Technology and Operations
SWIFT is at the forefront of innovative application of technology within the financial sector. We retain and hire the best minds and embrace the exciting potential of new technologies; we are committed to maintaining a market-leading platform and to delivering innovative technological solutions.
SWIFT’s messaging services support more than 11,000 financial institutions around the world and have systemic importance for the global economy; our users trust us to deliver. As a critical technology and infrastructure provider, our objective is to ensure that our systems work securely and reliably every day, while remaining alert to new threats and opportunities.
The expertise and dedication of our staff, our long-term technology investment and renewal programmes, and our constant vigilance towards new threats, are key components in ensuring we meet this challenging commitment, day after day, year after year.
Our reputation for quality is the foundation for our users’ trust in SWIFT; we take great pride in our proven track record. We continually invest in our technology, security, people and processes to deliver on this commitment to operational excellence.
SWIFT’s approach to providing best-in-class service is founded on our highly technical and capable workforce, a structured, methodical approach to solving problems, demonstrated crisis response and industry acknowledged quality and availability.
SWIFT’s operational excellence is underscored by our zero-risk approach to failure and reflected in our approach to building highly-available solutions for the financial community. By combining a resilient topology with robust software designs and a disciplined approach to the introduction of changes, SWIFT is able to deliver services which continue to run even in the event of unforeseen issues.
Broadly speaking, we structure operational risk areas and controls around five main principles:
- Effective governance sets the direction at all layers of the company and ensures that security and risk management is prioritised across the whole organisation;
- Confidentiality of information is critical to the financial services industry, and SWIFT plays a key role in providing secure messaging services. Confidentiality controls protect our customers’ message data from unauthorised disclosure.
- Extensive integrity controls are built into our applications in order to protect against unauthorised changes to messages, and to detect corruption of messages.
- The availability and resilience of the messaging service infrastructure is of prime importance to SWIFT users. Stringent availability controls and procedures are in place to ensure that service availability commitments are met or exceeded;
- Finally, rigorous change management processes help ensure that, in a continually changing environment, our security principles are not undermined.
As a leading technology company operating in the financial sector, SWIFT has pioneered the application of secure technology, services and standards in the correspondent banking business and was at the forefront of driving the sector’s adoption of digital solutions, such as electronic data interchange and file transfers. Our technologies have disrupted previously manual processes and unlocked efficiencies in the financial system, dramatically reducing frictions, costs and operational risks, and we continue to advance by embracing the exciting potential of new technologies.
We continue to refresh and evolve our platform, to ensure it remains as modern, powerful, reliable and feature-rich as our customers now expect; we add innovative new capabilities and functionalities, develop new forms of connectivity, ease service consumption and ensure secure user access. In addition, we constantly renew our product portfolio in response to the needs of our customer community and we foster a culture of innovation in order to bring new offerings to market while preserving a no-risk approach to the maintenance and evolution of our mission-critical core.
In order to deliver products of the highest quality, we apply a rigorous methodology throughout the product development cycle, from initial idea to deployment in the production environment. Major investments are subject to internal reviews, gating procedures, senior management and executive oversight, and, where appropriate, approval by the SWIFT Board.
All services provided by SWIFT are monitored and supported on a 24*7 basis by teams of technical specialists located within geographically diverse control centres. Using customised service management platforms, our support professionals are able to react instantly to any availability or security issues, and to take the necessary actions to protect the services on which our customers rely.
A comparable ‘follow the sun’ approach is used by SWIFT’s Customer Service divisions to provide our customers with assistance on any issues or questions concerning the use of SWIFT’s products and services at any time of day or night. Our video channel providing a library of ‘how to’ tips is backed by an extensive online knowledge base, and support analysts are available to answer questions directly at all times.
Maintaining world-class core systems and facilities is part of SWIFT’s commitment to delivering operational excellence. To support this commitment, we continually reinvest in our core infrastructure to further strengthen our security, resilience and reliability.
Our messaging services are secure, reliable and resilient, and are based on a distributed architecture with full, built-in redundancy to ensure maximum availability. Our core messaging platform operates with a layered security model backed by a secure application development process and ‘state-of-the-art’ hardware-based Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to ensure that our hosted services deliver industry-leading security functionality to the financial industry.
We invest heavily in our core messaging solutions ensuring they are not only reliable and resilient, but as modern and powerful, rich in features, cost-effective and scalable as we can make them. This approach is exemplified by the ongoing renewal of our core messaging application platform in the 6-year FIN Renewal programme.