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Singapore and SWIFT Celebrate Four Decades of Innovation

Singapore and SWIFT Celebrate Four Decades of Innovation

Company Information,
23 December 2020 | 5 min read

Forty years ago, SWIFT went live in Singapore. Since then, we have continued to be a trusted partner for the Singapore and global financial communities, as we work to continuously drive innovation that helps our users move value securely, reliably and seamlessly across borders around the world. We recognise that none of this would have been possible without the strong support of our community in Singapore.

Serving our community for over 40 years

SWIFT’s Chief Business Development Officer, Alain Raes, speaks on the many initiatives we pioneered together with the Singapore community which has helped create a simpler, faster, and more secure financial services future for all.

Singapore and SWIFT Celebrate Four Decades of Innovation
4 min view

Singapore and SWIFT Celebrate Four Decades of Innovation

Our close relationship with the Singapore community has brought a number of great successes.

Together, we transformed cross-border payments with SWIFT gpi, creating a faster, transparent, and traceable experience and unlocking new capabilities that will define the future of payments. We also concluded a global trial to integrate SWIFT gpi Instant with Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST).

We have continued to optimise the Singapore community’s products and services, with a focus on efficiency, automation, and global messaging standards to support customers and business growth. This has led to a significant expansion in the payments and trade and securities footprint in Singapore over the past four decades.

Notable initiatives we celebrated with our Singapore community include our efforts on MEPS+ with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), working with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to achieve better global standards harmonisation, supporting SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme, and signing an agreement with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s to accelerate the digitisation of documentary trade.

Views from our community

SWIFT’s new strategy has been warmly welcomed by our community in Singapore.

“Congratulations to SWIFT for 40 years of setting industry standards and shaping market practices in Singapore. SGX has worked closely with SWIFT and its community to explore ideas, understand the needs and challenges of the local and regional landscape, as well as adapt and innovate over the past years. Today, the securities landscape is at a crossroads, and open innovation and collaboration is necessary for us as an industry to address these changes and turn them into new opportunities. We look forward to many more years of working with SWIFT and the Singapore financial community.”

Nico Torchetti, Head of Operations and Market Services, SGX

“Over the last 40 years, SWIFT has played an integral role in supporting Singapore’s financial services community in developing best-in-class market infrastructure and practices, by driving the development and adoption of new innovations aimed at enhancing global financial flows, trade and commerce. Their forward-looking insights have helped the banking industry stay ahead of the latest digital advancements and be future-ready. In the next 40 years, we look forward to our continued collaboration with SWIFT to build on Singapore’s digital roadmap to bring our nation’s financial industry to new heights, by providing solutions to help the industry and its customers build back better from the complex challenges of today while equipping us with capabilities to tap on new opportunities in the future to come.”

John Laurens, Group Head of Transaction Banking, DBS Bank

“Congratulations to SWIFT on celebrating its 40th anniversary.  We are happy to be part of the SWIFT family, connecting the world to enable our customers to settle their payments, trade and securities transactions, and making globalisation a reality.  May SWIFT continue to innovate and remain relevant in the future as we digitalise and support new business models in the next normal.”

Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank

"As a regional bank with deep roots in ASEAN, we are always innovating to support businesses as they expand across borders. Key to achieving our aspiration of serving our customers well is the collaboration with like-minded and capable partners such as SWIFT. Together with SWIFT, we have built a standardised real-time local payments infrastructure across ASEAN for our customers to enjoy a seamless service experience wherever they go and grow. We will continue to explore ways to innovate with SWIFT to support our customers’ financial ambitions.” 

Susan Hwee, Head, Group Technology and Operations, UOB

A new direction to drive innovation

We are set to see a new wave of responsible innovation. SWIFT will continue to evolve with our community in Singapore to deliver instant, frictionless transactions from one account to another, anywhere in the world with end-to-end transparency and predictability.

Over the next two years, we will expand far beyond today’s capabilities to offer our community comprehensive transaction management services in payments and securities processing. This will allow us to set a path for financial institutions, independently or in collaboration with FinTechs, to create new value-added services that encourage business growth.

In payments, we will enable financial institutions to grow their business and consumer offerings and boost their end-customer experience. And in securities, SWIFT will focus on improved reconciliation, reporting, asset servicing as well as transaction end-to-end visibility.

As we continue to see advancements in data capabilities, APIs and cloud technology, SWIFT’s commitment is in delivering mutualised services and infrastructure based on the best of these innovations - all to empower our Singapore community to adapt, thrive, and grow in the years to come.

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