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Swift announces a new strategy for instant, frictionless payments and securities processing

Swift announces a new strategy for instant, frictionless payments and securities processing

Company Information,
17 September 2020 | 11 min read

-    Enabling seamless transactions from one account to another anywhere in the world with end-to-end transparency and predictability
-    Made available through a next-generation digital platform that maintains Swift’s hallmark focus on resiliency and security

Brussels, 17 September 2020 

Our future
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Our future

Swift today announces that over the next two years and beyond it will fundamentally transform payments and securities processing, retooling cross-border infrastructure as part of a new strategy approved by its Board to enable the world’s financial institutions to deliver instant and frictionless end-to-end transactions.  

The cooperative will expand beyond financial messaging to provide comprehensive transaction management services. This new approach will support and accelerate innovation, paving the way for financial institutions — independently or in collaboration with fintechs — to create new value-added services to support their business growth. In payments, financial institutions will be able to expand offerings to businesses and consumers and enhance the end-customer experience. In securities, financial institutions will benefit from improved reconciliation, reporting and asset servicing processes as well as end-to-end visibility of transactions to reduce settlement fails and fines.

Swift’s enhanced platform will orchestrate interactions between financial institutions and other participants to minimise friction, optimise speed and provide end-to-end transparency and predictability from one account to another anywhere in the world. This move has the potential to power instant and frictionless transactions between at least 4 billion accounts serviced by financial institutions across the Swift network. The next-generation digital platform will use APIs and cloud technology to provide a set of common processing services that banks have historically invested in individually, saving the industry time and money. New and extensive data capabilities will enable the pre-validation of essential data, fraud detection, data analytics, transaction tracking and exception case management.

Javier Pérez-Tasso, CEO of Swift, said: “We are innovating the underlying infrastructure that financial institutions use to make transactions run even faster end-to-end, and at the same time further reducing costs for the community through industry-shared services in the areas of cyber, fraud and compliance. We will introduce data innovation that embeds risk and control elements expected from Swift, creating peace of mind for business-critical operations. Combining these elements, we are creating a broad platform with faster technology and smarter and better services that the industry can trust as a foundation for innovation towards their own end-clients.”

The planned platform capabilities build on Swift’s recent successful transformation initiatives, including Swift GPI, the benchmark in cross-border payments messaging, and leverage the cooperative’s unrivalled reach across more than 11,000 institutions in 200 countries and territories. They will be underpinned by Swift’s continued investment in cybersecurity and risk management to ensure resilient and secure transactions. Users will benefit from the capabilities with minimal disruption through backward compatibility. 

Yawar Shah, Chair of Swift, said: “Over the next two years, Swift will fundamentally transform the way in which payments and securities transactions are processed, eliminating friction and increasing speed, quality and certainty. Swift will continue to be, as per its true north, bank and market infrastructure centric and its proven track record of timely execution, risk control and global engagement will be enhanced to accelerate this transformation. The full Board, representing the entire global banking community, has endorsed this strategy, which will serve all customer segments, regardless of size and geography, and allow for flexible adoption thanks to backward compatibility.”

The new strategy already has received widespread support from across the financial services industry:

 “We are excited to see Swift’s strategy for greater and simpler connectivity, end-to-end transparency, and rich data come to life with the launch of a new transaction platform. We look forward to the opportunity for greater efficiency, lower cost and continuous innovation that this platform will enable, ultimately improving our ability to meet our customers’ fast evolving needs”
Jackie Kallman, Head of Payments Industry and Engagement, ANZ

 “Swift's new platform is in line with the rapid changes and agile innovation demands of the financial industry. The end-to-end transaction management mechanism and embedded shared services provided will make message transmission more intelligent and efficient, while data communication will be more open. We foresee the platform will play an important role in helping banks reduce costs and prepare for the shift to ISO 20022 more flexibly, which will have a profound impact on the cross-border payments landscape. As one of the leading global transaction banks, Bank of China is very supportive of Swift’s innovative platform and looks forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to the global community and the payments industry as a whole.”
Fan Yaosheng, General Manager of Clearing Department, Bank of China Head Office

 “We welcome Swift’s announcement that it is redoubling its focus on securities. While the securities industry’s post-trade processes have been leading the way in terms of efficiency and safety, there are areas for further improvement, such as SSI management. Using Swift’s new transaction management platform will bring greater efficiency, safety and cost optimisation and give the securities industry access to new added value services offered by Swift such as KYC and trade servicing. This is a positive move, which will help our industry continue to innovate.”
Alain Pochet, Head of Client Delivery, BNP Paribas

 “Customer behaviour has changed significantly in recent years. At BNY Mellon, we are continuously innovating and anticipating our customers’ needs to deliver payments services that are seamless, safe, transparent and cost efficient. Our ongoing collaboration with Swift is an instrumental part of bringing the latest payments solutions to our customers both now and in the future.”
Michael Bellacosa, Global Head of Payments and Transaction Services, BNY Mellon

 “Citi is very supportive of this new path that Swift is embarking on. With its new platform strategy, Swift is evolving from just making incremental improvements to its traditional store and forward messaging capabilities and towards truly transformative change based on API dynamic connectivity, a vastly improved data model and  extremely relevant  ‘payment orchestration’ services. This reimagined Swift platform builds on the progress of gpi, and moves us towards our desired end-state of payment ubiquity with the ability to make frictionless and instant cross border payments across the Swift network. Citi is fully committed to working with Swift, the banking community, financial market infrastructures and governments to drive this critical transformation forward.”
Manish Kohli – Global Head of Payments and Receivables, Citi

 “It’s good news that Swift is evolving from being a messaging carrier to a provider which supports our own Deutsche Bank transaction platform for international payments. Speedy, secure and compliant transaction management fits perfectly with our clients’ workflows and needs. We plan to connect Swift’s cooperative industry-wide solution with our own products and client services that manage payments for all types of financial institutions, corporates and fintechs.” 
Stefan Hoops, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank

 “Technology is central to innovation in our industry and it is encouraging to see Swift placing APIs, Cloud and Swift GPI at the heart of its strategy. Swift’s new approach marks a change in focus, while the technologies and products at its core are proven, thus making it simpler for Banks to adapt.”
Sumit Aggarwal, EVP and Head of Transaction Banking Services, Emirates NBD

 “FirstRand Bank is very excited about Swift’s bold new strategy. We are eager to explore the opportunities that the transaction management platform will deliver in creating increased efficiencies, and in extending our Swift value proposition into different customer segments, all with the comfort and confidence provided by Swift’s global reach, security and resilience.”
Bernard Carless, Head of Settlement and Swift, FirstRand Group Treasury and Swift Board Member for Africa

 “New technology and regulations are opening new horizons to what’s possible in the financial markets and Swift has shown us with its new strategy how it will evolve the payments landscape over the next few years to meet those new frontiers with seamless, efficient and instant transactions around the world. It will be a powerful catalyst of innovation for banks, fintechs and other players in the payments ecosystem.”
Levent Kirazoğlu, Head of Cash Management and Transaction Banking at Garanti BBVA

 “Swift is a key partner in helping our clients meet their business objectives in a quick and secure manner. We support Swift’s new approach that focuses on innovation to deliver new services while maintaining resilience and security. We look forward to working with the Swift community to deliver even faster and more efficient payments for clients in the future.”
Thomas Halpin, Global Head of Payments Product Management, HSBC

 “We are supportive of the new Swift strategy because we believe the instant and frictionless transactions capabilities of the platform will benefit the payments and securities businesses of ICBC. With Swift’s unrivalled security standards, compliance expertise and ability to innovate rapidly at scale, the vision of this new platform will be transformative for ICBC and the global financial community.”
Peng Hua, Deputy General Manager, Operation Management Department, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

 “We’re pleased with the next step in Swift’s transformational journey toward a more simple, frictionless payments experience. It will help us future proof our core business and remain competitive against new entrants by reducing risk and streamlining operational efficiencies. Most crucially though, it will allow us to dedicate our resources where it matters most – creating real value for our customers.”
Stefano Favale, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Intesa Sanpaolo

 “In the cross-border payments landscape, customers are in need of faster, safer and traceable transfers. Over the past few years, Swift has been focusing on the delivery of products and services that address these demands and benefit corporate banks. Swift GPI and the Customer Security Programme are just two of these valuable and significant innovations. Swift’s new strategy marks a major next step in meeting the evolving needs of its customers. As the largest private bank of Turkey, İşbank maintains its pioneering position in foreign trade through its extensive correspondent network of banks based in around 120 countries and we put great value on our partnership with Swift.”
Gamze Yalçin, Deputy Chief Executive, İşbank

 “At Itaú Unibanco, we truly believe that our partnership with Swift creates synergies and opportunities to better serve our customers globally. We would like to stress that Swift’s service evolution journey, continuously supported by a rapid technological evolution and always driven towards excellence, has created an uninterrupted generation of value, transformation and operational efficiency not only for our bank, but also for our entire network of partners and customers. We welcome Swift’s new strategy and look forward to the new opportunities it will make possible.”
Ricardo Augusto Pacheco, Itaú Investment Services Chief Transformation Officer & Swift Brazil Chairperson

 “The plans Swift has laid out set the stage for transforming the landscape for faster, more reliable and secure global payments. With its new and agile organisation, Swift will help financial institutions to better support new and existing businesses, meet their customers’ needs even more rapidly, and offer new mutualised solutions to maximise customer experience and satisfaction.”
Nicolas Cailly, Head of Marketing, Payments and Cash Management, Global Transaction & Payment Services, Societe Generale

 “In financial services, big data helps to improve both operational efficiency and the customer experience. At Standard Chartered, the true value of data - especially in a highly complex environment that is undergoing significant transformation - lies in gaining a deeper understanding of the opportunities within current and emerging customer segments. The new multi-lateral Swift platform, which offers rich data services and data integrity, will allow us to build on existing capabilities to improve the quality of data throughout our transaction chain. We will reach a point where it becomes predictive in nature, paving the way for end-to-end transactions that are fast, compliant, cost-effective – but most of all, personalised to the end customer.”
Lisa Robins, Global Head of Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank


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About Swift

Swift is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While Swift does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. Swift also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. 

Headquartered in Belgium, Swift’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. Swift’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.