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SWIFT enables payments to be executed in seconds

SWIFT enables payments to be executed in seconds

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, and 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.


The launch of the global real-time service builds on the success of a trial in Australia in 2018 with the New Payments Platform (NPP), in which the fastest payment into Australia from China took just 18 seconds. This year a trial with Singapore’s 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.


A trial 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 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 24×7 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.”


Peng Hua, Deputy General Manager, Operation Management Department, at ICBC said:


“In August, ICBC HO, as the originating bank, extended the reach of instant cross-border payments deeper into the European market thanks to the linking of gpi and the TIPS system. This trial is another critical step in delivering a fast, secure and seamless cross-border real-time payment service that scales globally. ICBC believes the gpi instant payment initiative will inject new momentum into the infrastructure of cross-border remittance, bringing huge benefits for customers and boosting the bank’s tight cooperation via SWIFT.”


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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