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Does your bank account management data need to be 90% clean and verified first before attempting eBA

The roundtable at AFP Conference 2012, 'Making your eBAM project a reality - a journey to practical implementation', showed all the problems, the success stories and conflicts in eBAM. The panel made up of: Tom Hunt - AFP, Anita Prasad - General Manager Treasury at Microsoft, Stacy Rosenthal - Senior Business Manager at SWIFT, Karen Wendel - CEO IdenTrust, and Glen Solomine - Executive Director J.P. Morgan Treasury Services, debated the topic enthusiastically. The key pointers as to what to do about eBAM, that emerged from the debate, were:

  • corporates need to
    • develop a plan as to what to do about bank account management and e-identity
    • decide how they will communicate with their bank(s)
    • decide how to store and secure their bank account management data
    • how to deal with the different legislation in each country
    • set up systems to confirm IDs, who authorised to do what
  • companies need to sort out/clean up their bank account management data so that it is THE source of 'truth' on their bank accounts first:
    • Microsoft took two years to set up a central systems and clean up their data
    • several corporates had similar experience
  • there was some disagreement as to when to start the 'e' in eBAM and use the 15 eBAM messages:
    • Microsoft felt that the bank account management data needs to be 90% clean and verified before
    • J.P. Morgan's Glenn Solomine felt that companies didn't need to wait for that long, companies could start eBAM programmes once the data had been cleaned up for country or a bank
  • e-identity is a major area of competition between suppliers. The only real fact that emerged from the discussion is that corporates will have to accept more than one e-identity. This is, according to Karen Wendel, unavoidable.

Other discussions in the AFP exhibition hall showed experienced players believed that, unlike in the development of standards for bank service charges, both the banks and corporates want to do eBAM; it is just that the banks are too busy solving other problems to devote significant resources to eBAM. This is born out by SWIFT having to delay the development of their eBAM Central Utility (E-CU) because they could not bring on enough banks on-board with the solution immediately. It will 'take time' according to SWIFT.

eBAM will happen, but oh so slowly.

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