Treasuries of global corporations soon will pick up a new banking partner that promises to provide a single view of nearly all cash, streamline communication with banks and ultimately improve liquidity management. That partner is SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), formerly an exclusive bankers-only club that dramatically reversed a long-standing policy and threw open its doors to corporate users last June.

Instead of having to buy their way in through individual banks, the new SCORE model allows companies to access SWIFT directly and communicate with all SWIFT banks globally through that single connection. SCORE,an acronym for Standardized Corporate Environment, is a change in gateway policy more than a change in technology, but SWIFTNet, the IP-based network SWIFT introduced three years ago, makes it easier and cheaper to open new access points. SCORE is now in pilot testing with 12 banks and eight corporations. Plans call for making it officially available outside the pilot group in January.

Research shows that it costs multinational corporations between $10,000 and $25,000 to maintain each bank-specific communication connection, notes Julie Monaco, senior vice president for core cash management services in the treasury services division of JPMorgan Chase. Since large MNCs typically have 12 to15 banking relationships, replacing all those connections with a single SCORE connection is "clearly more efficient," she notes. "They can invest once in technology that connects them to all their banks and not worry about interoperability among the proprietary messaging and connectivity systems their banks offer."

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