Financial messaging network Swift, working in conjunction with 15 member banks, has set a Q2 2005 deadline for delivery of a new solution for automating payments exceptions and investigations.
The SwiftNet Exceptions and Investigations Business Validation Group was formed in the wake of a 2003 study into the processes and costs of handling exceptions and investigations for bank-to-bank treasury and commercial payment instructions.
"The business case revealed that only about four per cent of enquiries are currently managed fully automatically," explains Catherine Banneux, SwiftNet exceptions and investigations solution manager. "When you consider that 57% of queries and investigations could be automated, there is clearly a big efficiency gap."
Potential savings resulting from improved productivity in the handling of Swift category 1 and 2 related investigations are estimated at EUR48 million per year in staff time.
The proposed solution, comprising standards, XML-based messaging service and rulebook, will also create opportunities for banks to develop and market new revenue generating customer self-service menus says Banneux.
Daniel Sanz, head of international, treasury and securities projects at Group Banco Popular, agrees: "Reusability of this full set of Swift solutions for our corporate customers will help us improve our competitive position. It will not only lead to large cost reductions but also enable us to add real-value to our cash management portfolio."
Banks supporting the initiative are: ABN Amro, ANZ, Banca Intesa, Bank of New York, Barclays, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Group Banco Popular HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, KBC Bank N.V. – Fin-Force, La Caixa, Natexis Banques Populaires, Royal Bank of Scotland. Two third-party vendors - Pegasystems and SunGard EPI - are also in support.
The first pilots are expected to be ready by the end of 2005, with a live production system operating from Q2 2006.