Technology review 2010: Improving connectivity
Many corporate treasury departments are channelling investment into improving the connectivity and integration of their cash and treasury management systems. A wide range of connectivity services are now available from the banks, SWIFT and a range of third-party suppliers, with the choice of bank-agnostic connectivity systems and services growing in popularity.
SWIFT connectivity SWIFT has been one of the main beneficiaries of this move to bank-agnostic systems and services, showing a 40% growth in corporate users in 2009, taking the total to 565. The majority of corporate users connect to SWIFT via a service bureau, with 20% of last year’s new users opting to use the SWIFT Alliance Lite service.
Large companies still dominate the SWIFT corporate user base, but 2009 saw a significant increase in the number of medium-sized and smaller companies. Corporate user traffic is still dominated by SWIFT FIN messages for bank account balance and transaction reporting and for payment messages, and the use of SWIFT FileAct bulk message files continues to grow as corporate treasurers exchange transactions in domestic formats with their local banks. The use of the new ISO20022 XML messages, launched on SWIFT in mid 2009, has also begun to grow worldwide.
SWIFT, the banks and service bureaus all expect this impressive growth in corporate usage of the SWIFT network to continue with an increasing share of medium-sized and small companies.