Sharp increase in MENA corporations connecting to SWIFT
Source: Borouj Consulting for SWIFT , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Fri April 26, 2019 11:30 am

UAE .SWIFT announces today that its corporate treasury user community in the Middle and East North Africa grew by more than 30 percent in 2018. The ambition for 2018-2021 is to more than double the number of corporates using SWIFT for treasury operations.

“SWIFT for Corporates” has been supporting corporate treasurers achieve treasury efficiency since 1997. Now, more than 2,000 corporate groups are using SWIFT. Corporates are also embracing SWIFT gpi – the new standard in global payments – for their transactions, and taking advantage of additional value-added services such as KYC for Corporates, which allows corporates to upload, maintain and share their KYC information with their banks.

Recently, SWIFT organised corporate forums in Dubai and Riyadh in collaboration with Emirates NBD, Kyriba, SABB & NCB to share insights on digitalisation in treasury and the future of cross-border payments. Senior representatives from the banking and financial industry, along with corporate treasurers, attended the events to discuss industry challenges and find solutions to achieve optimisation goals.

The increasingly global nature of business means that companies of all sizes often deal with multiple banking partners spread across the world. SWIFT for Corporates provides a single channel through which treasurers can communicate in a standard way with all of their banks. This brings key benefits such as central visibility of cash positions, decreased operational risk and costs, increased automation levels and integration with internal systems.

A growing number of corporates with regional and global footprints have embraced SWIFT for Corporates to simplify, secure and increase the efficiency of their treasury operations through digitalisation.

Corporates also rely on efficient cross-border payments processing. Speed, certainty and fee transparency are key to running an effective treasury and cash management business. SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) service is transforming the cross-border payments experience for treasurers, enabling them to reduce payment investigations, improve supplier relationships, speed up invoice reconciliation and ultimately achieve greater capital efficiencies.

OLA Energy is an example of a corporation whose highly complex treasury operations have benefitted from SWIFT for Corporates. A regional energy corporation and a key player in the African energy industry, OLA Energy has 105 banking partners globally who are responsible for more than 400,000 transactions per year. With 34 affiliate companies working in 20 different currencies, the decentralised treasury approach was not efficient. The manual payment process was very challenging and lacked cash visibility and security.

Abdessalem Lassoued, Group Treasurer at OLA Energy, said: “Companies today seek operational efficiency. With SWIFT for Corporates, we were able to transform and fully automate the payment process and cash positioning. The new system also enabled us to receive the forecasting and reconciliation from all our offices across the various countries everyday by 6 pm without mistakes or manual errors. Tracking payments through SWIFT saves us a lot of time and adds tangible business benefits, especially when it comes to full visibility of real-time, group-wide cash positions and FX exposure. This implementation is expected to optimise our operational efficiency by 80% and reduce our costs by 20%.”

Mickael Thomas, Head of Corporate Business, SWIFT, said: “As a community facilitator, SWIFT is always developing solutions that make doing business easier, safer, and more cost effective for the financial community and its customers. The increasingly global nature of business today means that companies often deal with multiple banking partners across the world. Corporates benefit from a single, highly secure window to communicate with all their banking partners using global standardised financial messages. The result is a decrease in operational risk and costs as well as improved cash visibility.”

The SWIFT global payments innovation (SWIFT gpi) is the largest change in cross-border payments over the last 30 years and is the new standard. SWIFT gpi dramatically improves the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing their speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking.

Hundreds of thousands of cross-border payments, totalling over $300bn, are sent every day using the new gpi standard. Payments are made quickly, typically within minutes, even seconds.

SWIFT gpi allows corporates to receive an enhanced payments service, with the following key features:

• Faster, same day use of funds within the time zone of the receiving gpi member
• Transparency of fees
• End-to-end payments tracking
• Remittance information transferred unaltered

With SWIFT gpi, the correspondent banking community, together with fintechs, corporates, and others, is collectively removing frictions and reducing the costs associated with cross-border payments. Since its launch in January 2017, gpi has dramatically improved the cross-border payments experience for corporates in over 1,100 country corridors.

Key features of SWIFT gpi include enhanced business rules and a secure tracking database in the cloud accessible via APIs. New gpi services are routinely developed with the gpi member community and rolled out to the growing network of banks.

Thanks to SWIFT gpi, corporates can grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies. On average, 40% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 5 minutes. 50% are credited within 30 minutes; 75% within 6 hours; and almost 100% within 24 hours.

Already, 3,500 banks accounting for 85% of SWIFT’s total payments traffic have committed to adopting gpi and more than 55 payment market infrastructures are already exchanging gpi payments, enabling domestic exchange and tracking. Payment market infrastructures have a critical role to play in facilitating the end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments because as soon as international payments hit the destination country, they are typically cleared through local payment infrastructures.

SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs.

SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. SWIFT’s strategic five year plan, SWIFT2020, challenges SWIFT to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.



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