SWIFT has recently been recognised for two very prestigious awards in the trade finance sector. For the second year running, SWIFT received a Silver Award from Trade and Forfaiting Review (TFR). SWIFT’s André Casterman also accepted the TFR Fellowship award for outstanding services to trade finance.
Success with industry collaboration
SWIFT and the ICC Banking Commission (who received the Gold award in this category) believed that by working together, they could help the banking industry invent a brand new digital payment instrument to support the growth of electronic commerce. At Sibos in 2011, they signed a cooperation agreement and began the journey to develop new trade finance rules based on new ISO 20022 messaging standards. This collaboration resulted in the launch of new legal and technology standards for BPO two years later.
André Casterman, global head of Corporates and Supply Chain at SWIFT, and member of the ICC Banking Executive Committee commented “Industry-owned organisations such as SWIFT and the ICC are in an ideal position to guide trade banks in long term market transformations. It is an honour for SWIFT and ICC to receive this recognition.”
Digitisation of commerce and finance – the way forward
In addition to SWIFT’s award, Casterman also received the TFR fellowship award for his contribution to trade finance services. According to TFR “The voting was clear - Casterman's tireless work at SWIFT to automate trade and give banks and corporates improved interoperability and transaction efficiency impressed voters”. Casterman is grateful and honoured on receiving this award, which he accepted on behalf of the global Corporate and Supply Chain team at SWIFT. “Trade Finance is a very complex business area which is more and more relying on digital information, he explains. “Our clients aspire to digitise more trade and finance processes. This requires us at SWIFT to have a firm vision and much patience”.
The proof is in the pudding
Early adoption figures are encouraging with 30 banking groups live on SWIFT’s MT 798 standards for L/Cs and demand guarantees for 20 multi-national corporates. The popularity and awareness of BPO continues to grow and the true value is becoming evident backed up by strong adoption figures which have doubled over the last year. There are now 12 banking groups live on ISO 20022 standards for BPO with 40+ corporates. “This is a community effort and we are grateful to the pioneers and early adopters in the industry who help us demonstrate progress”, says Casterman. Reflecting on both awards, he continues “SWIFT is thankful to the trade community for their support and looks forward to continued success in steering innovation in trade and supply chain finance.”
The White Paper entitled "A new start for Supply Chain Finance" gives further insights on how industry standards and innovative technologies allow the trade industry to unlock the real potential of supply chain finance.