SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 212 countries and territories, announced today its corporate treasury user community has surpassed 1000 corporations.
In the Arab region, SWIFT is witnessing a similar rise in message traffic and a lot of demand for its connectivity products, especially for its corporate offering, SWIFT for Corporates.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of corporates connecting to SWIFT in the Arab region in 2012 compared to 2011. With two more months to go, the region marked a sharp increase of 83% in the number of corporates which joined SWIFT this year compared to last year.
EMEA has the highest proportion of corporates connecting to SWIFT, but those in the Asia Pacific region are growing rapidly, making Asia-Pacific the fastest growing region in terms of traffic. Samsung SDI, NTT Data Corporation, Toshiba and Rakuten are four of the corporations to have recently connected.
Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East & North Africa at SWIFT, says: “We have already seen a significant increase in regional demand for connecting corporates to the SWIFT network, and we expect this area of our business to grow further in the coming years.”
A Who’s Who list of regional corporations that are connecting to SWIFT keeps growing. Saudi Arabia’s Aramco was the first corporate to connect to SWIFT in the whole region over eight years ago, and recently other major Saudi entities including King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre, Saudi Chevron Phillips, Sahara Petrochemicals Company, Saudi Ceramics Company, National Foods Industry and Supreme Foods also connected from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Other regional corporates which recently connected to SWIFT from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and other Arab countries, include Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Gas and Ras Gas recently in Qatar, Louis Dreyfus in the UAE, Octal Petrochemicals in Oman, Middle East Airlines (MEA) in Lebanon, Kuwait Airways and Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC) in Kuwait.
Sido Bestani explains: “SWIFT provides a multi-bank platform for corporates to exchange financial information with banks through a secure, standardised, global, single window. This enables corporations to improve their global cash visibility and gain maximum efficiency from their financial and treasury operations, by rationalising bank channels, centralising payments and collections and achieving greater automation through standardisation.”
With more than 1000 corporates already on SWIFT (comprising of more than 40,000 underlying legal entities), levels of corporate connectivity to SWIFT are growing in all regions, including the Arab region. Another recent joiner from the region is Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company and globally British Broadcasting Corporation.
An evolving picture, powered by collaboration
Corporates have been able to use SWIFT to interact with their financial institutions since 1998. Since 2005, with the introduction of a new simpler corporate access model, the number of corporations on SWIFT, from many industry sectors, has grown steadily.
Reflecting on the history of corporate connectivity to SWIFT, Hervé Postic, Directeur Général, CEO, UTSIT, comments: “The sustained growth rate of corporates joining SWIFT demonstrates how, over the years, the banking community has embraced the opportunity for corporates to join SWIFT more and more. The level of commitment shown by both SWIFT and by the banks points to a bright future for corporates to reach ever higher levels of operational efficiency in their interactions with their banks.”
Looking ahead, Postic continues: “The next ten years should be devoted to helping local banks in all regions of the world to offer cash and trade solutions over SWIFT to their corporate customers. Education and partnership will remain the key pillars needed to support further take-up of SWIFT by the corporate community.”
Sido Bestani adds: “Being a member-owned cooperative has defined SWIFT’s community approach. We work in partnership with the financial community to explore new ways of doing business that improve processes and cut costs for them and their customers. We are, at our core, a technology company, so developing transformational technology is in our DNA. Equally, it is our role as a community facilitator to find solutions that make doing business easier, safer and more cost effective for our customers.
More functionality and easier connectivity
SWIFT continues to extend and enrich its offering for corporates, with key initiatives including treasury matching via the Accord platform, reference data services, the digital identity solution 3SKey, CGI and the collaborative standards management platform MyStandards. In addition, connecting to the SWIFT network has never been easier for corporates, with the recent launch of Alliance Lite2, a highly secure and reliable, easy to implement and cost-effective cloud-based connectivity solution that supports all types of SWIFT messages and files.
Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO, SWIFT, says: “We are proud to have reached the significant milestone of 1000 corporates connected to SWIFT. We continue to evolve our offering for corporates, to ensure it brings value for the largest companies but also the smaller and mid-sized corporations that are increasingly benefiting from SWIFT to streamline their interactions with their banks. In line with our 2015 strategy, we look forward to welcoming many more corporates on to SWIFT in order to help them reduce their costs and risk, and increase operational efficiency and visibility in their treasury operations.”
Profile of Corporates on SWIFT
26 % of worldwide corporations with annual turnover greater than 10 Billion USD are connected to SWIFT.
EMEA has the highest proportion but corporates connecting to SWIFT in the Asia Pacific region are growing rapidly.
Corporates on SWIFT are split over various industry sectors.