Tuesday, 24 September 2019 11:41

SWIFT says integration enables payments in seconds Featured

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Global payment services provider SWIFT is claiming payments will be delivered in seconds by integrating gpi, its cross-border payments service, with real-time service levels into domestic instant payments systems around the world.

SWIFT says, through a combination of gpi and domestic real-time payments networks - together with gpi banks – it will facilitate instant international payments with up-front fee and foreign exchange transparency for senders, while also ensuring “ubiquitous availability of instant cross-border payments globally”.

According to SWIFT, these “major advances” will extend the speed and transparency of gpi deeper into domestic markets, enabling banks to leverage their existing investments to deliver a better service to their customers.

“Integrating gpi, through banks, into domestic real-time payment systems reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, thereby minimising implementation costs and avoiding the complexities of adopting new infrastructure,” SWIFT notes.

SWIFT says the service will be available to all types of banks’ end customers, from large multi-nationals to SMEs, and from retail to e-commerce platforms - ensuring “they all reap the benefits of a service that gives speed, up-front clarity on fees and, crucially, predictability on when an end beneficiary’s account will be credited”.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, at SWIFT said: “At SWIFT, we are creating a future in which cross-border payments will be as convenient as domestic ones. It is time for the whole community to come together to seize this opportunity and establish a global real-time payments service.

“We will be discussing with the MIs involved in the trials how to progress to live operation and invite all domestic real time payment systems to come and join in this exciting venture. The technology is in place, it is proven and it is now a reality that cross-border payments can be as fast as domestic payments.”

According to SWIFT, Several global trials have demonstrated its ability to deliver international payments, end to end in “just a few seconds” through gpi combined with domestic real-time systems:

  • Successful trials with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia delivered payments between Australia and China in 18 seconds
  • A trial in Singapore with Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST), involving 17 banks across seven countries, saw the fastest payment in just 13 seconds and payments between all continents settled within 25 seconds.
  • And a trial has recently concluded in Europe between the European Central Bank (ECB), SWIFT and a group of 19 banks using the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) platform.
    The trial conducted tests with 12 banks sending cross-border payments from 9 countries (Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand and United States) into Europe via 5 banks.A speed of 41 seconds has already been achieved in a payment sent from Singapore, cleared via Germany, and credited to the end beneficiary account, with further progress expected as the global instant service is rolled out.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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