In a bid to tap into the SME market, Australia's BankWest has added a new Internet-based international trade finance system to its online business banking platform.
The service is based on technology supplied by China Systems and is completely Web-enabled with no dial-up required, says BankWest, which is part of the HBOS banking group.
Says Carl Favaloro, national manager for international trade banking, BankWest: "CFOs or authorisors can authorise their transactions at anytime, anywhere and because it is also fully integrated into our back office it uses real time processing."
The system enables direct data entry by the customer, simplifying the process and reducing potential for data errors. Data is captured at source with straight-through processing from the front to the back end, says Favaloro. The application can also save frequently used transactions and use them to create templates for future use.
Paul Clark, chief executive, BankWest Business, says the new system is one of a number of initiatives planned by the bank to tap into the highly-competitive SME market.
"Feedback from customers increasingly focuses on a need for fast, reliable online transactional banking services with expanded functionality across trade, payments and other financial transactions," says Clark. "Online International Trade cuts across a number of key customer segments and the new system will allow us to build an enhanced offering across our customer base."