An Interview with Elie Lasker, Solution Manager, Corporate Access Programme, SWIFT
SWIFT for Corporates has already proved a secure, convenient means for larger corporations to communicate with their banking partners. However, there are many smaller organisations which see the potential benefit of a single, bank-independent channel for accessing banking services but which cannot justify the investment in a SWIFT connection. While service bureaus and member/concentrators are now the most common means for new corporates to access SWIFT, which makes connectivity more straightforward, companies with very low volumes have still struggled to demonstrate a cost benefit for connecting to SWIFT. At Sibos in 2007, SWIFT CEO Lázaro Campos promised a new, more convenient method for potential users to access the SWIFT network. A year on, following trials with 15 pilot customers, Alliance Lite was formally launched this year at Sibos.
Alliance Lite is designed for low volume customers, including corporates and small financial institutions, enabling them to connect to SWIFT easily, securely and at low cost. Before its introduction, connecting to SWIFT could often be a time-consuming and costly venture. In contrast, Alliance Lite can be delivered in days and installed in minutes, radically simplifying the process.
Users of Alliance Lite require a standard Internet connection which is secured with a SWIFT-issued hardware security token (a USB stick). There is a user-friendly interface which supports both manual data entry (e.g. inputting payments) through a browser or integration with a company’s treasury management system (TMS) or ERP. The solution is designed for customers sending and receiving up to 200 messages/files a day and supports an expanding range of message types, including payments, advices to receive, bank statements and treasury confirmations.