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Würth’s Successful SEPA Start

TMI talks to Claus Wild, Project Manager Introduction SAP-BCM, Würth, about his company’s implementation of SWIFT as an early adopter of SEPA accompanied by Commerzbank AG

How was your payments business organized before implementing SWIFT?

Until we introduced SWIFT we used a heterogeneous set of systems, and we still do so today. A Shared Service Center provides services to the majority of our domestic subsidiaries. Our foreign companies are serviced by Würth Finance International B.V., which runs a Payment Factory. The domestic companies may choose their packages from various service levels.

In the basic version, we provide MT940 account statements, which we either forward to the respective company and/or enter into the corresponding SAP systems for further processing. In addition to account statements, outgoing payments are created before transmitting to a great variety of credit companies. The signatures for these payments are provided using one centralized protocol. Current accounts abroad are, or were, integrated into the existing infrastructure through agreements with our principal banks.

Most of the payments are effected directly from our SAP-system. Urgent payments etc. are entered directly in the bank application.

The middleware between us and the banks is an application that corresponds to the rules of the German ‘Central Credit Committee’, that is, only the domestic formats and/or transmission channels are supported. The subsidiaries are authorized to use their own applications for individual payments in addition to this.