July, we are not going to charge companies initially as we want to drive traffic onto our platform,” said Pádraig Brosnan. “We are focused on their day-to-day banking. The companies submit their information about their banking requirements; the banks look at the company and decide how aggressively they want to quote for their business.”
Once it is given access to the information on a company, the bank will have two weeks in which to digest the information before making a bid. At this stage, Treasury Delta is effectively out of the loop. Mr Brosnan said Treasury Delta will not be involved in any switch over activities. They will simply host the information registered by companies who care to invite competitive quotes for their daily banking.
“We are not pricing foreign exchange or credit. All we are pricing is cash management, like how much a bank charges to lodge cash in coin, or say charges for direct debits; in other words, daily transactional banking. The banks with a large market share will want to bid aggressively. They may not get all of the company’s business in the short term, but they will be creating a new relationship. Their hope is that all other products and services will, it time, probably also make their way to their bank.”
Treasury Delta say their service will be disruptive, but will also ultimately also prove beneficial to the established commercial banks; they will be induced to become more competitive in advance of the likely future arrival of big global banking groups into the Irish market.
They say that SMEs who register will very quickly be surprised to see how far off their banking charges are relative to the European and global competition. Many of the UK companies registered with Treasury Delta are already keenly aware of the wider competition.
“This is very much a UK play. We are targeting Northern Ireland first, where we have an imminent launch ready, with a view to rapidly follow in the south,” said Mr Brosnan. “A lot of international banks are very interested in this, but I won’t name them for commercial reasons.”
Around 50 companies have registered in the north, where the target is to reach 100 by September. The goal in the south is 20 to 30 companies in the short term. Companies who are involved in tendering processes will find Treasury Delta’s service quite familiar.
Treasury Delta is a high potential start-up client of Enterprise Ireland and they are now in discussions with international investors regarding their seed round. Padraig Brosnan has already built a highly skilled technical team and has channel partners on board to promote and sell Treasury Delta’s unique product offering. He says he now wants to move fast and capitalise on the international market opportunity he has identified.
John Finn agrees: “This is something new. I am always looking to provide an advisory service, and there are aspects of treasury services that I don’t provide. I am at a stage at which I will probably enter into more strategic alliances with people. It makes sense to me to build my content.
“Everybody has treasury needs. I provide advice, not financial products, but I can see the benefit of secure software like this. Working with Excel documents isn’t good enough anymore, banks need to become more slick. I see that this service will help my clients to reduce their bank charges. With more competition, charges will come down.
“The general view is that bank pricing here is high versus European levels, and that is because there is not enough competition. This service will put people in a stronger position to negotiate with their banks. The only thing preventing people from doing this already is probably a lack of knowledge on how to negotiate,” stated Mr Finn.
“I think this will get banks to work more closely with their clients. Banks will learn from this. Banking will continue to undergo more change, and will continue to change their whole way of doing things. This is happening globally. Changing now will help banks up their game before some big banking group comes here.
“If you register with an online plumbing service and you discover that your existing plumber is not competitive, you just won’t use him anymore. If the banks want to up their game, they can hold onto their customers by providing them with a better service and better pricing.”