DENVER -- I hosted a panel discussion today on enabling eBAM to move forward at the 2015 AFP Annual Conference. John Dourdis, treasury executive with The Hershey Company, Stacy Rosenthal of SWIFT and Tom Durkin from BofA were panelists. Attendance in the session was strong and the attendees were anxious to hear how eBAM would advance. We identified the definition of eBAM with the audience through live polling, and the overwhelming majority believe it to be a combination of a full electronic solution to a bank account management (BAM) across banks that is agnostic—a BAM solution with a main banking provider and a process enhancement to BAM with several bank providers. This was interesting to see the results as we compared the prior definitions of eBAM when it was first introduced at the AFP Annual Conference in 2010.
Identifying the challenges for eBAM was the highlight of the second polling question. When the audience was asked what is the single greatest challenge to eBAM, the overwhelming majority—corporates, banks and technology providers—cited industry adoption. We spent a fair amount of discussion on why this is; many corporates want an eBAM solution but their resources don’t often allow the capability. Corporates in the audience indicated they would like to see their bank account management process with their banking providers have a good BAM solution first before moving to eBAM. Having all the signers current and correct is a challenge that still remains and was identified as an opportunity to work on to help move eBAM forward.
The last poll question focused on was the outlook for eBAM. The majority of the responses from the poll indicated more bank adoption would be likely as time progresses. One of the technology providers in the audience encouraged more banks to become participants and utilize the eBAM messaging standards. The second highest answer was KYC and FBAR will increase demand for eBAM—areas that have parallel efficiencies to gain and process improvements.
Key themes and takeaways identified from the session:
- Having a good BAM process with your bank(s) is most important. Working to resolve signer discrepancies going forward will be key between corporate records and bank records to enable eBAM to move forward.
- Issuing an eBAM industry certification will help harmonize the capabilities of providers that offer eBAM solutions.
- More Industry adoption can only happen with good participation and collaboration in industry initiatives such as the SWIFT CGI-MP Working Group 4 on eBAM. This also means having conversations by corporates with their banks to ask about solutions and offerings.
- Technology providers should be ready for ISO messaging standards—currently there are about 10 corporates that are using the new ISO20022 account messaging with more in testing in certain phases. This is likely to pick up in the next year.
For more information on the SWIFT CGI-MP Working Group on eBAM, please check out: http://corporates.swift.com/en/common-global-implementation-0