Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) announces the successful pilot of eBAM (Electronic Bank Account Management) with IBM.
As part of the pilot, IBM created account opening and maintenance requests using standardised XML messages, signed these messages using digital signatures and sent them to RBS via the SWIFT eBAM web portal.
RBS was the only bank based in Europe taking part in the SWIFT pilot. Three other global banks participated, as well as seven of the banks' corporate clients. In the future, enabling eBAM via XML messages will cut out inefficiencies of paper based account management processes and allow for large corporations to connect to the bank directly via the SWIFT communications channel.
Stephan Vandewiele, Head of Global Client Services, Global Transaction Services, RBS, states: "We are delighted with the success of the pilot where IBM has managed to send account opening requests for accounts in the Netherlands and the US successfully in a test environment. As a result, we are now defining the next steps to provide eBAM to our clients. The feedback from IBM regarding the pilot has been very valuable and positive and they can see that once in operation, such a service will allow them to gain efficiencies globally, which will enable further control and visibility of their accounts. As part of the pilot, RBS has also tested account openings in the Germany, France and the UK - all of which have been very successful".
In support of eBAM development, RBS has been involved in the definition of the ISO 20022-certified, bank-agnostic XML standard for account management-related messages that was tested during the pilot, and is a member of the Corporate Advisory Board that consists of SWIFT, banks and corporates.
In order to ensure consistent implementation of the standard, SWIFT provided the functionality to validate whether all test messages sent by banks, corporates and third party ERP system vendors adhered to the standard. Furthermore, the pilot verified that these standardised XML messages could support the varying business processes of both corporations and banks. Key areas such as authorisation via a personal digital signature (SWIFT product: 3SKey) and functionality to look up requirements in a centralised database (e.g. documentation required for an account opening) were tested by the clients
The clear benefits of standardisation and transparency that eBAM provides will ensure that both corporations and banks are eager to take the next steps towards eBAM. It is a joint journey for both banks and corporates to consolidate their information and to move the bank account management processes towards paper-free processes so that they can achieve the complete benefits of fully automated processing, enabled by eBAM.