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Best in Class Treasury

Solution in the Middle East

Emirates Airlines

Dubai, UAE

Umar Pirzada, Manager Treasury – Banking, Systems &

Procedures PMO – Corporate Treasury

SWIFT MyStandards is a key part of the solution for Emirates Airlines

Company profile

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.

The challenge

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

complied with.

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.”

The solution

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

account-opening process.

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.”

Key benefits

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

industry-wide representation.

Faster on-boarding process with Citi.

Graham Pepe, Emirates Airlines and John Murray, Citi

18 | treasurytoday Adam Smith Awards © August 2017