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
Payments: Looking to the future

Payments: Looking to the future

20 June 2019 | 3 min read

SWIFT lays out bold vision for the future of payments and the path to get there

Our new paper Payments: Looking to the future sets out our bold vision for the future of how value is exchanged by financial institutions around the world.

That vision is simple: to make cross-border payments as seamless and convenient as domestic ones: instant, accessible and ubiquitous.

Delivering a new future

Innovations in domestic retail payments have multiplied at a gravity-defying pace in recent years, driving unimaginable improvements. Entire domestic markets have completely transformed the way they shift value.

With goods and services moving more quickly and across greater distances than ever before, value needs to shift further, faster. Value transfers must be friction-free.

They must also be safe, secure and compliant. While banks sit at the centre of this, the core architecture is key. It must be open and trusted, innovative and resilient; its reach must be ubiquitous and its operations robust. It must enable smart, embedded, instant payments, 24/7 from every account to every account, everywhere. It must support banks in this journey.

Instant payments with ubiquitous reach

The advent of real-time domestic payments and 24/7 central bank settlement heralded a new dawn for cross-border payments, enabling the industry to reconceptualise them. In 2017, SWIFT and its community moved fast to deliver on this, introducing SWIFT gpi.

gpi is widely embraced by the community as the new standard, surpassing the tipping point with more than 55% of all payments on SWIFT now carried via gpi.

The speed of gpi transactions will continue to increase as more and more banks move away from batch to real-time processing. And because customers are demanding faster payments, and more markets are moving to real-time, banks will start processing their payments this way, and move to a 24/7 operating model.

Maintaining the openness of the cross-border payments system is fundamental to ensuring efficient flows to everyone, everywhere.

An open model enabling smart and innovative payments

Maintaining the openness of the cross-border payments system is fundamental to ensuring efficient flows to everyone, everywhere. It is key to unlocking value across-borders, which is crucial to trade and commerce, economic productivity and growth.

Our open approach enables a vibrant ecosystem in which banks can differentiate themselves by layering services and products to distinguish their offerings; in which FinTechs and other players can create and offer value-added services; and in which innovation is fuelled.

Thanks to the combination of a shared purpose, a common language (ISO 20022), and cloud and API technology, global virtual connectivity is growing. As we extend and embed payments further up and deeper into commerce, into third-party trade, e-commerce and securities platforms, connectivity will continue to extend exponentially to provide an even smoother payments experience.

Remaining trusted and secure

While higher payment volumes going ever-faster is becoming the norm, the maxims ‘’safety first” and “trust is key” remain paramount. There is no point having a fast but unreliable payments system, or risking trust for innovation’s sake.

As payments move faster, fraudulent pay-outs can be made sooner. The industry must remain vigilant in protecting against fraud – most particularly by ensuring endpoint security. Three years in, our Customer Security Programme is delivering results across the spectrum and together we will continue to up the ante for potential attackers.

Working together to realise this vision

The foundations are laid. The building blocks are already constructing this new future. Key participants are working with us to deliver the future of payments.

We’re in this together, revolutionising an industry and a service to deliver value today and tomorrow.

Find out more