SWIFT Eyeing India Expansion

by Sonal Desai    Nov 18, 2008

SWIFT, a provider of secure financial messaging services, is keen on tapping the capital market, stock exchanges, brokerages, depositories, and the mutual funds segment in India. The company has about 100 banks as its customers, these include ICICI, SBI, Axis, etc. It wants to enable automation in the above mentioned sectors as well as the corporate sector in India.

Arun Tiwari, head (India sub-continent) said SWIFT is in touch with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) for the automation project. “The mutual funds segment still carries out a lot of paper transactions, whether it is fax or documentation. So there is a lot of potential for us in this segment,” he said.

“On the corporate side, we want to strengthen the relationship between corporates and the banks. Most of the corporates in India work in heterogeneous environments. The CFOs and CEOs have not been able to get information to all the banks on a single screen. SWIFT software integrated into the bank office (treasury) standardizes operations and makes reporting easier,” Tiwari said. According to him, large corporates with huge treasury operations have shown a keen interest.

But will the limitation of 200 messages not be a hindrance? According to Tiwari, it won’t, since SWIFT is basically a tool to enable communications between corporates and financial institutions. Charles LeGrand, head of SWIFT South Asia said the benchmark has been set upon community feedback, inputs from technologists, and other yardsticks.

“Besides there are also other modes of banking such as e-banking and m-banking that can be used,” Tiwari said. The company is offering corporate action services for stock exchanges, brokerages, and depositories. Essentially, corporate action deals with information on the right issue or any information that has to be submitted to a stock exchange and various approvals are met.

Moving forward the company wants to invest on training new recruits and will increase solution partners. Currently it has Cambridge solutions as one of the partners. It has banks like ICICI, SBI, Axis as customers.

Related links:
SWIFT’s Big India Move