by André Casterman, Global Head of Corporate and Supply Chain Markets, SWIFT
SWIFT first opened its doors to corporations in 1999, and over the 16 years since, the value proposition for corporate users has developed rapidly and radically. At first, corporate access to SWIFT was limited to exchanging confirmations with banking counterparties, and later, a wider range of financial messages such as payments and account statement information. Today, while connectivity remains key to SWIFT’s offering, the value that corporations derive from their relationship from SWIFT extends beyond connectivity, with a diverse and growing range of services.
Secure financial connectivity
Connecting to one or more banking partners through a single, secure and reliable channel is typically the way that corporate treasurers and finance managers first start their relationship with SWIFT. In particular, companies are attracted to greater operational and cost efficiency, better visibility over cash and technical independence from individual banking providers. The value proposition of SWIFT connectivity continues to grow as the range of message types that banks and corporations exchange via SWIFT increases, with a wealth of opportunity across cash, liquidity, treasury, trade and supply chain, and bank account management.
In the early years, it was only the largest multinationals that had the appetite and demand for SWIFT connectivity. Today, this is no longer the case as companies of all sizes expand internationally, and seek to manage counterparty risk and access local banking services by appointing a panel of banks that offer complementary services. SWIFT access is now characterised by flexibility, convenience and cost-effectiveness with a range of access models available. Some, for example, choose to outsource connectivity through specialist service bureaus, while others connect via SWIFT’s cloud-based solution, Alliance Lite2, or access integrated communication services that are now available through various treasury management systems.