IBM and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) have completed a successful electronic bank account management (eBAM) pilot. As part of the pilot, IBM created account opening and maintenance requests using standardised XML messages, signed these messages using digital signatures and sent them to RBS via the SWIFT eBAM web portal.
In the future, enabling eBAM via XML messages will cut out inefficiencies of paper-based account management processes and allow for large corporations to connect to the bank directly via the SWIFT communications channel.
In support of eBAM development, RBS has been involved in the definition of the ISO 20022-certified, bank-agnostic XML standard for account management-related messages that was tested during the pilot, and is a member of the corporate advisory board that consists of SWIFT, banks and corporates.
In order to ensure consistent implementation of the standard, SWIFT provided the functionality to validate whether all test messages sent by banks, corporates and third party enterprise resource planning (ERP) system vendors adhered to the standard. Furthermore, the pilot verified that these standardised XML messages could support the varying business processes of both corporations and banks. Key areas such as authorisation via a personal digital signature and functionality to look up requirements in a centralised database were tested by the clients.
The clear benefits of standardisation and transparency that eBAM provides will ensure that both corporations and banks are eager to take the next steps towards eBAM. It is a joint journey for both banks and corporates to consolidate their information and to move the bank account management processes towards paper-free processes so that they can achieve the complete benefits of fully automated processing, enabled by eBAM.
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