Volante launch Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) readiness survey

Dubai and London - 18 February 2013

Volante Technologies, a global leader in the provision of innovative financial data integration technology, today announced the launch of their Middle East & Africa (MEA) Supply Chain Finance (SCF) readiness survey.

The survey will be unveiled at the Exporta Trade Finance Week in Dubai, the event for the trade and export finance industry within the region, and will assess the state of readiness of banks and corporates in the region for supporting the processing of new SCF transactions, in particular the new Bank Payment Obligation (BPO), scheduled for release in April 2013.

The BPO is a joint venture undertaken by SWIFT and the Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to provide an alternative means of settlement on international trade. The BPO is an electronic commitment to pay, whereby a bank will provide payment to another bank on a specified date after the trade data has been successfully matched by SWIFT’s Trade Services Utility (TSU) or, by an equivalent transaction matching application. The new BPO instrument is set to reduce processing costs and help tighten risk controls in open account trading. A session on the implementation and ongoing progress of the BPO will be taking place during Middle East Trade Finance Week and will feature global corporates.

Commenting on this initiative, Mick Fennell, GM for Volante MEA, said “It is important that organisations in the region make the appropriate plans and prepare to support the new instruments. Corporates need to be in a position to extract and send the relevant data in the compliant format to their banks and counterparties and banks must receive the data and communicate with SWIFT’s centralized Trade Matching Application, the Trade Services Utility.”

The survey will be run in conjunction with conference organizers Exporta and will roll out across subsequent Exporta trade finance events to be held in Southern and East Africa. These events will provide access to key market participants across the Middle East and Africa. In addition, the survey will also canvass the wider SCF market in MEA through relevant social media groups and discussion forums. The survey results will be collated and published in Q2 of 2013 and will act as a barometer for the state of readiness of the market to support the rollout of the new standard.

Volante provides software that enables any market participant to send, receive, and process new instruments, such as the BPO, without the need for major changes to the organization’s existing systems. Volante’s innovative messaging solution thus reduces time to market and enables users to remain competitive by being open to, and interoperable with, existing and new processing standards.

Fennell concluded, “The Volante survey looks at issues such as which organisations have a defined plan in place, what approaches they are taking, and when organisations expect to be compliant. Taking the necessary steps to plan now in order to comply is extremely important if regional firms want to remain competitive on the world stage. There is an expectation that Asia will be driving adoption; if so, MEA organisations must support their buyers and suppliers in Asia, and MEA banks must support their customers in this new operational model or they will get left behind.”

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