Market Comment

2008 was dominated by the credit crisis in the financial services industry and global economies. The repercussions of the credit crunch have been felt far and wide, and will continue to impact corporates, banks and their customers and the global financial markets throughout 2009.

Who would have predicted at the beginning of 2008, that by the end of the year, the industry would witness the collapse of so many financial institutions, and that governments worldwide would be forced to create financial recovery packages to inject liquidity and stability into their country's economies?

Against the backdrop of the credit crunch and recent market uncertainty, corporates and retail customers are concerned about the reliability of bank transaction services. A robust corporate-to-bank relationship is vital and banks must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their corporate customers' expectations and requirements for transactions services.

Understanding business needs

In the current financial crisis, corporates are facing higher risks than ever before and they are raising questions around the financial viability of their businesses. Principal concerns include liquidity, the availability of credit, guarantee of payment (both to and from the business) and the ability to reach and be reached by their own customers. The payments industry needs to develop and address all of these concerns through the tools and products it offers.