Skip to main content
  • English
    Discover SWIFT
  • Español
    Descubra nuestros contenidos en español
  • Français
    Découvrez notre contenu disponible en français
  • 中文
  • 日本語
Future-proofing the financial ecosystem

Future-proofing the financial ecosystem

Company Information,
20 June 2024 | 6 min read

We’ve made great strides towards our vision for an instant and frictionless future. To ensure the financial ecosystem continues to thrive, we’ve laid out our strategy for 2024 and beyond. Thierry Chilosi, Chief Business Officer at Swift, unpacks what it means for the Swift community and the benefits it will bring for the global economy.

Over the past years, we’ve been on a journey to enable instant and frictionless transactions. So that whoever’s sending them and wherever they’re heading, they can seamlessly travel across borders to keep the world’s economies turning.

Our global infrastructure plays a huge role in achieving this. In fact, the equivalent of the world’s GDP passes over the Swift network around every three days – across 150 currencies, 40,000 corridors, four billion accounts and over 200 countries and territories.

Individuals and businesses across the globe rely on Swift and our community of over 11,500 institutions to make these transactions safe, efficient, convenient, and affordable. And we’re continuing to transform our capabilities to do just that.

Thierry Chilosi
We’re excited about the benefits this bold vision will bring and confident that together we can continue to create an even stronger, more inclusive, and future-proof financial ecosystem.
Thierry Chilosi Chief Business Officer, Swift

Faster, cheaper, transparent transactions

Together with our community, we’ve made significant progress – whether that’s moving away from point-to-point messaging towards complete end-to-end transaction management, introducing new ways to connect through APIs and cloud, or providing advanced data services that improve the speed, transparency, and predictability of both high and low-value cross-border transactions.

As a result, today nearly 90% of Swift payments reach destination banks within one hour, and 50% are received by end beneficiaries within five minutes. Both payments and securities transactions can be tracked end to end, and services to pre-validate payments are eliminating common errors that previously caused delays.

We’ve also significantly reduced costs. Over the last decade the average unit cost of transacting over Swift has decreased by a factor of four when adjusted for inflation. And our friction-reducing services are driving down transaction costs even more.

Now we’re going even further

New ways of moving value continue to emerge, technologies continue to develop, geopolitics continue to shift, and cyber threats continue to become more sophisticated.

Since our inception 50 years ago, Swift’s role as an industry cooperative has always been to bring the financial community together to increase interoperability and enable fast, frictionless, and secure transactions.

And as the world continues to evolve, so do we.

We’ve engaged closely with our community to help shape the next phase of our strategy, which has been endorsed by the Swift Board. At its core, it aims to ensure we continue to maintain the highest standards for operational excellence and enable financial institutions to provide a best-in-class cross-border transaction service to their customers.

This encompasses every aspect of the transaction experience: from back-end processing, standardisation, and interoperability, to enabling superior end-customer experiences embedded directly in financial institutions’ banking apps and online portals.

The following key priorities will guide our activities.

Delivering enduring operational excellence, security and resilience at scale

We’re trusted by institutions big and small, and our network is renowned for its safety, reliability and resiliency. We’ve earned this trust by consistently upholding the highest levels of operational excellence and security. And that remains our unwavering commitment.

Technology and market dynamics are changing faster than ever, bringing a wide range of opportunities and challenges. We’re laser-focused on our own technological evolution, standardisation and automation to make operations as efficient as possible for our community.

And we’re in the process of evolving our infrastructure to further reinforce our platform and ensure it is future-proofed and ready for new technologies, including zero-trust models, AI, quantum computing, and post-quantum cryptography.

Uplifting the end-customer experience

Alongside our core messaging service, we’re committed to offering value-added services that streamline transactions throughout their lifecycle. From checking payments for errors upfront with Payment Pre-validation, providing end-to-end settlement tracking with Swift Securities View, or helping payment providers offer their consumer and SME customers the best experience possible with Swift Go.

To further enhance the speed and transparency of both payments and securities transactions travelling over our network, we’re working with financial institutions to adopt and use these capabilities to their full potential. By doing this, we’ll continue to elevate the quality of all transactions across our network, benefiting not only financial institutions’ operations, but also enabling improvements in end-customer experience, in line with regulatory goals like the G20’s targets for cross-border payments or shorter settlement cycles in securities markets.

Industry standards provide a crucial foundation for achieving these goals too. That’s why we’ll continue to play a central role in facilitating the adoption of rich, structured ISO 20022 payments data for financial institutions, corporates and market infrastructures. And for securities, encouraging adoption of the Unique Transaction Identifier to enable end-to-end transparency and avoid costly fails.

Innovating and enabling a new era of interoperability

Technological innovation is rapidly transforming cross-border trade, payments and securities processing, while geopolitical shifts are fuelling the exploration of alternative ways to move value around the world.

A proliferation of networks is already a reality today, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. This is a positive, as it gives consumers and businesses more choice in how they transact than ever before. But equally, a multiplicity of new networks makes keeping the ecosystem connected even more complex.

Interoperating different systems, technologies, geographies and currencies is not new for us – it’s always been core to what we do. We’ll continue to embrace and expand our role as a globally inclusive infrastructure to support the exchange of new and existing forms of value – from Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to tokenised assets – over new models of infrastructure including market infrastructure interlinking schemes and unified ledgers, as those concepts mature.

This way we’ll reduce the costs and risks of fragmentation while enabling our community to provide more choice to their customers.

Strengthening collaboration to advance an inclusive global ecosystem

Delivering on these priorities will continue to build momentum towards a bright financial future for the global economy. So that cross-border transactions are as seamless as domestic ones.

We’re working closely with public and private stakeholders around the world to share insights and strengthen collaboration to advance an inclusive global ecosystem. Openness and collaboration are also integral to our responsible innovation agenda and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) approach, as we seek to deliver sustainable solutions that enable financial inclusion and benefit as many people as possible.

We’re excited about the benefits this bold vision will bring and confident that together we can continue to create an even stronger, more inclusive, and future-proof financial ecosystem.