Citi Global Transaction Services today announced it has completed the first phase of the Swift eBAM XML pilot programme along with its partner, Royal Dutch Shell plc ('Shell') and their bank account management application provider, Speranza.
The scope of the pilot included a Shell corporate signer initiating instructions from a Speranza application and digitally signing using Citi-issued high assurance digital identities. The messages were successfully tested for receipt and validation at Citi's end.
The current process of bank account management (i.e. opening, maintaining, and closing accounts) is a manual, paper-based activity leading to high costs and inefficiencies for both corporates and banks. eBAM aims to standardise the process of account opening, account closing and mandate management. The purpose is to enable straight-through processing, thereby reducing commercial risk and increasing the speed in opening bank accounts.
Swift has been asked by its community to facilitate and lead a project to develop standards for bank account management, including developing messaging standards for the processes of opening, maintaining, and closing bank accounts.
Rajesh Mehta, Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at Citi, said, "We feel that it is vital as a key player in the industry that we not only participate, but strive to achieve this. We are delighted that we have been able to complete this first phase in the Swift eBAM XML pilot programme with our colleagues from Shell and will now look to continue our work in this space on the second phase in the programme."
Darsh Johal, Head of Global Cash Management at Shell said, "We are very pleased with the outcome of the pilot around mandate management as this fully supports our objectives to automate and standardise finance processes. This has been a great example of collaborative innovation between Citi, Shell, Speranza and SWIFT and we look forward to take the eBAM initiative to the next level."
The SWIFT standards development approach involves the participation of two independent expert groups: the Industry Consultation Group and the Business Validation Group, as well as a number of financial institutions, corporates and technology vendors.
These standards must be in the public domain and useable over any network and security mechanism. Swift has integrated the result of this pilot programme into the ISO certification submission.