Cash managers who had decided the “e” in eBAM stood for “eventually” can take heart. “We’ve reached the floodgate moment,” says Dan Gill, director of corporate solutions for Weiland/Open Solutions, a tech vendor for bank account management in Bannockburn, Ill. “The testing is done. The message formats are set. And live, production-level messages will be moving by January.”
Open Solutions is implementing its first electronic bank account management (eBAM) client, a large insurance company, using SWIFT to communicate with three banks—J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gill reports. “We picked this company to be the pioneer, and we have a line of others ready to follow quickly. A lot of the 100 clients using our eBAM-ready BAweb™ solution are ready to go, but we’ll pace the implementations and add more banks when they are ready.”
“EBAM has gone through very intensive testing for years,” says Solimine, pictured at left. “We ran trials and tried repeatedly to break it and then fix it where it broke. The standards are all mature and ISO-certified. We’ve run pilots and they’ve worked as expected. We have a high degree of confidence that eBAM is now ready to roll.” It’s not some complex, whiz-bang technology, he adds. “We’re just moving good data from point A to point B. The only change is that we’ll be doing it electronically instead of with paper.”
While the standards and infrastructure may have passed all the tests, bank readiness is still a work in progress. From the corporate perspective, the pace of banks’ adoption of eBAM continues to hold back a promising technology, reports Tom Hunt, director of treasury services at the Association for Financial Professionals.