SAP and SWIFT have joined forces to introduce the SAP Integration Package for SWIFT – a standardized software solution that will be designed to link SAP ERP solutions directly to SWIFTNet, the IP-based messaging platform connecting nearly 8,000 financial institutions in 206 countries and territories. The announcement was made at Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event, being held in Sydney, Australia, October 9 – 13.
With average costs per year for proprietary bank interfaces exceeding 25,000 euros per year per connection and companies maintaining upwards of 10 banking relationships, the burden on the IT budget can be immense. Additionally, companies often lack seamless integration with their banks via straight-through processing and must import bank statements for multiple banks separately. The results are productivity losses, increased exception handling and lack of cash flow transparency.
Furthermore, organizations feel increased compliance pressures and face impending regulatory changes, especially in the European corporate banking landscape. SAP aims to address these challenges by introducing SAP Integration Package for SWIFT. The pre-configured software from SAP will be designed to help companies lower cost of ownership (TCO), improve cash flow transparency and reap greater working-capital efficiencies. Starting in January 2007, first customers will be able to pilot the software, running on SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. See related press release, titled “SAP Eases Pan-European Payments for Customers.”
Single channel for multiple bank communications
SAP Integration Package for SWIFT will be designed to enable companies to access multiple banks through a single connection for real-time exchange of payment and settlement messages via SWIFTNet. The software will be architected with pre-configured message and process mapping between the application interfaces and business logic of the SAP Financial Supply Chain Management application, mySAP ERP Financials and the SWIFT infrastructure. SAP plans to design the SAP Integration Package for SWIFT to:
- Cover the entire pay-to-reconcile business scenario
- Initially support FIN and FileAct messaging services, enabling companies to send and receive both MT- and MX-based messages
- Support the new ISO 20022 payment standards, which are compatible with the upcoming Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) to become effective on January 1, 2008
- Provide technical message mappings for positive and negative acknowledgements and delivery notifications
“With SAP Integration Package for SWIFT, SAP and SWIFT are making it easier and more cost-efficient for corporate clients to exchange payment, cash management and treasury information with their banks,” said Johan Kestens, head of Marketing and member of the Executive Committee of SWIFT. “Banks and corporates can now enjoy the security and reliability of SWIFT, leverage SWIFTStandards for easier processing and integrate with SAP ERP systems. It is a win-win situation for everybody.”
Lower costs and greater efficiencies
SAP Integration Package for SWIFT will be an open, standards-based communication solution that enables corporate finance departments to eliminate the technical barriers involved with collaborating with their banks. Enabled by the SAP NetWeaver platform, it delivers a comprehensive and cost effective solution to help companies design, execute and monitor payment-to-reconciliation processes. SAP Integration Package for SWIFT was designed in response to a growing demand for standardized software to support corporate-to-bank process integration and an increasing need by businesses to link financial management processes with partners and customers. In combination with other SAP applications, such as SAP Bank Relationship Management or SAP In-House Cash, the software can facilitate the tracking of the payment life cycle or the setup of a payment factory.
“Tightly linking enterprise management software to SWIFTNet in a single corporate banking solution brings a slate of business benefits,” said Thomas Balgheim, senior vice president, Financial Services, SAP AG. “By setting up a single communication channel to SWIFTNet, SAP Integration Package for SWIFT simplifies companies’ payment infrastructures significantly. This generates cost savings for support and maintenance, thus lowering the TCO. Improved straight-through processing rates allow for better visibility into payment processes, helping customers to better manage compliance issues.”