First Rand Bank automates corporate payment chain

Source: Bytes Technology Group

FirstRand Bank Limited together with Bytes Technology Group (BTG) its implementation partner, has successfully executed a solution to automate the receipt, validation and processing of payment instructions received from customers via SWIFT within an MA-CUG (Member Administered Closed User Group).

The solution was piloted with Eskom Holdings Ltd, a major corporate client of FirstRand Bank, and is currently being rolled out to other customers. Trevor Cross, the Treasury Operations Manager of Eskom Ltd, a leading advocate of MA-CUGS in South Africa is an extremely satisfied FirstRand customer: "Automation and STP are critically important in our business, and FirstRand Bank is a key enabler with this solution".

To a corporate customer, “a payment is a payment is a payment”! Simplifying the payment process and automation of the entire chain, from initiation to final reconciliation is paramount. This has been the key underlying objective of the project, to be rolled out in well-defined phases. The initial step in this project was to automate the processing of single domestic payments. The next phases will enable the Bank to leverage off SWIFTNet to deliver the benefits of SWIFTNet InterAct and SWIFTNet FileAct to customers and correspondent banks alike.

"The adoption of a Services Oriented Architecture approach using the SeeBeyond Platform has enabled FirstRand to transform the way in which payments and messaging have historically been handled." says Rob Green, Head of Payments, FirstRand Bank Ltd. "This centralised focus has enabled us to become a strategic role-player in the market, influencing and setting payments and messaging –related standards locally and internationally."

Core functions such as validation, message enrichment, bulk file handling, transformation, OFAC filtering, message formatting, authentication and STP handling are being brought together and offered as services within the FirstRand Group using state-of-the-art technology and refined business processes. Key to its success is the ability to offer these services in a cost-effective way and enable FirstRand to respond rapidly to the ever-changing environments, customer requirements, industry initiatives and legislative framework.

Tommy Erlank, Account Executive (BSI), Bytes Technology Group adds: "The solution clearly strengthens FirstRand’s competitiveness in our highly contested banking industry by markedly improving service delivery. We are exited to be a part of this important initiative, providing leading technology and professional consulting services."

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