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Swift’s global payments innovation initiative will transform cross-border payments

Swift’s global payments innovation initiative will transform cross-border payments

28 June 2016 | 7 min read

More than 70 banks worldwide collaborate to dramatically improve the cross-border payments experience with greater speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking

Brussels, 28 June 2016 – Swift announces today that 73 banks worldwide have now joined its global payments innovation initiative, designed to improve the cross-border payments experience. Recent banks to join the initiative include, Alfa-Bank, Axis Bank, Banco de Crédito del Peru, Banco do Brasil, Bangkok Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Banque Européenne d’investissement, CaixaBank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Credit Agricole, CTBC Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Fifth Third Bank, ICICI Bank, Itaù Unibanco, Mashreq Bank, Promsvyazbank, Rabobank, Svenska Handelsbanken, Swedbank, TMB Bank and U.S. Bank.

“It is great to see so many banks from all corners of the globe participating in Swift’s global payments innovation initiative,” says Wim Raymaekers, Global Head of Banking Market and project lead for this initiative at Swift. “Together, they do nearly 75% of all cross-border payments on the Swift network. We welcome additional banks to join this open initiative“

As a part of the initiative, banks will enhance their approach to cross border payments and follow a set of strict business rules designed by Swift in collaboration with participating banks. Banks in the initiative will be able to give their corporate clients a dramatically improved payment experience, with same day use of funds, transparency of fees, end-to-end tracking, and transfer of rich payment information.

To enable the end-to-end tracking, Swift is developing a database ‘in the cloud’ hosted at Swift, to give end-to-end visibility on the status of a payment transaction, from the moment it is sent until it is confirmed - similar to tracking services provided by international shipping companies.

Raymaekers adds: “This new payments tracker is a great example of collaborative innovation. For the first time, banks will be able to give their customers precise information about their payments, in real-time, including confirmation of credit to beneficiary’s account.”

The first phase of the initiative is well underway with a pilot focused on business-to-business payments. Early results from the pilot will be presented at Sibos, Swift’s annual financial services event, in September 2016, with the go-live planned for early 2017.

In addition to this first phase, over 40 banks participated in a series of workshops held in Frankfurt, Singapore, London and New York in April and May, and defined a new vision for correspondent banking dubbed “the digital transformation of cross-border payments”. A supporting client-centric and pragmatic roadmap was established to deliver an additional set of data-enhanced payments services, creating more value for customers as well as further reducing operating costs for banks.

“Swift’s global payment innovation initiative is a real game-changer”, says Christian Sarafidis, Chief Marketing Officer, Swift. “The large number of banks, the new payments tracker, a pilot showing results, and a roadmap to deliver even more value - this initiative is the “new standard” for any bank with cross-border payments.”

Swift and the participating banks from the gpii will discuss this challenge and more at Sibos 2016 with specific sessions focused on payments innovation. Follow the debate at and join us at Sibos in Geneva.

Here is what some of the new participating banks have to say about the initiative:

"The targets of the global payments innovation initiative fully correspond to our commitment to demonstrate openness and transparency of our bank business and communications with our clients. To be a part of the global payments innovation initiative means for us to be a leader of changes, which we believe, will support bank's dominant position on the national transaction services market as well as in effective partnership in an area of the transborder payments" Mariya A Shevchenko, Chief Operation Officer, Alfa-Bank

“Bangkok Bank strongly supports our clients to expand their business internationally, especially in the AEC countries. We are pleased to be a part of Swift’s global payments innovation initiative and believe this new innovation will help our clients do their business more effectively with greater treasury efficiency and features such as same-day use of funds, transparency and predictability of fees, end-to-end payments tracking, and transfer of rich payment information. “ Pongbhoka Buddhi –Baedya, VP and Manager Bangkok Bank, Global Payment Services Department, Bangkok Bank

“At CaixaBank we are pleased to join up with Swift in the global payments innovation initiative. Payments and correspondent banking are undergoing changes at a very fast pace and we do not want to miss this opportunity to contribute to re-shaping them. At CaixaBank we strongly believe this initiative will mark a milestone in the future of the payments landscape.“ Beatriz Kissler, General Manager GDS Cusa (CaixaBank Group)

“Groupe Crédit Agricole’s key ambition is to build a long-lasting relationship with our clients in a global and personalized way. This is the reason why we have decided to join GPII, an initiative that aims to significantly improve client experience for Cross Border Payments.” Patrick Simonin, head of Banking Services, Crédit Agricole SA.

“CTBC Bank is pleased to support Swift’s global payments innovation initiative and certainly sees this as a significant step forward in cross-border payments innovation, helping banks to provide a faster, more information-rich and more transparent payments service. In today’s digital age where speed and convenience are of utmost importance to business, CTBC Bank has always been committed to providing customers with safe, high-quality and efficient global payments services. With the rolling out and evolvement of this initiative, we expect to be able to provide our customers with better experience in their cross-border payments.” Jerry Shaw, SVP, Head of Global Commercial Product Division, CTBC Bank

“By naming after Taiwan's highest peak, E.SUN Commercial Bank is dedicated to be the best bank in Taiwan and providing best service to our customers. Therefore, we are pleased to support Swift's new global payments innovation initiative which will further upgrade our existing cross-border payment business and deliver better user experience, transparency and clearing efficiency in the future.” Maggy Chou, Head of International Banking Department, E.SUN Commercial Bank.

“Rabobank is always looking for improving its services to customers. The global payments innovation initiative offers customers benefits in terms of speed, predictability and transparency of cross border payments. Participation in this initiative is a logical step for Rabobank.” Marco Bosma, Head Financial Logistics, Rabobank

Sandeep Chouhan, Head of Operations and Technology at Mashreq said, “We are proud to be at the forefront of payment initiatives which reflects the Bank’s continuous efforts to be at the forefront of innovation. This is the perfect time to embrace an initiative such as this one, allowing us to effect meaningful change in the way payments are made, ultimately resulting in a significantly enhanced customer experience. We are thrilled to be the first mover in the Region to be a part of the Swift global payments innovation initiative, which we believe will deliver tangible benefits of convenience and security to customers, while setting a new standard in payment transparency and customer centricity.”

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 financial crime 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, enabling them to communicate securely and exchange standardised financial messages in a reliable way.  As their trusted provider, we facilitate global and local financial flows, support trade and commerce all around the world; we relentlessly pursue operational excellence and continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies.

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.

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