Up to 19 banks have been lined up for pilot trials of a new SwiftNet service for automating payments exceptions across the financial messaging network.
The pilot trials, scheduled to begin in October, are the culmination of a two-year study into the processes and costs of handling exceptions and investigations for bank-to-bank treasury and commercial payment instructions. Banks participating in the programme are expected to reap substantial savings in staff costs as the tool automates up to 60% of payments-related enquiries
Ian Ratcliffe, SVP, senior relationship manager at the financial institutions division of Scandinavian bank Nordea, believes implementation will also provide a foundation for generating new revenue streams.
"Ultimately these payments services will be a new source of revenue," he says. "Using the solution, service providers can implement new online payment services at a lower unit cost."
The service comprises a packaged set of SwiftNet components designed to promote STP. Message standards have been developed for four business flows that can be fully automated (Request for cancellation, Request for modification, Unable to apply and Beneficiary claims non-receipt). The result is a total of 16 SwiftStandards XML messages, which will be complemented with usage, operational and business rules to reflect best business practice.
Swift has launched a third-party application vendor programme, and expects up to four vendors to apply for labelling by Sibos in September. Both SunGard and Pegasystems have worked in consultation with banks and Swift in the development phase.
Swift says the payments-related initiative is the first of many potential application areas for the workflow concepts behind the new tool, which is expected to be extended to deal with STP bottlenecks in securities processing.