Multinational corporates, such as Vilmorin & Cie, the fourth-largest seed company in the world, face the challenge of having to manage complex payment implementation projects that involve specific message formats, and legal constraints depending on the jurisdiction in which they operate in.
To ensure local treasury teams can test their international payments as efficiently and quickly as possible, BNP Paribas introduced the use of SWIFT’s MyStandards Readiness Portal prior to production testing as a prerequisite for every payment implementation project. This allows their clients to work autonomously through the message specifications testing phase and progress at their own pace, thereby significantly decreasing the number of iterations required between the different teams involved and reducing implementation time.
Vilmorin & Cie embarked on an ambitious project to implement a new Treasury Management System solution linked directly to BNP Paribas for all subsidiaries of the Limagrain group. Each subsidiary needs to test and implement a number of different payment message formats, which are often quite complex and country-specific.
Without instant and direct access to all specifications in a centralized place and without a validation tool, this process is cumbersome and time-consuming: It requires numerous sequential iterations, based on a trial-and-error approach, between both parties.
When BNP Paribas adopted MyStandards in early 2017, its primary goal was to enhance the customer experience, in particular the onboarding process. MyStandards enabled BNP Paribas to offer a dedicated and customized self-testing portal where its corporate clients can work autonomously and at their own pace to validate the syntax.
BNP Paribas offers Global Channels in 48 countries and has endeavored to centralize usage guidelines for all countries where it operates within MyStandards. This will make it easier for their corporate clients around the world to independently validate message formats and structure. By removing issues with the message in the initial testing phase, the overall implementation project timeline can progress considerably faster.
Always available online, MyStandards Readiness Portal allows Vilmorin & Cie to benefit from direct access to the exact usage guidelines it needs, to understand message definitions and specifications, to test messages at their own convenience, and to spot and correct all errors in one go.
“MyStandards is very simple to use,” says Stéphanie Martins, Finance Business Project Manager, Vilmorin & Cie. “Even as a first-time user, I was able to manage the majority of the implementation process on my own.”
“MyStandards is very simple to use and allows us to work autonomously, which makes the implementation project much more predictable, efficient, and fast.”
Stéphanie Martins, Finance Business Project Manager, Vilmorin & Cie
“Thanks to MyStandards Readiness Portal,” says Martins, “Vilmorin & Cie was able to build a message format from scratch and have it match with the guidelines before we went to production. Being able to work independently has been the greatest benefit of using the tool.”
BNP Paribas’ testing process consists of several phases: validation of message syntax and business rules in MyStandards, followed by verification of connectivity parameters in BNP Paribas’ testing environment, and finally the “Penny” test in the production environment before go-live.
The message specifications testing process used to be slow, manual, and error-prone. Before using MyStandards, message errors were typically communicated one by one via email. The corporate client had to wait for the bank to provide feedback on syntax and structure, and if changes were required, the IT team of the corporate client would have to make corrections during the production phase—a stressful, hard-to-predict, costly and time-consuming method.
Since using MyStandards Readiness Portal, Vilmorin & Cie has been benefitting from significant time savings. With the validation report, all errors can be handled at once, leaving only those issues that are impossible to anticipate before the next testing phases.
On BNP Paribas’ side, implementation managers valued the decreased need to explain guidelines or to help correct basic message errors via email. They can now focus more on complex and technical issues and engage with the client directly via MyStandards.
Centralized documentation of specifications worldwide
For BNP Paribas to be able to fully meet the worldwide needs of corporate clients, they must create and centralize their usage guidelines for all countries in MyStandards.
BNP Paribas started this journey in the first quarter of 2017. A year later, they had published more than 200 usage guidelines. They are well on track to meet their deadline of completing the documentation phase for global coverage.
Being able to offer such extensive coverage of usage guidelines in a single online repository represents a major benefit for both BNP Paribas and its corporate clients. The era of having to save message specifications locally, where they can get lost and where team members across the globe cannot access them, is officially over!
“The biggest benefit of using MyStandards is making our clients happy.”
Isabelle Volckaert, Marketing e-Channels – Cash Management, BNP Paribas
The MyStandards Readiness Portal enables BNP Paribas to enhance its multinational corporate customers’ onboarding experience. Implementation projects are accelerated, and global teams can work off a single documentation repository and are able to proceed through the initial testing phase autonomously.
Although the project is still ongoing, both BNP Paribas and Vilmorin & Cie have already captured tangible results.
Vilmorin & Cie was able to remove the vast majority of syntax and structure errors before proceeding to the next testing phases. In addition, it was able to build and test complex XML message formats from scratch in less than six weeks—three times faster than before it was using MyStandards. Vilmorin & Cie works with other banks, too, but it mentions use of MyStandards for the testing phase as a major benefit of working with BNP Paribas.
After the adoption of MyStandards in early 2017, BNP Paribas started onboarding corporates using the MyStandards Readiness Portal in September 2017—a mere nine months into the project—quite an achievement for a financial institution of its size and complexity.
More important still, BNP Paribas is able to offer its multinational corporate clients a streamlined implementation solution at a global scale.