When I wrote my comment to a previous announcement about the KYC registry I did not want to do the bird of ill omen to SWIFT although all planets seem aligning to put the bank cooperative
into a corner.
announcement from Thomson Reuters that it will develop a central utility for KYC due diligence checking with the launch of Accelus Org ID is another nail in the coffin—after
KYC Exchange Net’s—of SWIFT's ambitions to build and operate a
KYC Registry as an industry-wide utility. I still insist that SWIFT should stay out from developing any kind of software and—instead—stand up as THE voice of all financial institutions
to provide standard rules, clear guidelines, and technical specifications about what data and what workflows should the KYC registry contain and handle. The more SWIFT gives the perception that it wants to develop software, the less the opportunities for success.
The only software SWIFT should develop is for proof of concept models to test, before release, the recommended guidelines and standard procedures.
I am happy to be proven wrong and for that I expect to read soon a press release from SWIFT, backed by the top 100 global banks, reading that SWIFT’s KYC repository is the only one that will be accepted and endorsed, and that SWIFT has been appointed to
develop the software.
If SWIFT claims to represent more than 9,000 financial institutions in 209 countries I still can’t understand how is it possible that KYC Exchange Net stated that its KYC platform is developed “with banks from across Europe and Asia”, and Thomson Reuters
just announced that Accelus Org ID "was developed in partnership with leading financial institutions”. Are these banks sitting at more than one table, or are they the few ones outside the SWIFT community?
Bottom line: SWIFT should make a clear statement that its role is not to develop software but standard procedures, practices, and recommendations. Whoever wants to develop and sell a KYC registry platform must follow SWIFT’s prescriptions and have the software
certified by SWIFT. Anything else will push SWIFT into a corner and make it succumb against more robust and capable software providers.