SMA Financial, a SWIFT regional partner for UK, Eire and the Channel Islands, have said that British mobile telecommunications group Vodafone has completed a migration project to move its SWIFT connectivity to the outsourced SMA Service Bureau.

SMA first assisted Vodafone with implementing an in-house independent connection to SWIFT. As maintaining the infrastructure was proving to be increasingly time consuming and challenging to manage, Vodafone selected SMA’s SWIFT Service Bureau.

The project is expected to free up staff time and enable easier access to value-added services, whilst offering future proof scalability and flexibility around Vodafone Treasury’s payment processing using the SWIFT network.

Vodafone operates a centralized treasury that funds all group subsidiaries from the UK. It makes payments, sends and receives statements over SWIFT from its treasury management system via the SMA Service Bureau. The total value of payments made on a daily basis runs into millions of pounds therefore payment processing is central to maintaining efficient cash and treasury management.

Fraser Lee, treasury systems manager at Vodafone, said: “We have a long standing relationship with SMA Financial and their consultants already had a detailed understanding of our SWIFT Infrastructure and requirements. A key reason for choosing SMA’s Service Bureau is that it has the highest level of accreditation from SWIFT and is backed up by one of the world’s largest teams of accredited consultants.”

Neil Gray, director of corporate solutions for UK and Ireland at SWIFT, said: “An outsourced Service Bureau is proving the favoured connectivity model for many large corporates as it provides an easy, cost-effective and scaleable means of accessing the SWIFT network. By freeing up resources that would otherwise have been involved in managing the SWIFT infrastructure in-house, it also allows the treasury department to focus on other more profitable and value-added activities.”

Simon Murby, MD of SMA Financial, said: “The project at Vodafone highlights how corporates can benefit from outsourcing their SWIFT connectivity to a proven Service Bureau. Our deep domain knowledge ensures that can help corporates that are looking to make better use of the secure SWIFT network and related services to increase payment processing efficiency, increase straight-through processing (STP) and reduce operational risk.”