Swift plans to scrap its trade services utility (TSU), the centralised matching and workflow engine that the financial messaging service launched 12 years ago and which operates as the backbone for the bank payment obligation (BPO) and facilitates value-added supply chain services.
Global Trade Review reports this week that Swift will switch off its TSU in December 2020, a decision confirmed in its interview with Swift’s global head of corporates and trade, Marc Delbaere.
“TSU has been a very niche success and important for banks and corporates using it,” Delbaere told GTR. “However its adoption has been limited and, as a cooperative, we have to focus on solutions with wider adoption and application.”
Swift launched TSU in 2007 after several years of development and signing up 18 banks to promote the digitisation of trade and supply chain processes, including liquidity management, cash flow forecasting and trade finance programs.
The solution automated the comparison of trade data between trading partners’ banks, and highlighted any inconsistencies in trade documents like invoices, transport documentation and purchase orders.
Limited BPO boost
GTR notes that the subsequent launch in 2013 of Swift’s Bank Payment Obligation (BPO), an ISO 20022 payment instruction accelerated the adoption of TSU, with BPO using the TSU to match data between buyers and suppliers, and automatically initiate payments. However, reports suggested that the solution worked less seamlessly than planned.
Last November, the publication reported that Swift was in discussions over whether TSU should be maintained and the possibility of a partnership with digital trade specialist essDOCS was being considered.
“TSU is, at its core, a matching platform,” said Delbaere in an interview at the time. “It is the only matching engine run by Swift, and it is currently only used in trade finance, and only for the BPO. So, we believe that looking at partners with further adjacencies can only strengthen its value proposition.”
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