Swift sets up one-stop shop for reference data

Swift sets up one-stop shop for reference data

Financial messaging co-operative Swift is bundling its suite of data directories to create a Web-based one-stop shop for payments-related reference data.

The Brussels-based group says the SwiftRef family of products will help financial institutions eliminate costly payment errors arising from bad data, and increase straight-through-processing (STP).

Financial institutions signing up for the service - to be made available in January next year - will be able to cherry pick across Swift's range of directory services for relevant files and feeds, which will be accessed via the cloud and Web services technology.

According to Swift, almost one-third of non-STP payments are caused by bad reference data, and with manual intervention to correct the details of the payment costing between EUR20 and EUR40 per incident, this problem amounts to millions of euros potentially lost each day.

Patrik Neutjens, head of reference data at Swift says: "The issue of poor reference data is only getting worse because of the sheer increase in global payments being made. This is why only an industry-driven initiative and contribution can help the financial community."

Directory services to fall under the SwiftRef banner, include Swift's SSI database, national clearing and sort codes, and Sepa routing information, among others. Cross-referencing links to the proposed Legal Entity Identifier utility which is to be built and operated by Swift and the DTCC are also promised.

Neutjens says SwiftRef will help the co-operative widen its addressable market for reference data. He says the products are aimed at the 3500 or so banks which process a significant amount of international payments and the many corporations that also comprise this market.

Says Neutjens: "Our research shows that financial institutions are working hard to increase back-office efficiency to reduce costs. This requires tailor-made, integrated data that's constantly updated. That's where Swift can help."

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