Since 2014, the Luzerner Kantonalbank AG (LUKB) has offered the EBICS communication standard in Switzerland, thus positioning a comprehensive service for professional payment transactions on the market. After the successful introduction of EBICS, it’s now time for the next step: As the first financial institution on the Swiss financial market, from autumn 2015 the LUKB will begin with the pilot phase of the launch of the “distributed electronic signature” (VEU).
The VEU construct is the answer to an ever-increasing need of Swiss corporate customers. Customers can use the VEU to transfer payment orders to the LUKB and, depending on the authorisation construct, can have them finally approved by the persons responsible in the company. This additional process step differs from the EBICS arrangement normally used in Switzerland, whereby the interface works with an individual signature and the authorisations are regulated within the company’s own ERPs. In Germany the VEU is already standard, whereas in Switzerland it’s still a novelty.
By offering the VEU, the LUKB sees an opportunity to position itself as a flexible, customer-oriented financial institution. To implement an EBICS VEU, the LUKB engages with the customer in order to evaluate the suitable signature model. The specifics planned include the following:
- Two parties collectively
- Three parties collectively
- Groups with A and B signatures
- Further individual roles for accounts receivable and/or accounts payable
- Flexible assignment / exclusion of individual order types
However, there are additional reasons for working with the VEU. Due to operational risks, it can make sense to identify the persons responsible for the order assignment in EBICS. With the widely used corporate seals, in which only the company itself is identified, this is not possible. Additionally, in the future there could also be increasing pressure from the regulator or the auditing firms with regard to this issue.
In the starting phase, those customers with European software solutions in particular can be expected to use this service. Furthermore, the LUKB assumes that the local software manufacturers will also be integrating VEU solutions into their clients.
In its corporate customer communication, LUKB is going a step further and will be transporting the ISO 20022 format via EBICS from December 2015. Specifically, the pain.001, pain.002, camt.052 and camt.053 messages will be implemented. Camt.054 is expected to follow in spring 2016, thus completing the ISO range. With this scheme the LUKB will be among the first providers of a productive solution in the project for “harmonising payment transactions in Switzerland”. Along with the Swiss recommendations, the LUKB will also support the ISO and DK schemas (Germany) for the order assignment in ISO 20022. Depending on customer requirements, further schemes such as the French or Austrian formats will be analysed individually.
With its extensive product range for the EBICS VEU and ISO 20022, the LUKB is excellently prepared for the coming challenges on the Swiss corporate customer market.