HSBC is at the forefront among banks in offering a solution for Single European Payments Area (âSEPAâ) standards compliance and automation as an integral part of a global payments directory system. The new tool will allow clients to validate BIC and IBAN details before payment submission or, if required, to derive these details from a bank name, address and BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number), subject to counterparty verification, thus enabling quicker and more accurate payment processing.
This will assist clients in achieving higher straight through processing (STP) levels, especially in Europe, allowing them to benefit from lower costs and to minimise the risk of payment delays or rejections.
The payments landscape in Europe has changed considerably in recent years. Under SEPA the use of BIC and IBAN to identify the bank and account of the beneficiary has become mandatory for all cross-border payments in euros within the region. Additionally, several European countries have adopted IBAN as part of their own domestic payment standard.
Paul Nixon, senior product manager, financial institutions, global payments and cash management, Europe, HSBC Bank Plc, said: âThe introduction of new standards in Europe has had an impact on many of our clients worldwide. For a variety of reasons, it has proved difficult for many of our financial institution and corporate clients to get hold of the information needed to complete a payment in accordance with the new standards. By teaming up with Petra Financial, we have been able to come up with a way of making it easier for our clients to achieve significantly higher STP levels. And by incorporating this STP tool as an integral part of a global BIC lookup application, we feel we have gone a long way towards meeting our clientsâ needs for global payment solutions.â
Commenting on its collaboration with HSBC, Petra Financialâs Chief executive, David Sinclair, said: âIt is exciting for us that an institution as large as HSBC also has the vision and desire to be innovative in its approach to delivering customer service. As services become ever more commoditised, it is through innovation that banks will set themselves apart from their competitors. At Petra Financial, we see it as our role to assist HSBC in the delivery of the innovation that will see the bank meet its business objectives.â
The Global Payments Directory BIC and IBAN tool is available to HSBCâs global corporate and financial institutions client base. The tool is available either on-line or on a CD. In conjunction with Petra Financial, HSBC also offers a service for the wholesale cleansing of back-office (payables or receivables) records.