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HSBC broadens connectivity with SAP and SWIFT

HSBC Bank (HSBC), SAP AG and SWIFT have teamed together to create  the next generation of HSBC Connect to SAP, HSBC’s corporate-to-bank integration and treasury solution catering to HSBC’s corporate customers that use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from SAP. Addressing the potentially high costs associated with maintaining multiple system interfaces for conducting electronic transactions, these three global industry leaders aim to create a flexible multi-bank solution based on SWIFT’s open standards.

“The ability to connect seamlessly with not just one bank, but several banking partners, is quickly becoming a priority in the corporate space,” said Marcus Treacher, head of e-commerce, Global Transaction Banking, HSBC. “As our HSBC Connect to SAP solution evolves, our collaborative approach sets this solution apart from others and allows us to continue to meet the connectivity needs of our corporate customers.”

Companies today use many different system interfaces to manage electronic transactions between their banking partners’ and corporate suppliers’ systems as well as between their own ERP systems. Often based on a wide variety of protocols, proprietary standards and technologies, maintaining these point-to-point interfaces can be costly.

“Our co-operation with two industry leaders supports SWIFT’s goal to reduce its customers’ total cost of ownership (TCO) by enabling them to expand their use of SWIFT and deliver innovative services to their end-customers,” said Alain Raes, chief executive, Europe, Middle East and Africa, SWIFT.

The new HSBC Connect to SAP solution comprises the SAP Bank Communication Management application and the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, as well as a pre-configured SWIFT component for optimised access to the SWIFT network. To help ensure successful market adoption of this innovative solution planned for availability in the third quarter of 2011, HSBC and SAP have signed a global business collaboration agreement. This joint approach provides customers with a one-stop shop that addresses their full bank connectivity needs.

Building on the recent success of the early implementation of HSBC Connect to SAP, the solution’s design foresees using the bank communication management software to further streamline and automate communication among HSBC, its corporate customers and the SWIFT network for the delivery of corporate banking services — particularly for those customers that maintain banking relationships with multiple financial institutions in more than one region. The overall goal is to develop a fully integrated environment for financial processing, offering greater flexibility, richer information, reduced operational risk, streamlined onboarding, easier implementation of future services and lower costs.

“With our broad global customer base, including nearly three-quarters of the Fortune 500 companies running SAP software, we are in a unique position to help banks and their corporate customers to enable broader, faster and easier corporate-to-bank connectivity,” said Don Trotta, senior vice president and global head of Financial Services, SAP AG. “SAP’s deep knowledge across more than 25 distinct industries and our position as a major technology provider for the global financial services sector make us an important player and powerful driving force for enabling innovation in corporate transaction banking alongside HSBC and SWIFT.”

HSBC will develop and deploy connectivity products in consultation with the SAP Custom Development organisation and SWIFT in three main phases: 1) payment and select treasury services; 2) trade finance and remaining treasury services; and 3) regulatory reporting services. The three parties plan to initially develop functionality for HSBC/SAP clients, with the goal of later expanding to broader markets as well.

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