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How a leading bank streamlined payments by integrating their treasury management system with the SWIFT network

"AccessPay provided expert guidance on SWIFT, helping us to understand what was needed to fully automate our treasury payments."

Treasury operations manager, Warren Hyde, Sainsbury's Bank

Launched in 1997 Sainsbury’s Bank is the oldest supermarket bank in the UK, and provides multiple products to its 2.1 million customers including loans, insurance and savings.

Central to the bank’s success is the treasury team, who oversee and control cash management via their Treasury Management System (TMS), monitoring transactions and making payments as and when they are needed.

The challenge of manual tasks

The team make high value cross-border treasury payments every day via SWIFT, which can be time-consuming when done manually. AccessPay had been recommended in 2015 as a corporate cash management solution.

Treasury Operations Manager Warren Hyde explains: “Formatting and uploading the payment data to process these payments manually, then checking it for accuracy, can take hours. This is time our team members could be spending doing other tasks crucial to our bank’s success.”

Sainsbury’s Bank wanted help eliminating these manual processes, by integrating its TMS with the SWIFT network. AccessPay supported Sainsbury’s Bank in achieving this goal.

Working on a bespoke solution for Sainsbury’s Bank

Key to the success of the integration project was the creation of payment files compatible with both Sainsbury’s Bank’s existing back-office systems and SWIFT.

This would allow them to be uploaded to the payment scheme automatically, with no need for information to be inputted by hand.

AccessPay worked closely with both Sainsbury’s Bank and the TMS provider to deliver this goal, setting specifications for the new payment file formats that could be easily transferred without changing its systems.

AccessPay’s technical expertise shone through as the engineering team built new infrastructure to connect Sainsbury’s system to SWIFT, automating the delivery of the new files with no human intervention. This further streamlined the treasury payment processes.

Explaining the dynamic of how we worked together Warren enthused:

“Throughout the project, AccessPay’s customer support was excellent. They provided expert guidance on SWIFT, helping us to understand what was needed to fully automate our treasury payments, and liaised with our system providers to help create the ideal payment file formats for the job.

 

The team regularly updated us on progress so we knew exactly what was happening at every stage.”

Warren Hyde, Treasury Operations Manager at Sainsbury’s Bank

Delivering financial transformation

Thanks to the intelligent automation of the payment process by AccessPay, Sainsbury’s Bank’s cross-border treasury payments are now fully automated.

This eliminates the need for team members to deliver the files or data themselves, saving time for other key cash management processes and boosting productivity.

Moreover, automation of the payments process minimises the risk of errors and ensures there are no missed payments, supporting the smooth, efficient operation of the treasury team.

Elsewhere Sainsbury’s Bank also benefit from enhanced cash visibility through AccessPay’s cash management offering.

With AccessPay’s platform, the bank enjoys automated statement retrieval from across its global bank accounts every hour, enabling it to review its liquidity position in near real time, giving enhanced insight and control.

“Without AccessPay, we’d have to revert to old manual processes, and we wouldn’t have the oversight of our cash we enjoy now. The platform has transformed the way we work for the better.”

A gradual expansion of AccessPay services

After successful implementation of the cash management function Sainsbury’s Bank started to look at what other services AccessPay could offer, including domestic payments.

“AccessPay had an impressive roster of customers it had helped to achieve the same
efficiency goal, particularly financial institutions like ours. We were confident the team would be able to meet our needs and transform our operations.”

The payments offering was more gradual and involved the AccessPay development team providing information and functionality on the product. The system went live in June 2020.

AccessPay TMS integrations

The future

Sainsbury’s Bank is now working with the business on a new solution to further automate and streamline
its back-office treasury processes.

“We’re really happy with AccessPay. Its platform is reliable, the system is intuitive and
easy for our team to navigate. What’s more, the customer support is excellent, not just during the delivery of the project, but afterwards as well.

 

They are always on hand to support us with anything we need and with new projects. We’re looking forward to continuing the relationship well into the future.”

For more information on how AccessPay can help connect you to SWIFT contact us today.

"Formatting and uploading the payment data manually, then checking it, can take hours. This is time our team members could spend doing other tasks crucial to our bank’s success."

Treasury operations manager, Warren Hyde, Sainsbury's Bank