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CGI – What’s it All About and Can it Really Deliver?

by Mark Sutton, Senior Payments and Integration Services Consultant, Citi and founder member, CGI

To some people, CGI is yet another acronym in the financial sector. But to those who are already more closely involved, the Common Global Implementation group promises to take message harmonisation in the cash management sector to a new level.

The CGI was formed in October 2009, with SWIFT once again playing host for the inaugural meeting of an inclusive collaborative group of key stakeholders – banks, vendors, corporates and national payment associations – that would re-define the competitive boundaries within the cash management space. This is not just another article about ISO 20022 XML messaging – it’s about a significant changing mindset in the cash management world.

Message standardisation would become a vital factor in the new world.

The CGI was a logical evolution of the earlier CSTP (Corporate Straight-through Processing) Bank Group, the original key stakeholder collaborative effort which was formed in June 2003 on the back of the RosettaNet and TWIST initiatives. While the CSTP was a success in terms of establishing greater collaboration, it lacked the formal governance model that would underpin its ongoing growth. It is also important to acknowledge other independent initiatives on the market at this time that also had a focus on standards and ideally, a more consistent method of interpretation and adoption. This included the CRG (Corporate Reference Group), UN/CEFACT TBG5 forum and, of course, the SWIFT SCORE (Standardised CORporate Environment) initiative. However, with the birth of CGI came a new dawn, as participants from these previously independent groups joined forces to make a more globally diverse and inclusive CGI forum. The CGI has the added benefit of formal terms and conditions, which include the election of co-convenors who represent the financial and corporate community. With SWIFT providing the secretariat, it has a very firm foundation and now enjoys a membership of 41 institutions and associations globally, with interest continuing to grow across all stakeholder groups.