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Direct Connectivity to SWIFT

by Bob Dashner, Project Manager, Chevron Corporation

While more than 80% of companies now choosing to connect to SWIFT through an indirect method, such as a service bureau or member/concentrator, this was not an option for early adopters, and some companies still choose to implement direct connectivity. Helen Sanders talks to Bob Dashner, Project Manager for Chevron Corporation’s SWIFT implementation about the company’s experiences of direct connectivity to SWIFT.

What encouraged Chevron to consider SWIFT connectivity?

Like many companies, we were and are faced with the challenge of maintaining multiple secure connections between our treasury management system (TMS) and ERP systems (SAP and JDE), and many different methods of communicating with our various banks and financial institutions. This meant that it was often difficult to create a consolidated cash position in the TWS, and setting up multiple, bank-proprietary, security and control requirements, and interface methods for making payments.

We therefore undertook a treasury technology study with the aim of rationalising our bank connectivity, and the opportunity for corporates to connect to SWIFT appeared at about this time using the SCORE model. We recognised that this method of communicating with our banks would address many of the challenges we were experiencing, so we formulated a business case and started the project in late 2007.

How did you go about the implementation?

We appointed a project manager, and engaged both IT and business resource to help. Our aim was to replace all our existing bank connections through SWIFT. We decided to start by routing information through our TMS, which gave better control and meant that there were a limited number of individuals and business partners involved in the initial process. Once that had been implemented, we would then be able to roll out bank communication via SWIFT to the wider business, primarily the various ERPs A/P interfaces.