Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets division first developed the Autobahn App market at the beginning of 2011. In 2012, we are rolling out apps for Global Transaction Banking (GTB). The launch of the Autobahn App Market, the first "App-based" electronic client offering in the financial services industry, enables our GTB business to provide the enhanced functionality of our treasury platform to clients, but also creates a gateway to our electronic products and services.
The Autobahn App Market allows central access to a wide range of electronic transaction banking services, as well as to Deutsche Bank’s award-winning research, commentary and market data and enables corporate clients to trade electronically across all asset classes. Historically, many banking products haven’t always reflected the vision of the market we operate in.
The App Market provides one place through which customers can access different bundles of services they want to use. For example, Treasurers might want to use FX or interest rate apps or some of our cash management products. Others might just want to take advantage of our cash and trade applications. With the App Market, we are able to provide a customised offering to our clients, not just in one massive portal, but in such a way that it is easier to find the services they want to use in the most efficient manner.
Using this unique approach, Deutsche Bank’s electronic service is now a tailored experience for clients with an App-based operating model, allowing us to select appropriate services and packages and deliver them as custom solutions. From a treasurer’s perspective, this means that the Autobahn App Market allows cash and liquidity management products and services to be grouped according to individual company requirements and business cycles –treasurers can select the precise tools they need. Treasurers also benefit from enhanced efficiency of operations, interface-consistency, and the greatly increased transparency of information, reports and records, as these are all accessible from a centralised access point.
How does the Autobahn App market appear to the treasurer community? We have redesigned more than 100 electronic banking services across Deutsche Bank into apps, which can now be accessed through a single sign-on. There is a section called ‘My Apps’ and a search engine, which makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. It also allows customers to group together services they want in a more convenient way. Historically, the way we developed technology was constrained by how we released updates or new solutions to customers. Using the Autobahn App Market enables us to develop and release apps at the same pace, providing a one-stop-shop for all products and eliminating the need for clients to maintain multiple systems.
Deutsche Bank started off the App Market with apps from Global Markets? What other apps will be rolled-out? Currently there are a total of 130 apps in the Autobahn App market. Many customers only want two to five apps. So each customer is different. We have already rolled-out apps for fund administration, trade instruction and workflow tracking for hedge funds, liquidity management, securities lending and financial supply chain management. We will also be rolling-out additional apps including transaction banking products and services. The apps are not new products as such. What has changed is the way the bank delivers the functionality to clients.
The Autobahn App Market reflects the increasing collaboration on the product development side between Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets and Global Transaction Banking divisions. What was the thinking behind the collaboration? What really drove the collaboration was that on the Global Markets side we are the leading FX house globally and we wanted to get as much flow as possible. The only way to get more flow from customers was to increase our market share. That meant increasing volumes by finding new markets. Transaction banking gave us a different route into the different needs of customers. From the GTB side, the rationale was that we were doing a good job with payments, so the question was raised on how could we make that customer relationship more sticky? What do customers want? We’ve got the world’s best FX house sitting on one side of us and the senior management of both divisions thought they could have something even more powerful if the two were brought together.
FX4Cash is an example of a product that was created through joint collaboration between GTB and Global Markets? What other similar products are you working on? FX4Cash was probably the most obvious, given Deutsche Bank’s traditional dominance in FX. It enables treasurers to make payments in multiple currencies without having to maintain bank accounts for each currency. With Liquidity Manager, which combines web-based liquidity management with foreign exchange and investment services in a single location, we started looking at how we could converge that with Autobahn Treasury, which is an integrated approach to treasury and liquidity management. How do you help treasurers manage liquidity and trade out of FX pools and then help them make payments in different currencies? We had separate products on the Global Markets and GTB side and we thought about how we could provide something more holistic. The App Market has made that sort of collaboration a lot easier as we are using the same technology platform.
If GTB and Global Markets were not working so closely together, would you have been able to come up with a holistic solution for the client? GTB could have solved one aspect of it, the payment side, but a treasurer is not only interested in the GTB element, but also the FX side of things. A treasurer thinks about managing liquidity across multiple currencies. They do not see them as separate components (the payment, FX, investments), although historically, banks have offered these products and services as separate solutions. Now with the Autobahn App Market, we can bring those aspects together more seamlessly to provide the customer with a holistic solution. The many ways in which this collaborative approach can be applied is limitless. If you look at what’s going on with hedge funds having to manage collateral and liquidity in multiple currencies, we now have a better chance of being able to help these clients via collaboration across the bank. That becomes more achievable so it opens up more opportunities for both us and our clients. The challenge is that, as a bank, we have to realize our clients are changing and understanding how we innovate to help them. The App Market allows us to be more fleet of foot.
On the product development side how do you engage with your corporate customers to ensure you are developing products they want to use rather than ones the bank wants to promote? We have corporate advisory committees, which enable clients to give us feedback on the challenges they are facing and how we can help them meet them. Sometimes clients will tell you they need a solution for payments, but when you get into a deeper conversation with them you discover they actually need a solution that crosses payments and trade finance. If we can understand the problems they are trying to solve, we have a better chance of helping them.