HSBC launches real-time payments for business clients

HSBC is improving payments for its business clients through a suite of tools launched last week called Treasury APIs, which are designed to speed up payments for small businesses and large corporate clients alike. 

HSBC’s Treasury APIs embed payment capabilities into other workflows. According to the bank, this allows treasurers to make payments from their own workstations without logging into a proprietary bank platform. Clients receive confirmation that a payment request has been received and can track payments from their accounts to recipients.

Nadya Hijazi, head of digital, global liquidity and cash management at HSBC, said clients using the tool include e-commerce platforms, treasury teams and mutual fund teams. 

The new products let HSBC business clients pay suppliers more quickly; Hijazi said payments that used to take anywhere from one or two days in the past now take about 10 or 20 seconds. 

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HSBC, which is headquartered in London, has $2.7 trillion in assets. Treasury APIs are now available in 27 markets throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The bank piloted the tools in India last summer. 

In addition to paying suppliers, HSBC business customers can also issue refunds to customers with speed and efficiency. In the past, e-commerce platforms would have to wait until the next day to refund customers, but HSBC’s new tools allow clients to refund customers in real time. Treasury APIs connect business clients’ banking data directly to back-office systems and clients can also view their liquidity positions in real time, without having to wait until the end of the business day.  

Other banks are also working to improve the payments experience for business clients. In September, BNP Paribas partnered with Kantox to help corporations automate foreign exchange transactions. Meanwhile, Citibank recently partnered with HighRadius to speed up cross-border payments for its corporate clients. And last summer, American Express acquired business-to-business payments company Acompay to eliminate pain points for its corporate clients.  

HSBC said Treasury APIs are compatible with businesses of all sizes. “What we find is there’s a lot more uptake from clients on the smaller end of the customer base because they have more flexible and up-to-date systems,” Hijazi said. 

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