Monday, September 15, 2008

How can SWIFT reach more users?

Ahead of SWIFT's official launch of its new low-cost internet-based solution for connecting to SWIFTNet, aimed at those banks, corporates and investment managers that habitually complain about the high cost attached to building a dedicated SWIFT connection, BT Global Services is stoking the competitive embers, saying SWIFT could reach more end users if it put its applications on other telco networks (BT, Orange, COLT).

Describing SWIFT Alliance Lite as "security on a stick", Chris Pickles, head of marketing, Investment Banking & Global Accounts, BT Global Financial Services, said if it brings down the cost of SWIFT that is great. However, he said it would not be a universal solution for bank or corporate connectivity.

Although SWIFT Alliance Lite could be viewed as SWIFT entering the competitive space of IT network connectivity which is dominated by the telcos, Pickles said SWIFT's Alliance Lite was still a niche solution and that the telcos would still be able to provide IP connectivity for considerably less cost (upwards of 70%)than SWIFT.

He said if SWIFT wanted to reach the vast majority of banks and corporates, why didn't it make applications such as SWIFT Alliance Lite available on the telco's networks? "On a revenue sharing basis, SWIFT could increase their user community and the market perception that it is the central standard for financial security, but they have to do it quickly because the market won't wait."

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