Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Partnership aims for seamless connectivity with financial institutions

Example of connecting and linking entities through string and nails

A new partnership between SWIFT and SAP is aiming to deliver a smoother way for corporates to connect with multiple banks.

SWIFT has announced that it is joining forces with SAP to offer treasurers “out-of-the-box” integration with financial institutions.

Cloud-based SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity is designed for corporate-to-bank connectivity for SAP S/4HANA customers. The multi-bank, multi-country access solution is expected to lower onboarding costs and increase transparency and control. Companies will have the option of an embedded connection to the SWIFT network or bank connectivity through their usual banking partners.

According to Marc Delbaere, Head of Corporates and Supply Chain, SWIFT, treasurers working with multiple banks to meet their international cash, liquidity and risk management needs can face a proliferation of different banking tools.

This makes it difficult to obtain timely and complete information, transmit instructions in a consistent way, and integrate with internal systems, increasing complexity and operational risk. “The integration of the SWIFT channel within SAP treasury solutions provides a smoother way to work with many banks in a standardised way,” says Delbaere.

The partnership is the convergence of SAP strategically moving towards cloud solutions, and SWIFT packaging its bank connectivity in more effective ways for vendors. The solution provides the lightest footprint to connect to SWIFT. As an “innovative fit-for-purpose solution” it is expected to be “very effective at what it does – connecting SAP customers to SWIFT”.

Options

Although for some large organisations, the out-of-the-box approach of this new offering may not be suitable, Delbaere says this new integrated solution “will cater for the needs of a large proportion of corporates”.

For non-SAP corporates, SWIFT is already providing embedded connectivity solutions, with around a dozen treasury management systems. “Other connectivity options to SWIFT, mainly service bureaus and cloud connectivity, continue to remain effective for multi-vendor environments,” says Delbaere.

For corporates looking to add further value around central visibility of cash, control efficiency and process flexibility, he says SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi), a collaboration with major banks, can improve speed, transparency and traceability of payments

Treasury Today recently revealed that nearly 50% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes, and almost 100% of payments within 24 hours. “In addition, a real-time view of payments means banks are able to provide corporates with better cash management services, and they can be informed immediately when a payment is received,” says Delbaere.

In November 2018, SWIFT will include a new end-to-end transaction reference in all payment instructions. This is expected to offer corporates full tracking capabilities across the payment chain, automatically providing status updates to confirm when a payment has been completed.