Interbank specialist eyes PH expansion

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is looking to expand in the Philippines.

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In a statement, SWIFT said it would help the connectivity and optimization of operations of banks in the Philippines through a new initiative intended for the Filipino market called Philippines Cooperative-to-Bank (C2B) Initiative.

The C2B will provide a platform to help banks and financial institutions in the Philippines improve consolidated cash visibility, auto-reconciliation of bank statements, standardized payment formats supporting ERP systems, digital confirmation of treasury transactions (for foreign exchange and money markets), as well as a single platform of communication with multiple banking partners.

“Through this initiative, Filipino corporates will strive for greater automation and standardization in their communications with banks,” the cooperative said.

Alain Raes, chief executive for SWIFT Asia Pacific, said the cooperative is focusing on expanding in the Asia Pacific, especially in the Philippines because it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a heightened need for financial services.

“Corporates are increasingly leveraging SWIFT in Asia Pacific when it comes to communicating with their banks. SWIFT’s single platform enables communications to all their banks coupled with existent well-defined international standards,” Raes said.

“We have noticed a growing demand from the corporate community to align the communication standards with banks in the domestic Filipino market. With the C2B initiative, SWIFT will take the lead in defining local market practices for corporates and banks. Especially with the establishment of the Asean Economic Community at the end of 2015, we believe this initiative will drive efficiencies and support the vibrant Filipino economy,” he added.

The Philippines C2B Initiative will provide a forum for financial institutions and firms to discuss various issues, common standards and practices in corporate-to-banks implementation from both the global and Philippine standpoints.

“The mission of the Philippines C2B Initiative group will be achieved through consultation, collaboration and agreement on common implementation rulebooks for relevant ISO 20022 and other financial messages, leading to their subsequent publication and promotion in order to attain widespread recognition and adoption with all banking partners,” according to SWIFT.

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