CBP: A versatile and powerful platform to deliver FX and payments solutions

e-Forex asked Chris Gibson, Director of Payments at smartTrade Technologies, to tell them more about our firm’s new class-leading FX and payments platform.

Who are you targeting with Commercial Banking & Payments (CBP) and is likely to benefit most from deploying it?

Of course, the name Commercial Banking & Payments suggests the most prominent target audience for the platform: financial institutions providing cross-border payments with FX to business clients. However, the strength of CBP goes beyond this single–albeit crucial–use case: it is an unrivaled FX distribution platform that allows banks to source, price, and distribute FX into any channel for any audience and need. Any bank or institution with a significant FX distribution franchise–whether they have sophisticated trading needs or not–can benefit from CBP.

CBP unites FX and Payments capabilities in a single, powerful platform covering the entire FX and payments lifecycle. What are the advantages of doing that?

Most FX clients today don’t have access to a platform that can provide adequate FX capabilities alongside the cash management and payments features that normally give rise to FX needs. This forces clients to spread their transactions across platforms and providers or to simply choose lesser FX solutions–or even none at all because the costs and risks of piecing together transactions across multiple venues are too high. Breaking what most clients see as a single transaction into multiple parts is both a loss of volume and an invitation to attrition. A single platform gives clients the experience they expect and banks the ability to deliver that experience efficiently and effectively.

What key features and functionality does CBP offer?

CBP covers the entire FX lifecycle from liquidity to aggregation, pricing and distribution. Banks can offer a full range of currencies, transactions, and execution types to internal (voice and electronic) and external audiences with tailored pricing. Users can settle and fund FX transactions via any payment type and choose split, bulk, or post-dated payments.

Cash management features include user roles, confirmations, netting, templates, and payment and instruction approvals. Controls include credit and deposit checks, risk and settlement limits, bank approval workflows, field validations and a range of other features that ensure transaction and platform integrity. In addition, CBP is fully ISO-20022 compliant and can not only operate in both MX and MT formats but it can facilitate the transition to ISO Compliance.

How have you designed the platform to make it more intuitive and easy to use for clients and their staff?

A key challenge for platforms incorporating payments and FX is enabling users to transact on familiar terms whether those terms are payments, FX, simple, or complex. CBP provides FX, payments, and combined workflows for straightforward to sophisticated users within a single interface. Banks can not only provide a natural payments or FX experience to their clients but they can also graduate those users to more sophisticated and higher-value transactions and  deepen engagement with the bank. With Settlement Streaming, users can enter into transactions from either a settlement or FX perspective–whatever is more comfortable for them.

How much flexibility does the platform provide for users who may have differing requirements? For example in dealing with multiple audiences or wanting to choose their own FX and Payments processing partners.

The CBP platform is happily agnostic about liquidity sources, correspondents, and payment types. This allows a bank to assemble any combination of these and plug them into CBP to deliver the desired client experience. CBP’s smart routing capabilities allow it to select FX liquidity and deliver payments to particular providers based on a variety of criteria from currency, destination, transaction amount, or even payment cost.

In a similar vein, CBP can serve different transactions, pricing, currencies, languages, and experiences to different customer types, geographies, languages, and even individual users. This allows a bank to provide a tailored FX and payments experience to multiple and different user groups on a single platform managed centrally.

How easy is it to integrate CBP into existing legacy infrastructures?

The CBP integration philosophy is best summed up as: capabilities without complexity. CBP’s cloud and API infrastructure connects not only with external venues such as LPs and correspondents but it also connects with bank infrastructure old and new. Deposit, credit, KYC, payments, and other systems can be accessed like services. Transactions and data pass and synchronize between the various platforms natively and securely.

The CBP API suite can deliver the complete functionality of the platform and any connected LPs and correspondents. These capabilities can also be delivered directly into bank APIs (or other connectivity) and, of course, via the robust Client Web and Bank Trader interfaces.

How can readers find out more about CBP?

Please contact our sales team directly, or visit: