In order to address this situation, in Q1 2019 PASI conducted an analysis of available solutions in the market. As part of this process, the fund held extensive discussions with HSBC. PASI obviously needed a solution that was tailored to its business and internal workflows, rather than a generic off-the-shelf product, and it was impressed by the breadth and depth of knowledge the HSBC teams could bring to delivering that. This applied across various disciplines, including IT specialists, integration specialists and product managers.
During the discussions, several possible options were considered, with PASI finally deciding to adopt HSBC's Virtual Account Payor Identification solution, with its scalability and flexibility being important considerations. The implementation of this in five different currencies enabled PASI to identify incoming payments immediately by assigning a unique virtual account number to each payer. However, a key factor in the success of such a solution is encouraging remitters to switch to sending their payments to their new unique virtual accounts. An important part of this process for PASI was distributing marketing material to its remitters advising them of the change and the benefits it would bring for both PASI and themselves. HSBC assisted with the preparation of this material as well as with accompanying press releases. The HSBC team working with PASI also circulated these materials to other HSBC colleagues in the GCC countries to help raise general awareness of the change. Before the implementation started, HSBC delivered a project plan with integrated timelines agreed to by PASI. This itemised all the various steps and the key HSBC personnel involved, including a dedicated integration resource who was mandated to reply back to PASI within 24 hours on any query raised.
The implementation of the initial phase of the project took a month to complete including testing. This was a highly collaborative process between PASI and HSBC. PASI had a dedicated staff member driving the project from its side, which was a key element in ensuring rapid decision making and progress.