Vodafone goes live on Swift Service Bureau from SMA Financial

Source: SMA Financial

SMA Financial, SWIFT Regional partner for UK, Eire and the Channel Islands today announced that Vodafone, the international mobile telecommunications group, has completed a migration project to move its SWIFT connectivity to the outsourced SMA Service Bureau. The project will free up staff time and enable easier access to value-added services, whilst offering future proof scalability and flexibility around Vodafone Treasury's payment processing using the SWIFT network.

SMA first assisted Vodafone with implementing an in-house independent connection to SWIFT. However maintaining the infrastructure was proving to be increasingly time consuming and challenging to manage and Vodafone wanted to explore other SWIFT connectivity options. Following an evaluation of the availability and maturity of outsourced Bureaux, Vodafone selected SMA's SWIFT Service Bureau.

Fraser Lee, Treasury Systems Manager, Vodafone explains, "We have a long standing relationship with SMA Financial and their consultants already had a detailed understanding of our SWIFT Infrastructure and requirements. A key reason for choosing SMA's Service Bureau is that it has the highest level of accreditation from SWIFT and is backed up by one of the world's largest teams of accredited consultants. Additionally as SMA is a SWIFT specialist, we felt that they were best positioned to support our on-going requirements and the right long term SWIFT partner for us."

Vodafone operates a centralised treasury that funds all group subsidiaries from the UK. It makes payments, sends and receives statements over SWIFT from its treasury management system via the SMA Service Bureau. The total value of payments made on a daily basis runs into millions of pounds therefore payment processing is central to maintaining efficient cash and treasury management.

Lee adds, "SMA ensured that the migration, setup and testing of our SWIFT connectivity was a straightforward process and the service that we have received has been responsive and knowledgeable. By entrusting the management of our critical SWIFT connectivity to SMA we have insulated ourselves from the impact of any future changes to SWIFT or any increase in our payment volumes. We have also been able to move our focus away from systems maintenance which frees up valuable time to be spent on leveraging other SWIFT capabilities that will deliver incremental value for Vodafone."

Neil Gray, Director Corporate Solutions for UK and IreUK and Ireland at SWIFT added, "An outsourced Service Bureau is proving the favoured connectivity model for many large corporates as it provides an easy, cost-effective and scaleable means of accessing the SWIFT network. By freeing up resources that would otherwise have been involved in managing the SWIFT infrastructure in-house, it also allows the treasury department to focus on other more profitable and value-added activities."

Simon Murby, Managing Director, SMA Financial concluded, "The project at Vodafone highlights how corporates can benefit from outsourcing their SWIFT connectivity to a proven Service Bureau. Our deep domain knowledge ensures that can help corporates that are looking to make better use of the secure SWIFT network and related services to increase payment processing efficiency, increase straight-through processing (STP) and reduce operational risk."

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