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Breaking Boundaries: Unveiling MUFG Investor Services’ Strategic Leap into Payments

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MUFG Investor Services’ Alt Insider recently sat down with Adil Rehman, Managing Director, Global Head of Payments & Liquidity. Adil is leading the development of the MUFG Investor Services banking ecosystem. Discover why Adil chose MUFG Investor Services, why the business is expanding its banking solutions, the role technology plays in achieving this, and much more.

Q: Why did you choose to work with MUFG Investor Services?

MUFG Investor Services is one of the leading players in the asset servicing and administration space, developing a cutting-edge platform within an agile and collaborative environment stood out as a unique and exciting opportunity. While we are well known in asset servicing administration and fund financing, our journey in banking solutions is in its early stages, giving me the chance to oversee the development and evolution of payment and cash management services. In addition to this, MUFG Investor Services is a leader in technology, as well as part of one of the largest banks in the world, allowing us to better serve our clients and unlock more value for them.

Q: Why are we entering the payments and cash management spaces now?

There are several factors that drive our entry into payments and cash management. Firstly, the payment industry continues to experience rapid growth, however, the focus on serving financial institutions, compared to the consumer space, has been limited. While consumer banking has evolved to offer user-friendly experiences, the same hasn’t translated to financial institutions. This presents a major opportunity.

Secondly, we are extremely well positioned to enter this space from a technology and global footprint perspective. We can leverage our cloud-based systems and international presence to enhance the way clients operate their bank accounts and payments on a global scale.

Finally, we strive to offer a comprehensive suite of integrated solutions to our clients and there is a natural alignment which stems from the many synergies banking and payments have with the existing core services we provide. In our endeavor to provide continuity and ease of implementation across our clients’ entire operations, banking and payments are central in this intersection between the various activities, and delivering best-in-class solutions in this space can generate a material impact.

Please note: MUFG Investor Services payments service is still under development.

Q: What differentiates us from our competitors?

We set ourselves apart by our ability to address clients’ various operational challenges. With a keen focus on improving cash management efficiency amidst rising interest rates and funding costs, we aim to help clients consolidate and optimize their cash positions. Our commitment to providing value through tailored solutions, coupled with a centralized treasury offering spanning multiple banking providers, allows clients access to a broad panel of FX liquidity providers and diverse set of payment rails.

One of our core strengths is cultivating strong partnerships with our clients built around their unique needs. By understanding their goals and objectives, we deliver curated solutions that help them tackle their biggest challenges and achieve their vision. This commitment positions us as a trusted partner and a strategic ally in addressing our clients’ evolving needs.

Q: What role does technology play in this?

Technology plays a pivotal role in achieving our ambitions. It enables you to really scale a business and provides access to data, clear visibility into positions, and valuable analytics for informed decision-making. Technology facilitates connectivity and data aggregation across various platforms, centralizing our clients’ banking information. This addresses the challenge of fragmented data caused by clients using multiple banks. The right technology streamlines operations, making our solutions more cost-effective and efficient.

Q: And finally, how has the banking ecosystem evolved in the past 12 months?

Over the past year, the banking ecosystem has undergone significant transformation. In fact, there has been more change in the banking industry for institutions in the last three years than in the previous three decades. While consumer banking has seen notable improvements, institutional banking has also made strides. One major evolution has been the increased standardization and sharing of data. Similar to the principles of Open Banking enforced in the consumer sector, we are now witnessing a trend toward data sharing in the institutional side of banking. This has allowed for more efficient and standardized data exchange between banks, leading to better centralization of information and enhanced efficiency in managing trapped cash and liquidity. Another major evolution has been the move towards same day and real-time processing.