JPMorgan has successfully completed a pilot implementation of Swift's Alliance Lite interface with the Belgium-based treasury business of the interbank co-operative.
Alliance Lite was introduced by Swift at its banking and operations conference in September as a low-cost way for corporates and low-volume banking users to connect to the financial messaging network over the Internet.
Francis Vanbever, CFO of Swift, says: "When our commercial colleagues developed a low-cost product for use by smaller companies it seemed logical for us to be a pilot user as well and provide feedback."
Swift's treasury department piloted Alliance Lite for wire payment initiation and account reporting, and has plans to extend its usage further in the future.
"We worked closely with JPMorgan during the pilot and were pleased with how user-friendly the product was," says Venbever.
Swift is targeting roughly 200 users per year for the product, which can be delivered as a USB device, alleviating the need for a heavy investment in software and hardware.
The introduction of the new product has ruffled feathers among operators of Swift Service Bureaux and banks catering to the mid-market corporate sector, who fear that the co-operative may undermine their commercial offerings.
As a big bank customer with a large investment in proprietary technology for corporate treasuries, JPMorgan's support for the initiative is a boost for Swift as it takes the product to market.
Brian Wedge, Swift product manager at JPMorgan's treasury services business in London, comments: "JPMorgan has supported many Swift initiatives in the past and we are delighted to report that Alliance Lite had a very smooth start. We expect many corporate and financial institution clients to evaluate the feasibility of using Swift for bank communications in the future and the availability of Alliance Lite will make this much easier for all concerned."