The critical need for a secure and common messaging system that would serve as the basic platform for intra-bank and inter-bank applications and would fulfil the requirements of domestic financial messaging gave rise to the Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS). SFMS was launched on December 14, 2001, at IDRBT.

SFMS is like other global messaging systems, but is feature-rich and has more utilities. The major advantage of SFMS is that it can be used practically for all secure communication purposes within and between banks.

sfms_3 The intra-bank part of SFMS can be used by the banks to take full advantage of the secure messaging facility it provides. The inter-bank messaging part is useful for applications like Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), Delivery Versus Payments (DVP), Centralized Funds Management System (CFMS), etc. SFMS provides easy to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which can be used to integrate all existing and future applications with the SFMS. Banks can develop comprehensive and efficient tools / applications, and integrate them easily with SFMS for use on the Corporate Intranet. Banks can link all their important, high volume branches to SFMS, irrespective of their category, through appropriate network connectivity. Moreover, use of SFMS is not restricted only to computerized or partially computerized branches.

Key features of SFMS are:

  1. Highly scalable architecture capable of meeting the ever-increasing demands of the Indian Payment and Settlement Systems
  2. PKI based security environment ensures authentication, confidentiality, non-repudiation, and integrity
  3. Store and forward messaging system ensuring recourse to messages with status
  4. Structured work-flow enabling easy integration of messages with participant’s present internal and applications as well as future modules
  5. Template builder supports various types of user defined formats
  6. Supports Multi currency standard message format
  7. Facility to broadcast and multicast
  8. Provides user defined reports for MIS requirements

Following application currently run on SFMS:

  1. Payment System Application: Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
  2. Trade related Messaging: Inland Letters of Credit (LC), Bank Guarantee (BG)
  3. Lien on Documents/Securities: E-FDR (Lien on Term Deposits
  4. Other Messages Supported – Secured File Transfer and Free Format Messages