Sharp increase in MENA corporations connecting to SWIFT
SWIFT announces today that its corporate treasury user community in the Middle and East North Africa grew by more than 30 percent in 2018. The ambition for 2018-2021 is to more than double the number of corporates using SWIFT for treasury operations.
“SWIFT for Corporates” has been supporting corporate treasurers achieve treasury efficiency since 1997. Now, more than 2,000 corporate groups are using SWIFT. Corporates are also embracing SWIFT gpi – the new standard in global payments – for their transactions, and taking advantage of additional value-added services such as KYC for Corporates, which allows corporates to upload, maintain and share their KYC information with their banks.
Recently, SWIFT organised corporate forums in Dubai and Riyadh in collaboration with Emirates NBD, Kyriba, SABB & NCB to share insights on digitalisation in treasury and the future of cross-border payments. Senior representatives from the banking and financial industry, along with corporate treasurers, attended the events to discuss industry challenges and find solutions to achieve optimisation goals.
The increasingly global nature of business means that companies of all sizes often deal with multiple banking partners spread across the world. SWIFT for Corporates provides a single channel through which treasurers can communicate in a standard way with all of their banks. This brings key benefits such as central visibility of cash positions, decreased operational risk and costs, increased automation levels and integration with internal systems.
A growing number of corporates with regional and global footprints have embraced SWIFT for Corporates to simplify, secure and increase the efficiency of their treasury operations through digitalisation.
Corporates also rely on efficient cross-border payments processing. Speed, certainty and fee transparency are key to running an effective treasury and cash management business. SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) service is transforming the cross-border payments experience for treasurers, enabling them to reduce payment investigations, improve supplier relationships, speed up invoice reconciliation and ultimately achieve greater capital efficiencies.
OLA Energy is an example of a corporation whose highly complex treasury operations have benefitted from SWIFT for Corporates. A regional energy corporation and a key player in the African energy industry, OLA Energy has 105 banking partners globally who are responsible for more than 400,000 transactions per year. With 34 affiliate companies working in 20 different currencies, the decentralised treasury approach was not efficient. The manual payment process was very challenging and lacked cash visibility and security.
Abdessalem Lassoued, Group Treasurer at OLA Energy, said: “Companies today seek operational efficiency. With SWIFT for Corporates, we were able to transform and fully automate the payment process and cash positioning. The new system also enabled us to receive the forecasting and reconciliation from all our offices across the various countries everyday by 6 pm without mistakes or manual errors. Tracking payments through SWIFT saves us a lot of time and adds tangible business benefits, especially when it comes to full visibility of real-time, group-wide cash positions and FX exposure. This implementation is expected to optimise our operational efficiency by 80% and reduce our costs by 20%.”
Mickael Thomas, Head of Corporate Business, SWIFT, said: “As a community facilitator, SWIFT is always developing solutions that make doing business easier, safer, and more cost effective for the financial community and its customers. The increasingly global nature of business today means that companies often deal with multiple banking partners across the world. Corporates benefit from a single, highly secure window to communicate with all their banking partners using global standardised financial messages. The result is a decrease in operational risk and costs as well as improved cash visibility.”