Banks and corporates have been given the go-ahead to use the Swift financial messaging network for the exchange of trade finance-related information, including Letters of Credit advice and applications.
The move follows the Swift Board decision on 10 June to extend the Score (Standardised CORporate Environment) participant model to include trade messaging, for the first time.
Corporates connected to Swift view exchanging trade messages as the next valuable step after payments, cash management and treasury activities, says Arthur Cousins, a director of strategy and product development at the Standard Bank of South Africa and Swift board member.
He adds: "This represents a major step forward for banks, to provide a complete trade offering to their corporate customers."
The service will use the Swift MT 798 messaging envelope for exchanging trade data relating to Import Letters of Credit, Export Letters of Credit and Guarantees/Standby Letters of Credit.
Guidelines for using the service have been based on the experience of the German banking community, which has operated a national corporate to bank standard for information exchange since the late 1990s.
Says Cousins: "Banks, corporates and vendors are spending serious time evaluating our proposals – their contributions are essential to Swift’s success.”