Hunting Cuts Payment Processing Costs with SMA’s SWIFT Service Bureau

Hunting, an international energy services provider, has cut transaction processing costs for domestic and international payments by outsourcing its SWIFT connectivity to SMA Financial’s service bureau. Hunting has also benefited from a shorter payment processing cycle, real-time reporting, lower operational risk resulting in more efficient cash and liquidity management.

Chris Berris, group treasurer, Hunting, said: “We could see that SMA Financial had successfully implemented their service bureau for another corporate with similar requirements to our own. We also received positive references from their customers, our banking partners and our chosen treasury management system [TMS] supplier which confirmed that SMA Financial was the leading bureau of choice for corporates.”

The service bureau went live after just four months. Since then Hunting has expanded the scope to include additional country operations for Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. The project required the introduction of a number of different practices and changes to internal systems to allow for inward routing of SWIFT messages and outbound generation of payments. Hunting requested each of the relevant correspondent banks to load in their new SWIFT address. Once this was completed and tested, the banks were able to send MT940 end of day statements and MT942 intra-day statements, which are received via the bureau and imported automatically into the TMS.

The service bureau has also been used for transmission of outbound payment instructions. The TMS acts as a central treasury processing hub for trades such as foreign exchange (FX) and money market loans and deposits. Once a trade has matured, the TMS generates an instruction that, once an internal authorisation process has been completed, is then exported as a MT101 payment instruction via the service bureau and over SWIFT to the receiving bank.

Berris added: “On a per transaction basis, we have demonstrated that we can cut the cost of processing domestic and international payments by approximately 20% and 25% respectively. We have seen a definite increase in STP thanks to the bureau and our systems integration project. We have shown that, once fully live, the payment cycle will have been shortened by as much as 30%. This improves efficiency and contributes to lower levels of operational risk. We have already identified a number of other business areas that could benefit from the introduction of SWIFT messaging.”


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