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SWIFT and the Banks – Time for Co-operation?

by Stefano Gemelli, Head of International Cash Management Sales Italy, UniCredit

Having gained certain experience in implementing ‘SWIFT for Corporates’ projects, I often ponder the main advantages customers expect from such activities and the most common unexpected discoveries they are asked to face.

Standardisation in formats, global reach and optimisation of infrastructures can be considered as the most common goals. And they are certainly attainable with various degrees of completion in every project, depending on the level of integration the customer has obtained within the group and the flexibility of the initial setup they are using.

The longest discussions and explanations are usually linked to another betrayed expectation. Customers would like to implement the project only once and they expect banks to be able to exchange instruction files between themselves, providing feedbacks about delivery and execution.

As of today this is not possible, not for technical but for organisational reasons. A global standardisation body should act as the main hub of the system, making sure that configurations are applied to the various banking systems and data are exchanged in pre-defined uniform standard.