Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Nordea, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered Bank have announced their involvement in the development of the SAP Financial Services Network (FSN), a cloud-based corporate-to-bank connectivity platform.
The seven banks announced their involvement in the new connectivity platform at a roundtable event on day one at Sibos in Osaka, Japan. SAP expect client testing with the initial partner banks to begin in the first quarter of 2013 with a general release set for the second quarter of next year.
The private-cloud-based FSN is meant to simplify managing multi-bank relationships, while supporting financial control, risk management and supply chain financing. The time to set up connectivity, along with the corresponding costs, is expected to be reduced by the using the FSN.
David Watson, head of client access, Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank comments that he expects the time it takes to establish connectivity with a new corporate - which can take anywhere between two to nine months - to be reduced to a few weeks by using SAP's FSN.
Simpler connectivity between banks and their corporate clients is something the industry, including Swift with its Swift for corporates offerings, has struggled with for many years, comments Watson. The comparisons with Swift's offerings caused one audience member to ask "If Swift had done their job properly would this be unnecessary?"
A spokesperson for SAP was quick to point out that the vendor is not in the financial messaging space and that Swift is not in the business of solving last-mile enterprise resource planning.