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Industry roundup: 16 October 2020

BBVA participates in SWIFT gpi UK pilot

BBVA has announced it participating in a pilot project to integrate payments from the SWIFT gpi network with the UK’s national instant payment system. The bank says that progress made by the pilot makes it possible to break away from time zone restrictions in the process, going one step further in the exploration of this kind of payment.

The BBVA Group participated in this new pilot, together with five financial institutions in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. The goal was to test the integration of SWIFT gpi with the UK's Faster Payments Scheme (FPS). The bank says that the pilot was successful and showed the global potential that exists to eliminate the time zone restrictions, which will no longer be an obstacle to payment processing. It also demonstrated that gpi SWIFT’s integration with instant payment systems is globally scalable.

“With the integration of SWIFT with the Faster Payment chamber, we are going to further enhance customer experience, adding real-time processing of payments in British pounds to the benefits gpi already offers, tracking from start to finish and transparent costs,” explained Raouf Soussi, head of Corporate Payment Strategy at BBVA.

This pilot is of the same nature as the one presented in 2019, which aimed to test the viability of transferring money to any country in the world in a matter of seconds. At the time, the results showed that transfer times can be further reduced in SWIFT gpi international transfers by connecting this network with the instant payment networks that already exist in different countries. The difference between both pilots has consisted in the foreign exchange broker. While in last year’s test payments were liquidated in euros in the European Central Bank’s instant payment platform TIPS (TARGET Instant Payment Settlement) - which allows real-time payments among registered European banks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – in the 2020 pilot, payments were liquidated in pounds in the FPS platform.


Deutsche Bank moves all business clients under a single umbrella

Deutsche Bank is revamping its operation for business clients – from medium-sized businesses to self-employed entrepreneurs. The products and services of its Deutsche Bank, Postbank and FYRST brands will be managed by a single unit called “Deutsche BizBanking”. The bank says it regards business clients as a strategic growth segment within the group. The bank aims to develop new solutions for its clients and has strengthened the management team with internals and an external new hire. The bank’s Deutsche Bank, Postbank and FYRST brands currently serve more than 800,000 business clients in Germany. “Deutsche BizBanking” is part of the Corporate Bank Germany.

“One year ago, we have already established the Corporate Bank combining all commercial and corporate clients across all brands in one business unit," said Stefan Bender, head of Corporate Bank Germany and head of Deutsche BizBanking at Deutsche Bank. "With the three brands - Deutsche Bank, Postbank and FYRST, a shared technology platform in future and our 150 years of experience we provide our business clients with a dedicated and focused service model. Our approach will give us more room for joint investments and at the same time all clients will benefit from Deutsche Bank’s product expertise and extensive network.”

Deutsche Bank's press release noted that a shake-up of market shares in the segment is imminent. Fintechs and neobanks are rushing into the market with specialised offerings, technical interfaces or systems that enable new financial solutions to be devised. Business models are also changing, as are the needs of many business clients. “The business models of many small and medium-sized businesses are about to change," Bender added. "This has largely to do with the increasing role of technology - even more accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. A redistribution of market shares is now underway and we believe we’re in pole position.” 

The product offering and the technological platform of BizBanking will be constantly developed and made available uniformly to all clients regardless of their brand affiliation. This is why the bank recently complemented the management team by welcoming Volker Broer from the technology consultancy Senacor, where he was a partner. He will be responsible for further expanding the business clients platform and devising new products and services. The bank states that advanced technology is bringing the value chains of business clients closer and closer together. The interplay between various partners in the business-to-business and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) space is constantly gaining importance. As a provider of such B2B2C offerings the bank aims to integrate its network within the entire business clients segment even more closely. Deutsche Bank already cooperates with several partners to offer services that extend beyond traditional banking. These include for example an advanced accounting software package, solutions to manage receivables or offers for talent acquisition and retention. 


Marco Polo and msg announce strategic alliance

German IT consulting firm msg has formalised a strategic alliance with Marco Polo, the distributed trade finance network. This alliance marks the first time the global IT firm is partnering with a trade finance distributed ledger technology (DLT) network. Msg was recently awarded SAP’s Partner of the Year in Financial Services, and the Industry Innovation Award. 

This collaboration focuses on developing SAP-enabled solutions and extensions that will facilitate integration, user experience, and real-time data exchange between an organisation’s ERP systems and the Marco Polo Network. This data flow automation enables organisations on the Marco Polo Network to manage multiple funding programmes across different jurisdictions and parties, as well as keeping their ERP systems updated in real-time for flexible cash flow management and accurate demand forecasting.

The two firms say the partnership opens up opportunities for their clients and partners, particularly in the insurance and financial sectors, to co-develop and provide insurance offerings on the network, alongside already available financial products, through a unified portal and managed service.

“Marco Polo is a great example of how companies are stepping forward to cooperate in developing new digital products and services," commented Bernhard Lang, executive board member at msg group. "This cross-industry business model is being driven by key digital technologies, such as DLT, that are bridging the gap between business and technological networks. Our partnership with the Marco Polo allows us to contribute our deep knowledge and capabilities in SAP and DLT, to support enterprises evolve from monolithic ERP silos to interconnected digital networks.”

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