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Swift enables payments to be executed in seconds

Swift enables payments to be executed in seconds

23 September 2019 | 4 min read

New service links Swift GPI, banks and domestic real-time payments systems

A new service launched by Swift will deliver global instant payments by integrating Swift GPI 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 FX transparency for senders, while also ensuring ubiquitous availability of instant cross-border payments globally.

Unlocking instant cross-border payments
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gpi instant payments

Delivering value to end customers

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, 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.

Built on tried and tested technology

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 with Singapore’s Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST), involving 17 banks across seven countries, which saw the fastest payment in just 13 seconds and payments between all continents settled within 25 seconds.
  • A trial that has just 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 nine countries (Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand and United States) into Europe via five 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.

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.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, at Swift

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, at Swift said: “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.”

Views from the community

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.”

Learn more about Swift GPI