IBC / TWIST BSB – Fall 2011 Newsletter

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  • Update since the last newsletter; Bank of America has gone live with Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America, Standard Chartered has expanded to 11 key markets, SEB has announced support of the BSB standard and a number of banks have announced projects to expand the BSB to cover additional markets.  Furthermore banks have seen an increased demand for the BSB from corporate customers.  See News from the Banks for more details.
  • Read what Vendors; Schwabe, Ley & Greiner, Open Solutions / WFG, Chesapeake Systems Solution, Infor and SunTec say in News from the Vendors.
  • GE, Lufthansa, Siemens and eBay shares their experiences with us.  See News from the Corporates and the Corporate Survey.
  • Two projects are nearing completion to expand the BSB capability. The first is to bring the BSB under the ISO 20022 umbrella; a joint project of TWIST and SWIFT.  The second is to create a set of Global Service Codes to be used in reporting services in BSB files.  This AFP project is supported by a number of banks, vendors and corporates.
  • This spring a second Corporate Survey documented highlighted interest in the BSB and expanded adoption by corporates.  It also identified many of the reasons that other corporates had not implemented the BSB.
  • There will be an upcoming presentation on the BSB at AFP Conference in Boston.  Steve Weiland, Robert Blair and Paul Burstein will be presenting the session “The BSB, Global Electronic Billing Statement: History, Proof of Concept, Status and Acceptance” on Monday, November 7 at 8:30 AM.  Please join us if you are in Boston.
  • Lufthansa hosted a Second Round Table of DAX Treasurers on the TWIST BSB and billing issues.

For more information read below.


Recasting the BSB under ISO 20022

Steve Weiland reports:

For many good reasons, TWIST, Swift and the ISO are engaged in a project  to recast the TWIST BSB electronic billing statement standard  into an ISO 20022 standard. The ISO, International Standards Organization, has indentified and published a complete set of XML based guidelines and structures to be used for all new and revised electronic  transactions. These guidelines are referred to as the “20022” guidelines. The project to recast the TWIST BSB electronic billing statement standard into a universally recognized international standard is well under way.

Acceptance of a standard into the ISO 20022 family is a rigorous process. First comes the business justification. The justification has been accepted by the ISO RMG, Registration Management Group. A select team of individuals who carry in a detailed knowledge of the TWIST format and usage, together with those who are intimate with the ISO 20022 structures , have been working on this project for the last six months. The MDR, Message Definition Report, will soon be submitted to the SEG, Standards Evaluation Group, for technical approval and the team expects a minimum of problems. The MDR will then be submitted to interested banks, vendors and corporations for comment. In the meantime an MUG, Message User Guide, will be created. This document, similar to the TWIST BSB Requirements Document, is an exhaustive description and discussion of all data fields within the new ISO 20022 standard. Upon completion of all documentation –  the MDR, MUG and a TWIST/ISO field to field mapping – interested parties will have all they need to build new ISO standard output creation and input reader systems, or to modify existing TWIST BSB systems.

It is important to note that the project team has preserved all of the existing TWIST BSB data content. The XML tags and structure have changed but the data content remains essentially the same. Consequently we expect that the conversion of existing TWIST BSB systems into the new ISO standard will consist essentially of a reformatting effort. We also expect that the ISO 20022 Electronic Billing Statement standard will provide added impetus to those banks that have been waiting for an ISO approved electronic statement billing standard.

For further information please contact Stephen.Weiland@opensolutions.com or Paul.Burstein@TWISTstandards.org.

Global Service Codes

It has been my privilege to work with the Association for Financial Professionals to create the first ever AFP Global Service Codes designed specifically for use with the TWIST BSB. I am happy to report that the service codes will be released at the AFP National Conference this November 2011 and made available on the AFP website www.afponline.org.

Banks from across the globe provided valuable feedback over the past 2 years to make this idea a reality. Thank you to the representatives from Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Danske Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, HSBC, BNY Mellon, BNP Paribas, Unicredit, Citi, General Electric, Infor, Chesapeake System Solutions, and especially Steve Weiland with Open Solutions and Paul Burstein with TWIST who have all worked with me to create, edit, and finalize over 800 service codes and associated descriptions.

Since 1986, AFP Services Codes© have been recognized as the standard for identifying balances and charges that appear on billing statements in the United States. The new AFP Global Service Codes were produced as part of AFP’s continuing commitment to promote global standardization in treasury practices and bank reporting. One important difference between the Global and domestic codes is the length of the code field.  Due to the differences between the ANSI X12 and TWIST BSB formats, AFP Global Service codes are 8 digits while the domestic codes are 6 digits.  Below are the product categories included in the new AFP Global Service Codes:

AFP Global Service Codes Product Categories

Balance and Compensation Fees

Custody Services

General Account Services

Credit Services

Lockbox Services

Electronic Funds Transfer

Depository Services

Automatic Investment Services

Paper Disbursement Services

SWIFT Services

Paper Disbursement Reconciliation Services

Information Reporting

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

*Additional categories such as Global Trade and Merchant Card Services are proposed for a later publication.

In addition to the codes, we have created a mapping between the US and Global codes to help those banks and global corporations who may already use the domestic codes to get a full picture and track their spending both in and outside the US.  Having a standard code helps organize and automate the monthly review of bank billing and also in the creation of and response to RFPs.  I sincerely hope all global banks will adopt the new AFP Global Service Codes and lead the way toward a truly standardized global treasury.

Bridget Meyer, CTP

Bank Relationship Management Consultant

Corporate Survey

Paul Burstein reports:

In April a questionnaire was sent to the 132 corporates on the IBC/TWIST BSB mailing list.  We wanted to see how corporates were working with their banks to implement the BSB.  75 of the corporates (57%) are US headquartered although most have major international presence.  57 (53%) were headquartered outside the US.  Responses came in over the next two months from 35 corporates (31%).  24 (69%) were US and 11 (31%) were non-US.  4 Corporates did not provide specific responses due to corporate policy.

  • 13 of the respondents said they were receiving the BSB.  Two years ago 4 corporates responded yes when asked this question in a similar survey from basically the same population of corporates.
  • 8 of the respondents who were not receiving the BSB had already contacted their banks about receiving the BSB.  Of these 6, stated that all the banks they had contacted were live with the BSB.  2 respondents reached out to banks that were not offering the BSB.
  • 3 additional respondents said that while they had not contacted their banks they would be doing so in the near future.
  • That is, 24 of 31 corporates who gave details were actively or would be actively involved with the BSB.

The corporates were also asked “Are there any major issues that are impeding your implementation of the BSB?”  Of the corporates not live with the BSB, 12 corporates answered this question, some with multiple reasons.  Their primary responses were:

  1. No need or cost of project is an issue (4 respondents)
  2. Bank availability of the BSB, either globally or in specific markets (4)
  3. Internal resource availability or working on another project (3)
  4. Prioritization of projects (2)
  5. In analysis phase or project scheduled for next year (2)
  6. Not ready yet (1)

Jeanette Longstreet of eBay had this to say about their reasons for not implementing the BSB’

“We had initiated a project last year aiming to implement an AA system (for at least a pilot bank) and had spoken to both Chesapeake & Weiland.  We ended up not proceeding for several reasons including: we didn’t feel that there was enough global adoption in either system, they didn’t have holistic capabilities we were hoping for, we didn’t have full engagement for support from our IT org, and it became a lower business priority.  At this time we hope the market continues to evolve and plan to revisit as a 2012 project.”

Based on the survey responses, it appears that the implementation of the BSB by the corporates has not been as fast as one might have anticipated, although it has picked up speed in the year.  (This has also been an observation of a number of banks.)  Primary causes for not implementing a BSB project appear to be 1) corporates prioritization of projects, availability of resources and cost and/or 2) availability of the BSB by relationship banks.

The big story is that in this survey 13 corporates had responded that they had implemented the BSB.  (The best estimate from multiple sources is that at least 40 corporates have implemented at least one BSB bank project.)  Two years ago 4 corporates responded that they had implemented the BSB.  Two years ago 6 banks provided the BSB to their corporate customers.  Today it is 13 banks and of the earlier 6 banks, most continue to expand their regional market coverage.

Second Round Table of DAX Treasurers

Martin Postweiler of Lufthansa reports:

Almost one year after meeting with many DAX Treasurers regarding TWIST, Lufthansa and Schwabe, Ley & Greiner (SLG), hosted a second round table with Corporates and banks in Frankfurt this September. It became clear that more and more banks are beginning to offer electronic billing to their customers.

Even though the number of Corporates currently receiving TWIST files is rather small, the interest in a little more up-to-date billing with BSB is increasing rapidly, especially as SLG’s TWIST processing software is now available, with other European software vendors to follow soon.

The corporate side also expressed high hopes to be able to use the Global Billing Codes soon to further harmonize the pricing structure worldwide.

The question whether banks could charge for sending BSB invoices was rejected unanimously from the attending treasurers. Apart from paying the implementation of a host-to-host connection for automatic file receipt and possible licences for Global Service Codes any further cost should be dealt with within the bank.

The problem of third-party bank charges was also discussed during this meeting, unfortunately without a real solution. Electronic billing cannot solve this issue at the moment. All corporates would highly appreciate, however, if their main cash management banks would take up this problem that complicates many treasury and bookkeeping processes. As an example, if a strategic supplier – let us say –  in the fuel sector is affected, deducted third-party bank charges could even jeopardize an airline’s operation.


News from the Banks

News from the Corporates

Viplav Rathore of GE says:

“GE continues to partner actively with all our banking partners on TWIST BSB advocacy and implementation.  We currently receive regular TWIST BSB fee reports from Danske Bank (5 countries), Barclays Bank (UK), Socgen (France), Citibank EMEA (12 countries), Deutsche Bank (Germany, Austria, Spain and Indonesia), BNP EMEA (3 countries), KBC (Belgium), Westpac (Australia) and Intesa San Paolo (Italy). Testing is successfully underway with HSBC (India and Hong Kong), Citibank APAC and Deutsche Bank (Thailand). We have existing commitments with timelines from HSBC Mauritius, Citibank (Middle East and Latam) and BNP (Belgium, Spain and Netherlands). We have new commitments for testing from K & H Bank Hungary, HSBC UAE and RBS Netherlands. In terms of the next generation steps we are looking at all the existing TWIST BSB fee report providers to deliver this reporting via SWIFT and incorporate interest information as part of these reports.”

Deutsche Lufthansa AG says:
“After the first euphoric discussions about the possibilities of electronic billing information with TWIST, the results of the first received data brought the Cash Management team back to reality. In Europe for example, the coding and billing cycles differ between some countries. In addition, the billing account format often is not consistent with the bank’s previous information. In the US many of the price item’s description in the billing file do not yet match what was previously communicated.
Nevertheless, Martin Postweiler from Lufthansa’s Cash Management is quite happy with the positive side effects within Lufthansa Group and its approx. 400 subsidiaries worldwide: “With the electronic billing information we are able to adjust the bank data base for a growing percentage of Lufthansa’s 1,500 bank accounts.” He is also convinced that the first hiccups can be solved soon and that it will be possible to extend the system in the long run. “It would be nice for our Shared Service Centres, to automatically compare the data collected by the treasury-tool with the payments data offered by the banks. Then we could also supervise the number of transfers and have the possibility to steer the processes behind it”. So far, however, most banks cannot offer this data. Postweiler hopes, that the companies’ efforts will encourage the banks to work on solutions. “They will work on it once they realise that the offering of standardised data on banking fees becomes an argument in the competition for corporate clients.” After all, electronic invoices are only seen as a first step to a significant evaluation of bank relationships.”

Jonas Korte of Siemens says:

“Siemens AG has decided to extend its efforts in the area of the electronic bank invoicing. Currently, Siemens reviews software products for the processing of TWIST BSB files and assesses respective capabilities of its partner banks. After the centralization of group-wide vendor payments and a survey on worldwide bank charges, Siemens sees great advantages in the standardization of bank invoices and would like to intensify the exchange and cooperation with other corporates and within the TWIST community.”

News from the Software Vendors

Open Solutions / WFG says:

“Interest in and use of the BSB is increasing. Global companies, particularly those based in the US and familiar with the 822, are now looking for the same benefits, analytics and cost reduction through analysis of their foreign banks’ billing statements. As expected, as more global banks begin producing the BSB, more global corporations are signing up for their banks’ BSB output. We now have fifteen of our BRMEdge™ customers activated for BSB acceptance. What is significant is that five of these customers have come on board in the last three months.”

For additional information contact Mike O’Brien at Michael.o’brien@opensolutions.com  /  +1 847 810 6113.

Steve Cameron, President, Open Solutions Inc.

From Chesapeake Systems Solutions:

“With the recent release of SmartAnalysis 6.0, Chesapeake has added significant user interface and processing enhancements in the areas of our executive dashboard functionality, direct setup and administrative data importing from external sources, custom reporting, and bank relationship management.

Chesapeake also participated in the final review of AFP’s proposed Global Service Codes.  Even though no code values have been assigned so far and the associated services list may undergo many updates, we are ready today for the TWIST AFP Global Service Codes.  Our existing SmartAnalysis user defined code functionality guarantees that no product enhancements will be necessary to fully support the AFP Global Service Codes upon implementation and into the future.”

For additional information contact John Snyder, jsnyder@chessys.com, +1 410 356 6805 x118.

Schwabe, Ley & Greiner, the leading European treasury management consulting company, announces the extension of its Treasury Information Platform (www.slg.co.at/e-tip) to accommodate not only reporting and analyzing of banking fees, but also any kind of bank related data needed to get an overview of your global bank relationships. This includes items such as account balances, credit lines, guarantees, fx- and interest transactions, bank limits and ratings, signatory users, contract documents, interest rates, maturities, etc.. Integrated in the Treasury Information Platform, this will allow a truly global overview of all bank accounts and information related to it. Interfaces to all relevant systems (ERP, TMS, ..) and standards (SWIFT, BAI2, TITO, TWIST BSB, EDI 822, ..) allow easy integration into existing system environments.

For more information or an online demo of the Treasury Information Platform please contact Hubert Rappold at tip@slg.co.at.

“Infor is a leading provider of business software and services. Our solutions represent a tremendous value and capability in meeting goals for revenue and profitability growth. Infor Complete Billing System stands as a proven leader in accurately analyzing customers and maximizing profit from fee-based services.  The product provides full support of global processing needs for international billing and has advanced pricing options such as price tiers, percentage discounts, and per mil pricing.  The product provides multiple statement delivery options, including full support of TWIST BSB.  Infor also offers a client viewer that imports the TWIST XML data to facilitate easy reading of the statement information, including services, volumes, and currencies.  Financial institutions using Complete Billing System are continuing to see an expansion of adoption of TWIST BSB by their corporate clients.   We are also actively engaged with the TWIST organization and other participants in efforts to provide a Global Service Code standard.  We will continue to be active on this effort and others to ensure support of this important standard.”

To learn more about Infor’s billing solution, visit us www.infor.com/solutions/fms/corebanking, or contact Randy Powers at 407-916-4843 or randy.powers@infor.com.

SunTec says:

“As a leading provider of Relationship-based Pricing and Centralized Billing solutions to the Financial Services industry, SunTec is committed to delivering solutions which meet the standards followed by the industry. TWIST BSB is one such standard for the distribution of electronic details which reflect the charges applied to clients. SunTec has delivered TWIST BSB output through its standard data interfacing platform, thus ensuring that future upgrades to the standard can be achieved through Meta data updates in much the same way as acquiring a new map for your navigation system. The user defines the structure and format of the source and requests output in the desired format and version. The facility has been trialed by various clients and is expected to be in production shortly.”

For more information contact Jishith.G at jishithg@suntecgroup.com.

Lastly you can participate

  • Pass this newsletter on to others who might be interested and email us to include them in future mailings.
  • Corporates, you should contact your bank relationship managers to let them know of your interest in receiving the BSB.
  • Let us know if your company or bank wishes to be publicly identified with the TWIST BSB project and what you are doing.

Best Regards,
Paul Burstein


Contacting TWIST

TWIST Process Innovations Ltd

Cheyne House, Crown Court
62-63 Cheapside, 4th Floor
London, EC2V 6JP
United Kingdom

Email: info@twiststandards.org

Web: To find out more about TWIST activities, please register at www.twiststandards.org







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