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Multi-bank eBAM in the USA is making progress, slowly but surely

At the AFP Conference in Las Vegas the Global Rapid eBAM Adoption Team (GReAT) - a group of banks and a number of suppliers in the eBAM space in the USA - got together to talk about the real practical things they have been doing to make multi-bank eBAM happen. It is all very well having the ISO 20022 eBAM standards agreed, but until the banks and suppliers agree how they will actually use these standards and fields nothing happens. (And it hasn’t for a long. long time.) The group described some of the areas they have harmonised:

  • how to use the name field, e.g. what order to put the first and last name
  • standardised on how to name the eBAM files they exchange via SWIFT
  • standardised on the processes on eBAM file handling
  • and many more little things to make multi-bank eBAM work.

Next they plan to make this harmonisation programme go global by getting banks around the world to adopt their practices and get more corporates using multi-bank eBAM. But given the progress of eBAM so far, their ambitions are quite limited, e.g. in the next 6 months they hoping for another couple of banks to join the group and for 2-3 corporates to announce they are using multi-bank eBAM. After the meeting BofA Merrill did announce a new corporate is using multi-bank eBAM.

Bank of America Merrill announces USI Insurance uses ISO 20022 XML SWIFT FileAct delivery   
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has successfully on-boarded its first pilot client into production of a new file-based electronic bank account management (eBAM) system. This automation enables clients to use eBAM as the primary way to deliver requests to their banks to open and close accounts, pull account details and update signers.

The new system delivers messages using the FileAct system from SWIFT using International Standards Organization 20022 XML guidelines.

USI Insurance, went through significant back office process changes and utilized a third-party vendor application to implement their eBAM programme. 

eBAM will become increasingly important for corporates as they struggle to be SOX compliant in all processes (bank account management is riddled with inconsistencies and bad practice), but until the banks world-wide harmonise their processes (as above) eBAM is going to be, sadly, an unfulfilled dream. Maybe they need a SMART Group as in SEPA to make things happen. However things are not as desperate as they were with SEPA returned items……. yet??

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Bank Relations & KYC
electronic Bank Account Management