SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 9,700 financial institutions and corporations in 209 countries, is pleased to announce the successful pilot exercise of the Electronic Bank Account Management Central Utility (E-CU) in conjunction with four global banks. Significant milestones were achieved to support the SWIFT EBAM product development life cycle. Additionally, innovative concepts such as use and population of a central document database were progressed and show great promise towards the development of a full production version of the utility.
The E-CU service creates a single multibank platform for multinational companies and correspondent banks to manage their bank accounts electronically, capitalising on industry standards for Electronic Bank Account Management (EBAM). Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland recently completed the pilot E-CU with SWIFT, along with seven of their customers. The industry pilot was a strategic build upon the Proof of Concept approved only a year ago— garnering community endorsement, infrastructure and industry alignment on market practice for use of the new standards.
Multinational corporations typically manage thousands of highly trafficked bank accounts worldwide every day. With business needs ever-changing and organisations merging, account details can be modified on a daily basis. Further, the management of the operational mandates on these accounts often proves challenging as people join, leave and change positions within their companies. EBAM helps ensure that the account-servicing bank has the same view on these account parameters as the account owner.
In its pilot scope, the E-CU successfully addressed two major financial industry concerns. The first is the risk of different interpretation and usage of EBAM messaging standards. The second is the challenge for the account owners to understand what information is needed for their EBAM instructions per country and per bank.
The E-CU facilitates the preparation of EBAM instructions with a database with document requirements. The database stores, per bank and per country, all the information that the account owner needs to provide, together with EBAM instructions, such as templates and country-specific requests.
Once the EBAM instruction is submitted, the E-CU ensures it complies with all set rules, guidelines and requirements, even if they are country- or bank-specific. This accelerates the exchange of correct information with the aim to achieve EBAM STP.
Furthermore, the E-CU offers a single platform to manage and report on accounts with all participating banks. SWIFT’s multibank personal digital identity solution, 3SKey, is used to secure all ECU transaction and control access to the platform.
The seven pilot corporates used FileAct and also the internet to access the Central Utility. Close to 100 business scenarios were completed, proving the operational value of the E-CU, for SWIFT and non-SWIFT customers alike.
“The positive feedback from the E-CU pilot participants provides the foundation supporting a live E-CU,” said Carlo Palmers, corporate market solution manager, SWIFT, “This pilot project validated the original concept simplifying corporate client access to multiple banks while ensuring data integrity”.