July 15, 2009

U.S. corporations overwhelmingly confirmed the importance of receiving remittance information in wire transfers, according to a new survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).

Ninety-five percent of the 331 respondents to "Providing Remittance Information with Wire Transfers" said remittance information would be valuable to their organizations if it were made available in the wire transfer message. Organizations of all revenue sizes and wire volumes shared this view, but it was particularly important to larger companies and those with greater wire volumes.

Furthermore, a portion of respondents (37 percent) felt that having more information with the wire payment would actually increase their wire volume. This is especially true of the larger organizations.

Companies cannot receive in-depth wire data without manual intervention today. However, the Federal Reserve Banks and The Clearing House, operators of the Fedwire Funds Service and CHIPS, two of the largest wire transfer networks in the nation, are working on a solution to this problem. The two organizations have said they will expand their formats to provide more remittance information with wire transfers by 2010.

The study also found that 91 percent of wire transfer recipients, the main beneficiaries of remittance information, would use the new data to receive and post incoming wires. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) said they would include remittance information in outgoing wires, perhaps to reduce the number of inquiries from the receiver of the wire transfer, according to a release.

Organizations primarily use bank cash management systems to send and receive wires. According to the AFP, once banks and software vendors make the new format available, their business clients will be able to identify incoming payments and post them to the correct accounts without manual intervention and research.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR