HIGHLY COMMENDED WINNER
Best in Class Treasury
Solution in the Middle East
Umar Pirzada, Manager Treasury – Banking, Systems &
Procedures PMO – Corporate Treasury
SWIFT MyStandards is a key part of the solution for Emirates Airlines
Emirates is a global connector of people and places and an enabler for trade and tourism. With a fleet of 258 fuel
efficient aircraft, the multi-award winning carrier flies to more than 150 destinations across six continents. Emirates is the
industry’s largest operator of Boeing 777s with more than 160 in the fleet. The airline is also the world’s largest operator
of the Airbus A380 with 95 currently in its fleet. A total of 216 aircraft, worth US$108bn, are on the order books.
As a multinational corporate dealing with multiple financial institutions,
Emirates needed to first understand the Message Implementation
Guidelines (MIGs) of all the banks they wanted to work with. The
guidelines are typically documented in different ways across a variety
of incompatible documentation formats. It is often difficult to clarify
the needs and understand what you have to update if you want to
start working with an additional bank. On-boarding a new destination
required a lot of time to integrate payment systems with the respective
banks. Emirate’s application development team were required to be
dependent on banks during file format testing and it took a lot of time
to get clarity on any new regulatory changes which needed to be
Umar Pirzada, Manager Treasury – Banking, Systems & Procedures PMO
– Corporate Treasury explains, “Our objective was to have a self-service
platform where the IT team managing the XML file formats is not
dependent on banks to test the file format and to reduce the turnaround
time in enabling efficient banking operations for new destinations.”
Emirates turned to Citi, who has provided them with digital access to
cutting-edge technology that addresses speed to market. Citi has
embraced the use of a digital enabler through a partnership and
collaboration with SWIFT and together they have developed a new
tool called SWIFT MyStandards, which simplifies on-boarding and the
testing process for payment files, providing access to Emirates to
drive and speed up the development of ISO 20022.
The SWIFT MyStandards Readiness Portal is a cloud-based
on-boarding and testing tool, so that it could share Citi formatting
guidelines in an easy-to-use interactive environment and start file
structure and content validation testing in parallel with its planned
Best practice and innovation
Centralising, implementing and using standards-related information,
which often involves a lot of time and resources across different
departments can be a large undertaking for any organisation.
MyStandards is an industry initiative, gathering message
specifications from major banks and market practice groups in a
central, user-friendly and up-to-date web platform. It simplifies the
communication, implementation and maintenance of all standards-
related information between Emirates Airlines and its banks.
Pirzada comments, “MyStandards is the platform where
documentation about the MT and ISO 20022 standards is published.
It eases your analysis and understanding of the message formats.”
Pirzada concludes, “The SWIFT MyStandards tool introduced to us
by Citi has helped us independently test XML format changes in
different regions globally before even sending the files across for
testing to the bank. This has saved us implementation time and effort
by avoiding the to and fro communication. The confidence level
before UAT is much higher and the number of rounds of testing
required with the bank have reduced leading to saving on both sides.
This is a highly recommended tool for corporates who manage XML
development on their side.”
User-friendly solution that enables Emirates to test
messages and validate compliance with the Citi
specifications in a self-service approach.
Consistent process and centralised format across the Citi
network on a single web portal.
Self-service internet testing using the Readiness Portal.
Clear view on the testing activities and on-boarding process.
It provides Emirates with multi-format documentation
such as PDF, Excel and XML.
Streamlined user experience as they have the information
that is relevant to them.
It provides powerful comparisons to understand the small
differences between countries or products.
Direct support from the portal, ensuring their queries
reach the right teams across the network.
Receive bank-specific guidelines in an
Faster on-boarding process with Citi.
Graham Pepe, Emirates Airlines and John Murray, Citi18 | treasurytoday Adam Smith Awards © August 2017