Volante Technologies is launching a Middle East and Africa (MEA) supply chain finance (SCF) readiness survey, at the Exporta Trade Finance Week in Dubai, the event held from 17 to 19 February for the trade and export finance industry within the region.
The group said the survey 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 aims 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 at the Dubai event and will feature global corporates.
“It is important that organisations in the region make the appropriate plans and prepare to support the new instruments,” said Mick Fennell, general manager for Volante MEA. “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 centralised trade matching application, the TSU.”
“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.”
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 Q213 to indicate the state of readiness of the market to support the rollout of the new standard.
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