Schneider Foreign Exchange (SFE) has outsourced SWIFT connectivity to SMA Financial’s service bureau. The project will enable SFE to streamline its transaction lifecycle, increase straight-through processing (STP) and lower operational risk.
The broker observed SWIFT becoming more accessible to corporates and set out to research the potential benefits from connecting to the ultra-secure and resilient network. Neil Burns, director, SFE, said: “An endorsement of SMA Financial by SFE’s main banking relationship provider Barclays reinforced our own findings that SMA’s expertise in outsourced SWIFT connectivity and proven service bureau was the best option. SMA’s approach from day one has been open and transparent and we anticipate the bureau will enable us to minimise the number of exceptions that occur, reduce investigation time and help mitigate our operational risk.”
SFE services a predominantly UK customer base and has a number of different banking relationships each of which required the broker to logon to separate ebanking platforms to make payments and check balances. Any queries had to be addressed to the relevant relationship manager, which could be time consuming. The payment lifecycle from initiation to confirmation and settlement was a highly manual process and thus well suited to an automation project.
SFE is currently testing connectivity to its first banking relationship provider via SWIFT. Other banks will then be connected to the bureau in turn. This will allow SFE to initiate a payment from its back office system, which is sent to the SMA Service Bureau where the message is automatically formatted for transmission over the SWIFT network and transmitted to the relevant bank. Confirmations are received back via the bureau and these can be sent to clients in real-time if required to confirm that the transaction has taken place thus enhancing the service SFE provides.
Burns added: “By outsourcing SWIFT connectivity to the SMA Service Bureau, we will shield ourselves from any complexity, and minimise the on-going maintenance, typically associated with SWIFT. Additionally, we can ensure that internal IT resources are kept fully focused on supporting our core business.”
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