Swift launches corporate Iban validation kit

Swift launches corporate Iban validation kit

Financial information network Swift is marketing a directory and software tool designed to help corporates validate and set-up Iban account codes for customer and supplier payments in time for the Sepa deadline.

At the end of 2012, it will become mandatory under Sepa to use Ibans and BICs to identify the parties to payments transactions, creating a headache for corporates who still use old-style account numbers to process payments.

To comply,corporates need to validate the Ibans and BICs of their customers and suppliers, and build a repository of financial institution information in their CRM/ERP systems. On an ongoing basis, they will then need to maintain this data - validating the account information of new customers as they come on board, and applying any changes that arise to existing Ibans and BICs.

Swift says its BICPlusIBAN Directory enables corporates to validate the bank code in any Iban, validate the existence of a BIC, validate the Sepa-specific correspondence between a BIC and an Iban or find the Sepa-specific BIC if missing, and build a list of financial institutions in a CRM/ERP system.

The initiative will once again pitch Swift into competition with its largest banks and third party directory suppliers, who have been actively marketing Iban conversion software to businesses.

According to the Swift Website, licensing for the Directory runs from $3700 for a single user to $47,500 for an international licence with unlimited users.

Patrik Neutjens, head of reference data at Swift, says: "As we build out our reference data solutions, we are identifying more and more opportunities to support our corporate customers in this area. The tailored pricing of our BICPlusIBAN Directory to meet the specific requirements of corporates under Sepa is the first in a series of initiatives in which Swift will provide reference data solutions targeted to address the pain points of corporates."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 July, 2011, 16:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Experian has worked closely with SWIFT for many years and is pleased to include their BICpLusIBAN directory as one of 30 different data sources within its Bank Wizard validation software.

SWIFT offers very good quality reference data that helps a corporate establish if a bank code entered into their payment systems actually exists. This helps ensure that a payment potentially reaches the correct electronic address for the bank – but alone these will not guarantee that the payment reaches the correct beneficiary. 

In order for the payment process to be completed successfully, the beneficiary account number needs to be valid and correctly formatted and actually belong to the associated bank. This requires not only bank directories but also comprehensive account number validation against the latest rules and routines at both a domestic and an IBAN level. From our research this solution alone would fail to catch at least a third of errors in payment data. 

When considering the best solution for validating and converting payments data into IBAN and BIC for SEPA, bank directories can help but alone will not be sufficient.