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Leading the way towards universal payments confirmations

Leading the way towards universal payments confirmations

13 May 2019 | 3 min read

By the end of 2020, all financial institutions will be required to provide confirmation that a payment has reached the beneficiary account. Thierry Chilosi, Swift GPI Go-to-Market Lead, explains why and how Swift is supporting this transition.

It’s been amazing to witness the role Swift GPI has played in redefining the way banks send cross-border payments. 3,500+ institutions have now joined the service and this year we reached a major tipping point, with over 56% of cross-border payments now sent using gpi.

This is the result of exceptional industry-wide collaboration and a collective will to move towards a world of frictionless international payments.

On a daily basis banks tell us that gpi has helped them lower costs, improve relationships with their customers and counterparties, and deliver exciting new services.

We now want ALL financial institutions on Swift – and their customers – to enjoy the same benefits.

Two key pillars will support this:

  1. End-to-end payments tracking
  2. Universal payment confirmations

We took the first step in that direction last year when we introduced the Unique End-to-End Transaction Reference (UETR) for all payments made on Swift. In a nutshell, this means that 100% of Swift payments are able to be tracked end-to-end via the gpi Tracker. 

We are now ready to take the next big step by ensuring that, come end 2020, all financial institutions are able to send a confirmation of credit to the gpi Tracker for all Swift payments.

Why universal confirmations matter?

At the core, payment confirmations are a way for banks to increase the level of service to their end customers.

Payments tracking and confirmation are essential features for business and supply chain processes. Confirmations enable banks to provide their customers with transparency and certainty for all payments.

Today, many sellers use confirmations as proof of payment to release goods to the buyer; the sooner the confirmation the sooner goods will be released. This allows the payment to be embedded in the transaction itself, which can simplify and automate processes further.

Not only are we working towards an improved customer experience, we are also helping lead the industry toward a future-proof payments model, and tracking and confirmation are key to this.


Building a world where customers have certainty on all their payments can’t be achieved in isolation, however. That’s why we’re moving towards mandatory payment confirmations by the end of 2020.

Making it easy

What’s really important for us at Swift is to make payments confirmations as easy as possible for all.

Depending on your needs we will offer several options to provide confirmations, ranging from manual solutions to automated channels.

For financial institutions with low payments volumes, later this year we will introduce a basic payments tracker. This free version of the Swift GPI Tracker will provide a limited level of search and tracking, as well as allow users to manually confirm payments.

We are also building out our range of automated solutions to help institutions handling larger payment volumes to automatically confirm payment transactions to the gpi Tracker. In addition, we continue to collaborate closely with software application providers to help them embed gpi in their applications and further extend the benefits of the service.

There is still a lot more to come with gpi and we’re looking forward to working with our community on this transformational journey.