High-speed cross-border payment service leads the way for ASEAN financial integration
Following the launch of SWIFT gpi in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, Malaysia has become the latest ASEAN country to sign up for SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi).
At a launch event in Kuala Lumpur on 19 September, SWIFT announced that it will work with five Malaysian banks - Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, CIMB Bank Berhad, Bank Islam, and Bank Rakyat - to implement the gpi service in the months to come. They join over 230 banks worldwide that have already committed to SWIFT gpi.
Trade figures for Malaysia have been on the rise, registering RM935.39 billion in 2017, an increase of 19.4% year on year. ASEAN markets and mainland China have ranked consistently as Malaysia’s largest trade partners for both import and export. Twenty banks are currently live on SWIFT gpi in ASEAN and mainland China, while 65 others are in the process of going live. The availability of SWIFT’s cross-border payments service in Malaysia will open up additional trade opportunities for the country in Asia and beyond.
SWIFT gpi will dramatically improve the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing their speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking, bringing valuable benefits to Malaysian users and paving the way for economic competitiveness in the market.
“SWIFT gpi will dramatically improve the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing their speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking, bringing valuable benefits to Malaysian users and paving the way for economic competitiveness in the market,” says Mr. Bernard Woodruff, Country Director for Malaysia, SWIFT.
As a region, ASEAN presents many economic opportunities and was collectively, in 2015 the sixth-largest economy in the world. Strengthening financial integration and promoting financial inclusion remains key focuses for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a vision that SWIFT shares.
The presence of a high-speed cross-border service will afford customers in Malaysia standardised connectivity with multiple markets in the region, further facilitating integration and fostering economic growth across ASEAN.
 MITI Report 2017, Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia
 China was Malaysia’s largest trade partner in 2017, followed by Singapore. Thailand and Indonesia rank fifth and seventh, respectively - 2018 Budget Speech, Ministry of Finance Malaysia