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Build it and they will come - Corporates agree

As the annual SWIFT event Sibos, kicks off, it is very interesting to review the growth of the network, not just over the past year but back to 1999 when the network was opened up to the corporates sector. To set the scene, today over 5 billion messages pass across the SWIFT network a year and the network offers an impressive 99.999% availability for users. 

Back in 1999 there were 2 corporate groups connected to SWIFT, and by 2009 the numbers had grown to almost 200 on the SWIFT network and now today there are over 1,621 corporate groups using the Network, which  extrapolates out to tens of thousands of entities across the globe.

Corporates can reach and communicate with 2,651 banks via the network and these numbers continue to grow.  Many will be familiar with the work being done by SWIFT to provide corporates with more clarity on the capabilities of each of the various banks connected to the network through the Bank Readiness program.

Breaking down the corporates by turnover, whilst the network initially attracted the very large corporates, we can see that there is significant growth in the under 1 billion USD turnover sector, in fact they represent 38% of all corporates on the network today.  It is also positive news that through the efforts to drive down messaging costs, create an affordable, cloud based network interface, the under 0.5 billion USD turnover sector now makes up some 26% of the corporates on SWIFT. 

The EMEA region is still by far the most mature market with 67% of the total corporates on the network, however, there has been a marked increase in the Asia Pacific region with 11% and 22% in the Americas as at end June 2016.

It is also interesting to note that the industry sectors represented by the corporates on SWIFT is very diversified and includes companies from a vast range of industries - the financial services sector, food producers, oil and gas, travel and leisure, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, travel and leisure, and many more.

Much of the growth in the SWIFT for Corporates sector has been driven by investment in a number of areas with standards, products and services available today that smooth the path for corporates to connect to the network and help them achieve:

-       Secure financial connectivity – security continues to be an issue for us all and SWIFT continues to invest in helping network users to secure their network connections;

-       Automation and compliance – there are many examples to prove the automation reduces cost, improves operational efficiency and helps to meet the regulatory and compliance requirements of our industry;

-       Identity and mandate management – another important aspect for security and control;

-       Certainty and efficiency in the supply chain – receiving payments from customers and importantly ensuring payments to suppliers, partners and service providers is essential for efficient cash management and control.

Corporates are also taking full advantage of the training, consulting and business intelligence services available to ensure they are maximising the benefits of the network.

Standards continues to be at the heart of the SWIFT network, and the positive effect on the financial supply chain can be demonstrated by the increasing traffic flows between corporates and banks driven by the demand for automation and operational efficiencies.

The subject of Standards will be covered in my next blog with highlights covering the key messaging standards, their adoption rates and the benefits they deliver for corporates.  We believe the market has embraced messaging standards and by working with the industry, we continue to expand the message standards portfolio in order to meet the demands of corporates not just today but into the future.

Please drop by the SWIFT Stand at Sibos in Geneva 26 to 29 September, it would be great to see you!



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