JPMorgan Chase & Co. says a new method it tested for accessing the SwiftNet transaction system not only met its goals for being inexpensive and reliable, but also appears to be easy to use.
Brian Wedge, the global product manager for Swift products at JPMorgan Chase's treasury services unit in London, said that it took only two weeks to set up the Swift Alliance Lite system with the test user, the treasury department of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, and that the testing itself took only a week.
"They sent us wires. We sent them statements," Mr. Wedge said in an interview Monday. "From our point of view, it was very smooth."
Swift announced in September that it had developed Alliance Lite, which targets small institutions or corporate clients sending and receiving less than 200 messages a day that may not be able to justify investing in a dedicated connection to SwiftNet.
Instead, those users can send encrypted messages over the public Internet, using credentials supplied by Swift and housed on a secure token, to a portal connecting to the highly secure SwiftNet.
Swift also said it provides a browser interface for manual operations and "a lightweight auto client" for integration with the user's back-office operation.
The New York banking company announced the test's completion last week.
Francis Vanbever, the chief financial officer of Swift, said in a JPMorgan Chase press release: "When our commercial colleagues developed a low-cost product for use by smaller companies, it seemed logical for us to be a pilot user, as well, and provide feedback. We worked closely with JPMorgan during the pilot and were pleased with how user-friendly the product was."
Mr. Wedge said JPMorgan Chase does not plan to promote the Alliance Lite system to its current clients. "I think it's more likely to gain traction with people who are not currently on Swift," he said.
The next version of Alliance Lite, due for release in the first quarter, will include capabilities for ordering securities trades as well as wire transfers and financial reports, perhaps opening an opportunity for users such as money managers, Mr. Wedge said.