Banks launch payments and China-related initiatives

Major banks announce a series of innovations and developments at Sibos 2010.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Deutsche Bank’s China business. The German bank has announced that it is to broaden its multi-currency cash management cooperation with Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), one of mainland China’s so-called “big four” banks.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the two banks at Sibos, the annual transaction banking conference organised by The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) held this week in Amsterdam. Under the terms of the MoU, Deutsche Bank’s existing payments and cash management collaboration with ABC will extend beyond Greater China to include global remittances to and from the mainland.    

ABC, the mainland’s first commercial bank serving over 350 million clients through more than 24,000 outlets in China, will widen its usage of the German bank’s payment platform, Money Transfer New Architecture. ABC will additionally use Deutsche Bank’s global cross-currency payments platform, FX4Cash. The payments platform has also been adopted by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), one of the UAE’s largest banks, for cross-currency payments.

This news comes on the back of a record double-digit adoption rate of FX4Cash by Deutsche Bank’s financial institution clients. The platform was originally launched in 2008 and expanded 12 months later. It now has several hundred financial institutions actively using the platform which can send and receive cross-currency payments in more than 120 currencies around the world, said the bank.

The bank has additionally strengthened its position in the renminbi cross-border trade settlement market. This is in response to client demand from across Asia-Pacific and to steps taken by the Chinese authorities to internationalise the currency. The bank recently processed its first renminbi cross-border trade-related settlement from Beijing to Deutsche Bank Hong Kong. It also issued its first renminbi-denominated letter of credit through its Shanghai operations in conjunction with its Singapore office.    

Standard Chartered and Citi announce new launches

Sibos has also seen Standard Chartered Bank announce the integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with its Straight2Bank Access channel for corporate clients. The new product will automate payables, receivables, cash reconciliations and trade financing for clients using the bank’s Oracle E-Business Suite. The automation will help clients better manage working capital, improve efficiency and reduce operational risk, said the bank.

“We are defining straight-though processing from the clients’ perspective, and looking at the entire transaction life-cycle, not just the portion that is within the bank, so our clients can move to straight-though reconciliation,” said Tom Wiles, the bank’s global head of channel management, transaction banking in a statement.

Not to be outdone, Citi has launched its Global Enterprise Payments unit in Amsterdam. The new unit will focus on institution-to-consumer and consumer-to-institution payments solutions to corporations, financial institutions and governments. The unit will be headed by Paul Galant, CEO of global enterprise payments.

The bank is also expediting delivery of US dollar payments into Asia through an extension to its Express Wire service. The extension is a result of growing cross-border trade flows which has created increased demand for efficient payment solutions. Consequently, end-of-day payment is no longer fast enough; The Express Wire service will send a straight-through processing payment within minutes of a transaction being initiated, according to the bank.  

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