SWIFT enables payments to be executed in seconds
- New service links gpi, banks and domestic real-time payments systems
- Successful trial with Europe’s TIPS
Brussels, 23 September 2019, SWIFT today announces the launch of a new service to deliver global instant payments by integrating gpi, the cross-border payments service with real-time service levels, into domestic instant payments systems around the world.
Through a combination of gpi and domestic real-time payments networks, SWIFT, together with gpi banks, will facilitate instant international payments with up-front fee and Foreign Exchange transparency for senders, while also ensuring ubiquitous availability of instant cross-border payments globally.
These major advances will extend the speed and transparency of gpi deeper into domestic markets, enabling banks to leverage their existing investments to deliver a better service to their customers. Integrating gpi, through banks, into domestic real-time payment systems reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, thereby minimising implementation costs and avoiding the complexities of adopting new infrastructure.
The service will be available to all types of banks’ end customers, from large multi-nationals to SMEs, and from retail to e-commerce platforms. It will ensure they all reap the benefits of a service that gives speed, up-front clarity on fees and, crucially, predictability on when an end beneficiary’s account will be credited.
Several global trials have demonstrated SWIFT’s ability to deliver international payments, end to end in just a few seconds through gpi combined with domestic real-time systems:
- Successful trials with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia delivered payments between Australia and China in 18 seconds
- A trial in Singapore with Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST), involving 17 banks across seven countries, saw the fastest payment in just 13 seconds and payments between all continents settled within 25 seconds.
- And a trial has recently concluded in Europe between the European Central Bank (ECB), SWIFT and a group of 19 banks using the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) platform. The trial conducted tests with 12 banks sending cross-border payments from 9 countries (Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand and United States) into Europe via 5 banks. A speed of 41 seconds has already been achieved in a payment sent from Singapore, cleared via Germany, and credited to the end beneficiary account, with further progress expected as the global instant service is rolled out.
Harry Newman, Head of Banking, at SWIFT said:
“At SWIFT, we are creating a future in which cross-border payments will be as convenient as domestic ones. It is time for the whole community to come together to seize this opportunity and establish a global real-time payments service.
“We will be discussing with the MIs involved in the trials how to progress to live operation and invite all domestic real time payment systems to come and join in this exciting venture. The technology is in place, it is proven and it is now a reality that cross-border payments can be as fast as domestic payments.”
Shirish Wadivkar, Global Head of Correspondent Banking Products, at Standard Chartered Bank, said:
“Global commerce in today’s emerging platform economy is increasingly happening in real-time. Customers expect us to move money across borders with a speed to match that. The end-to-end velocity, traceability and transparency of payments is solved with gpi and with this new offering, we aim to capitalise on the 24x7 availability of instant payment systems everywhere, enabling real-time, round-the-clock payment deliveries.”
Tom Halpin, Global Head of Payments Products, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, at HSBC, said:
“We are seeing an acceleration of real-time payment schemes across all markets. The key driver is the modern digital customer who is always connected, values convenience and expects a great experience. The combination of SWIFT gpi and domestic real-time payments is enabling HSBC to offer that experience across the world.”
Judd Holroyde, Head of Global Product Management at Wells Fargo, said:
“Wells Fargo is committed to the continued advancement of innovation in support of our customers. The SWIFT global instant payment service represents the next generation of SWIFT connectivity with established and emergent real-time schemes around the world. The opportunity to enhance the speed of settlement for customer payments with end-to-end traceability represents an important advancement for the SWIFT community and the customers we serve.”
Ignacio Terol, Deputy Head of Division Market Infrastructure Development at the ECB, said:
“The trial shows that the 24/7/365 availability of central bank money which TIPS provides can be leveraged not only for instant payments within the EU, but also for cross-border payments originating beyond the EU. During the trial, the processing time in TIPS was a low as 60 milliseconds. We look forward to working with SWIFT and the TIPS participants on the next steps in this initiative.”
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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. SWIFT’s strategic five year plan, SWIFT2020, challenges SWIFT to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.
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.
The SWIFT global payments innovation (SWIFT gpi) is the largest change in cross-border payments over the last 30 years and is the new standard. SWIFT gpi dramatically improves the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing their speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking. Hundreds of thousands of cross-border payments, totalling over $300bn, are sent every day using the new gpi standard. Payments are made quickly, typically within minutes, even seconds.
SWIFT gpi allows corporates to receive an enhanced payments service, with the following key features:
- Faster, same day use of funds within the time zone of the receiving gpi member
- Transparency of fees
- End-to-end payments tracking
- Remittance information transferred unaltered
With SWIFT gpi, the correspondent banking community, together with fintechs, corporates, and others, is collectively removing frictions and reducing the costs associated with cross-border payments. Since its launch in January 2017, gpi has dramatically improved the cross-border payments experience for corporates in over 1,100 country corridors. Key features of SWIFT gpi include enhanced business rules and a secure tracking database in the cloud accessible via APIs. New gpi services are routinely developed with the gpi member community and rolled out to the growing network of banks.
Thanks to SWIFT gpi, corporates can grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies. On average, 40% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 5 minutes. 50% are credited within 30 minutes; 75% within 6 hours; and almost 100% within 24 hours.
Already, 3,500 banks accounting for 85% of SWIFT’s total payments traffic have committed to adopting gpi and more than 55 payment market infrastructures are already exchanging gpi payments, enabling domestic exchange and tracking. Payment market infrastructures have a critical role to play in facilitating the end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments because as soon as international payments hit the destination country, they are typically cleared through local payment infrastructures.