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Moving Swiftly to SWIFT

by Helen Sanders, Editor

“While we are postponing, life speeds by” (Seneca 5BC – 65AD). Project Seneca’s comment two thousand years forward, and many sage commentators (mainly journalists and my father) are still shaking their heads and bemoaning the pace of life. But with the aftershocks (we hope!) of the financial crisis still shaking many firms, budgets and resource constraints are still obvious reasons – or perhaps excuses – for postponing projects that could bring advantage to the organisation.

One of the projects which is, by its nature, messy and complicated, is to review and enhance bank connectivity. Although the opportunities for corporates to connect with their banks through SWIFT are developing, with steady growth in corporate take-up, should we be seeing greater interest bearing in mind the potential advantages of SWIFT connectivity? In this third edition of TMI’s SWIFT Connectivity Guide, we bring you case studies from new and familiar companies which illustrate the benefits, but also the challenges, of a SWIFT strategy for corporate-to-bank communication.

Looking at most of the data on SWIFT connectivity for corporates, treasurers interested in SWIFT are often regaled with statistics about the number of corporates connected, the regions in which they are headquartered etc. Bob Blair, Head of Channel Management, Asia, J.P. Morgan, summarises,

“There is evidence that SWIFT is now becoming more attractive to smaller companies. The giants such as Microsoft and GE were the early adopters. Furthermore, we see increased prevalence of SWIFT in Asia Pacific, with many existing SWIFT users in the region taking greater advantage of the opportunities it presents. What characterises these organisations is that they are generally large multinational corporations with a global footprint and are seeking to achieve global cash visibility. It is misleading to talk about SWIFT adoption in regional terms as its value proposition is in its global applicability.”