Oman-based banking group BankMuscat is reporting a 50% transaction volume increase since the installation of Misys International Banking Systems' (Misys) trade finance processing solution.
The new Trade Innovation product replaces the bank's long-serving, in-house developed software. "We needed a solution that could be integrated with our core system, as well as giving us the potential to introduce new delivery channels in the future," says Musallam Al-Shukairy, assistant general manager, trade finance & overseas credit.
The implementation process took six months to complete, following the finalisation of the contract between BankMuscat and Misys at the end of November 2000.
The automated processing system incorporates applications to process letters of credit, collections, guarantees, bills financing and syndications, and supports the full range of the bank’s trade finance business. Misys also worked with the bank’s staff to develop an interface based on TCP/IP protocols to integrate Trade Innovation, running on the Microsoft Windows NT platform, with BankMuscat’s Unix-based MIE core banking system.
A preliminary assessment by the bank of benefits after the first three months of operation shows that the average volume of transactions being processed has increased by more than 50%. At the same time, the turn around of trade-related transactions such as opening letters of credit, guarantees and collections are being completed in just 25% of the time taken previously.
Musallam Al-Shukairy, explains: “Since Trade Innovation is interfaced directly to both Swift and the bank’s core system, the laborious and time-consuming process of posting entries manually has been eliminated. Outgoing payment messages can be transmitted directly to the Swift network, while incoming payment messages can be mapped directly to the appropriate transaction. This facility has eliminated the need for manual intervention and has dramatically reduced the duplication of effort previously involved."
Currently Trade Innovation is located at the bank’s head office in Muscat, although there are plans to install a network to link the system with BankMuscat’s major regional branches in the future.
The bank is also planning to implement an e-banking front-end to Trade Innovation to provide corporate clients with Internet-based access to the system and offer them the facility to initiate requests or track the progress of letters of credit, as well as making information available on-line.