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Swift sees success with instant cross-border payments through Singapore’s FAST

Swift sees success with instant cross-border payments through Singapore’s FAST

18 July 2019 | 3 min read

Swift trials cross-border instant payments over gpi and Singapore FAST with banks in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America

Swift has released the results of a global trial to integrate Swift GPI Instant, its cross-border instant payments service, into Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST). The successful trial, which involved 17 banks across seven countries, saw payments across these continents settling within 25 seconds, with the fastest between Australia and Singapore in just 13 seconds.

Domestic instant payments at gpi speed

This major advance extends the speed and transparency of Swift GPI deeper into domestic markets, reaching a wider set of ultimate beneficiary accounts around the world. Backed by Swift’s proven track record of excellence, global reach and resilience, gpi Instant reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, minimises implementation costs for users and allows them to avoid the complexities of adopting new cross-border infrastructure.

In this case, Swift GPI Instant capitalises on the 24x7 availability of instant payment systems such as FAST to enable payment settlement in the destination market, even outside normal business hours.

Extended reach, global scalability

Conducted across Australia, China, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand, the trial demonstrates the global scalability of gpi in integrating with multiple domestic instant payment systems.

In 2018, a similar test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) saw payments between Australia and China taking just 18 seconds. A separate test between banks and the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) in Europe was announced earlier this year.

Together, the TIPS, FAST and NPP payment systems are the first of many domestic real-time infrastructures to be connected via the banks, that will enable a globally-scalable instant cross-border payments service. Additional tests are planned in other markets with instant payment systems, ahead of the planned global launch of gpi Instant later this year.

Highlights of trial:
  • The fastest payment in the trial, from Australia into Singapore and processed onward via FAST, took only 13 seconds
  • The fastest payment from other countries in Asia Pacific into Singapore and processed onward took 14 seconds; 15 seconds from Europe and 20 seconds from North America
  • All payments were processed end-to-end within 25 seconds
  • Eleven banks initiated cross-border payments into Singapore, and six banks in Singapore processed the payments domestically via the FAST system

Participants in the instant cross-border payments trial include:
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DBS Bank, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, KASIKORNBANK, National Australia Bank, OCBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Westpac

Across the world, through gpi, banks and Instant Payment systems are using our existing rails for international payments to meet today’s need for speed, traceability and transparency. Swift envisages that cross-border payments will become as convenient as domestic transactions, and the successful testing across multiple corridors between Europe and North America to Asia Pacific confirms the important role that gpi Instant will play in making that bold vision a reality.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, Swift