In September 2007, the SWIFT Board of Directors approved the implementation of a distributed architecture for SWIFT's messaging services. To be introduced in two phases, distributed architecture will organise SWIFT messaging services into two processing zones, the European zone and the Trans-Atlantic zone, with pairs of operating centres that store the traffic for each zone. Phase 1, targeted to be completed by end 2009, includes a new operating centre, hosted on leased premises in Switzerland, and a new command and control centre in Asia Pacific.
In the second phase, a new, fully state-of-the-art operating centre will replace the temporary operating centre. The operating centre will then become the global operating centre for the Trans-Atlantic and European zones. Current plans are for the second phase to be completed by end 2012.
Distributed architecture will improve resilience, add capacity, control long-term average message costs, and alleviate European data protection concerns. The storage and processing of relevant messages exchanged between European correspondents will indeed be restricted to European operating centres only. The impact on customers will be minimal. The distributed architecture implementation principles ensure that the transition to the new architecture is as transparent as possible and that the extensive functionality of SWIFT's current messaging services remains unchanged.