Microsoft Makes Moves to Dramatically Streamline Corporate Payments

Microsoft Works With SWIFT and Key Industry Participants on RosettaNet Payments Pilot And Launches RosettaNet Payments Toolkit

SINGAPORE - Today at the SIBOS 2003 Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced it
is participating in the RosettaNet Payment Milestone Program, an initiative
designed to drive the automation of payments from RosettaNet business processes. Microsoft also announced today the launch of its RosettaNet Payments Toolkit, a software solution that will support this initiative and provide financial institutions and their corporate customers with an efficient way of automating the payment process for supply chain transactions.

The toolkit, which forms part of the Microsoft® BizTalk® Accelerator for SWIFT, aims to provide a cost-effective way for banks and corporations to integrate the payment process quickly and easily into existing information technology systems. This is part of Microsoft's effort to deliver automated financial messaging solutions to lower costs and decrease settlement cycle times. Currently, the payments process still often relies heavily on manual reconciliation to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, representing
significant costs to banks and businesses.

"Industry estimates indicate that for every billion dollars in sales, the cost to corporations alone for settling these transactions is around $27 million," said Josh Weisberg, senior product manager for E-Business Server Marketing at Microsoft. "The transition to automated processes that use standard messaging infrastructure and technologies for handling corporate payments will result in huge cost savings for both corporations and banks."

By using Microsoft's solution, corporations can automate the payment initiation and reconciliation of credit advices with remittance advices, using the SWIFT payment initiation and cash-reporting Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards. These standards can be integrated into treasury, ERP and accounting systems, allowing for more advanced cash management and greatly reducing the costs associated with manual processes. Banks will no longer be required to manage multiple proprietary connections with their customers and will be able to minimize resources required to handle exceptions, dramatically cutting the cost per transaction.

Although the toolkit is aimed at the RosettaNet community - a catalyst for the first implementation of SWIFT XML standards - the BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT and the SWIFT standards themselves are not industry-specific. They can be used by many industries to communicate with their financial institutions.

Organizations also can use a business activity monitoring (BAM) dashboard to
track all payments traffic, giving a complete and accurate view of cash flow at any one time. The toolkit includes tools for manual entry and repair of messages and trade errors via the Microsoft Office InfoPath(tm) 2003 information-gathering program, a new feature of the Microsoft Office System,
designed to gather and manage back-office process information from the desktop.

"With the Accelerator for SWIFT and the RosettaNet Payments Toolkit, the financial community and its customers have access to technology that is simple to implement and that lowers the cost to connect to SWIFT," said Johan Kestens, member of the Executive Group at SWIFT. "In combination with the highly secure and reliable SWIFTNet messaging services, this provides a powerful solution, in particular for smaller users."

"Microsoft is committed to a vision of the connected enterprise and financial services value chain. This is why we are working closely with RosettaNet and SWIFT to create a universally viable payments automation solution," Weisberg said.

For more information, press only:
Singapore: Kate Reid, Write Image, +44 (0) 7976 134 750
UK: Steve Douthwaite, Write Image, +44 (0) 20 7959 5542,
US: Sara Gaugl, SS+K, (425) 201-2039,

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