31 October 2016

SWIFT on the future of correspondent banking at IIF Annual Meeting

Harry Newman, SWIFT’s Head of Banking, points to a new era in correspondent banking at Institute of International Finance’s Annual Meeting

Harry NewmanSpeaking at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Annual Membership Meeting, Harry Newman, SWIFT’s Head of Banking, signified a new era in correspondent banking.

Joining a panel of senior representatives from VISA, Wells Fargo and Earthport, Newman addressed head-on the challenges currently facing the industry, “Correspondent banking has worked well for a long-time, but it’s clear it needs to step up a gear in terms of the speed, transparency, traceability and predictability of transactions,” he said. “Rather than re-building the system from the ground up – which would be a long and costly process – we want to build on the existing rails by adding a new information layer on top supported by innovative technology to track payments.”

Rather than re-building the system from the ground up – which would be a long and costly process – we want to build on the existing rails by adding a new information layer on top supported by innovative technology to track payments.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, SWIFT

Newman moved on to detail, in concrete terms, SWIFT’s efforts to reinvent correspondent banking, “Through our global payments innovation (gpi) initiative, we have brought together 80+ global banks to develop an enhanced cross- border payments experience. The new service will allow corporates to track their cross-border payments from start to finish, get transparency on fees, and above all, have clarity over when the transaction will be completed and the money is in the account.”

The first version of SWIFT gpi will go live in early 2017, while in a second phase corporates will be able to send rich remittance data – such as pdf invoices – along with their payment instructions. Newman concluded by underlining that these are just the first steps in the journey for SWIFT gpi; “Together with the member banks we are building a roadmap for transforming correspondent banking to better suit the needs of our community and their customers through new business models and technologies – keep your eyes peeled!”

More information about SWIFT gpi can be found here.

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