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Management Strategies

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How Accuity Is Helping Increase STP Rates for International Payments

A new integrated platform will allow banks to quickly find routing and referential data to reduce risk and improve customer experience in international payments.

Accuity has built a new platform that integrate data into banks payment systems and processes to increase straight-through processing (STP) of payments, the company announced yesterday.

The new platform results from the merger of Accuity and Banker’s Almanac in 2011. Both organizations had nearly 100 years worth of payment routing and referential data, such as banks’ ABA codes, assets, addresses, counter-parties and accepted currencies. But some of those records conflicted across the two organizations, according to Hugh Jones, Accuity’s president and CEO. Working with NVISIA over 12 months, Accuity cleaned up and combined the two data platforms.

[For More On Compliance and Cross-Border Payments, See: CFPB's New Remittance Regulations Could Shake Up the International Payments Market]

The new platform will allow banks to quickly search and locate payment codes for other institutions, which will boost STP rates. “That’s the Nirvana we want to reach - for banks to be able to always get the right payments codes for straight through processing,” Jones says. “A low STP rate leads to unhappy customers and higher costs in manually entering and reviewing information.”

Accuity estimates that the new platform could save banks as much as $100 million worldwide on manual processing costs.

And increasing STP rates will remain a challenge for banks as the payments world becomes more integrated globally, and make more cross-border payments that involve regulations in different countries, Jones notes. “It’s bank-to-bank how exposed you are to cross-border payments. The big banks have more of an issue because they are doing more of those payments,” he explains.

But the new platform will help banks be able to handle those regulations by providing clean data, and regular updates. Accuity makes more than 5,000 updates to its data each day and those are then streamed to its customer banks, which can help with compliance and risk management, Jones remarks.

“If a foreign bank is put on the sanctions list, it can be hard to push that throughout the organization. Most compliance teams and payments teams aren’t working with the same data. A bank could unknowingly send a payments to a sanctioned bank then. With our data, you can marry it to compliance, and reduce that risk,” he adds.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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