In 2020, the G20 made improving the cross-border movement of value a key priority. Here, we unpack some of the progress we’ve made in 2022 to help shape that future.
Over the last few years, we’ve been working hard to transform the way value moves across borders, from country to country, continent to continent. The importance of delivering on this has only been made clearer by the G20’s roadmap to enhance cross-border transfers. Speed, lower costs, transparency and accessibility – four ingredients to give SMEs, consumers, corporates and banks a better cross-border experience. This is our vision too. And in 2022, we’ve been executing our strategy to drive progress forward, and are closer than ever to achieving it.
That’s thanks to the success of SWIFT gpi and Swift Go, friction-reducing services like Payment Pre-validation and the launch of Swift Securities View, and collaborative CBDC and tokenised asset experiments. Through these initiatives and more, we’re enabling instant and frictionless transactions between four billion accounts across over 200 countries and territories.
“Alongside our community, we’ve made tremendous progress in 2022. Not only to transform the cross-border experience of today – but to set the pace of innovation for tomorrow,” said Thierry Chilosi, Chief Strategy Officer at Swift.
“We’re getting ready for a world where value is transferred in many ways and forms right around the world, and our focus on inclusivity and interoperability promises to increase the efficiency and reduce the risk of these exchanges.”
Swift Go has taken centre stage in 2022, providing consumers and small businesses with a quick, easy and predictable way of sending money around the world, directly from their bank account. Adoption rates have been rapidly increasing, with three times as many banks signed up today compared to this time last year. The Swift Go community is now made up of more than 600 banks across over 120 countries. And with this, we can’t wait to see where 2023 will take us.
We understand the importance of quick cross-border transactions, and are well on our way to delivering the same domestic payments experience when sending money internationally. Today, nearly half of our transactions reach end beneficiaries within 5 minutes and two thirds arrive within one hour – bringing us closer to achieving the G20’s target of 75% settling within 60 minutes.
Removing costs, reducing friction
The best way to remove payments friction is to prevent it occurring in the first place, and that’s exactly what we’re focused on achieving with Payment Pre-validation. The service is built on APIs and allows initiating banks to check key elements of a payment upfront against pseudonymised and aggregated data from more than 4 billion accounts. By doing so, we’re able to catch errors before they occur and save the industry millions each year that would be spent on fixing failed transactions. Payment Pre-validation currently covers 70% of beneficiary accounts in major markets and we’ll continue to expand its reach as we move into 2023.
Facilitating securities transparency
Having already brought an unparalleled level of transparency to international payments with SWIFT gpi, we’re doing the same in the securities market with Swift Securities View. This year, we successfully piloted this solution in an effort to bring clarity to the processing of securities transactions after a trade takes place. Throughout 2023, we’ll be rolling it out and helping to save the industry an estimated $3 billion a year by avoiding failed settlements.
Ground-breaking CBDC & tokenised asset innovation
With nine in 10 central banks around the world currently exploring their own CBDCs, we understand the importance of ensuring interoperability between these new forms of value emerging around the world. With this in mind, our collaborative experiments successfully demonstrated how CBDCs and tokenised assets could be exchanged across DLT and fiat-based systems, and the role that we could play in this process.
These experiments proved that these ‘digital islands’ can be connected, realising the technology’s full potential to enable instant and frictionless payments and securities transactions. Our CBDC solution is now being tested with 18 central and international commercial banks and we look forward to sharing more details of its progress in 2023.
Broadening access to our solutions
We teamed up with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure to give our community as much choice as possible when connecting to our network, solutions and applications. To this effect, we released, Alliance Connect Virtual, allowing you to deploy Swift VPN connections in the public cloud instead of hosting hardware in physical data centres. We also see this as an opportunity to drive more innovation opportunities while still ensuring the high levels of resilience and security that our community has come to expect.
“We’ve delivered at pace in 2022, and next year is sure to be another transformational one,” said David Watson, Chief Product Officer at Swift. “In 2023, we’ll start to realise the benefits of rich data through the industry’s migration to ISO 20022 and the ramp up of our transaction management capabilities. Through responsible innovation, we will continue to transform the cross-border experience and accelerate momentum toward the G20 targets.”