Participation in the CGI initiative - Omikron confirms its role as prime partner to banks and corporates in harmonizing international payments

One standard message format for making payments with banks worldwide: this requirement, long at the top of the shopping list for international corporates, could soon become reality. Among the many drives to standardize payments between corporates and banks, the "Common Global Implementation" initiative (CGI) has set itself a particularly demanding challenge. Taking the ISO 20022 XML standard, a working group formed in 2009 set out to establish a generic core message for corporate – bank payment flows. Among the original 30+ members were some of the largest global banking groups, bank associations and major corporates.

As a member of the CGI initiative, Omikron closely follows the activities of the group and ensures that the findings are consistently implemented in its solu-tions. The aim is to ensure timely and full compliance with CGI standards in all corporate and bank products. Cooperating with internationally active banks and corporates. CGI formats and validations are being integrated in a number of parallel projects.

Omikron’s products cover all key functions needed by banks and corporates to exploit the benefits of CGI. These include:

  • A secure transport of validated files in ISO 20022 XML format between corporates and banks
  • An option for creating CGI-compliant orders
  • Validation and repair of files to ensure that these match bank specifications
  • Conversion solutions to support banks and corporates who are not yet CGI-compliant, but want to make use of the benefits of this message format

Building on its expertise in multiple country markets and its pioneering role in the development of SEPA solutions, Omikron’s strategy is to support in parallel the guidelines specified and published by banking groups on the basis of CGI. What is invaluable at this level : alongside the central message, the CGI workgroup is also defining general conditions for integrating local rules, providing a framework for national specialities such as Central Bank Reporting, tax details and structured narratives. Following a pilot phase at the end of 2011, specifications for Credit Transfers, Direct Debits and Cash Management information have been signed off for a number of countries ; others are following step-by-step.

The integration of local and bank-specific developments in Omikron products ensures that payment files are automatically created in the correct format for the bank in question, as soon as an appropriate format variant is available. In addition, the modular structure of Omikron solutions enables banks and corporates to choose exactly the CGI functionality that meets their needs. As Thomas Zimmermann, Omikron’s Managing Director states : "Our strategy enables all market participants to decide directly and individually how much 'CGI' they want to use, and when. That means that everyone can make the most of the benefits promised by this exciting initiative."