SWIFT lays out new instant payments strategy

SWIFT has announced that over the next two years it will re-tool cross-border infrastructure as part of a new strategy to enable the world’s financial institutions to deliver instant end-to-end transactions.

The industry cooperative will expand beyond financial messaging to provide comprehensive transaction management services.

It claimed that within payments, financial institutions will be able to expand offerings to businesses and consumers and enhance the end-customer experience, while in securities, they will get improved reconciliation, reporting and asset servicing processes, as well as end-to-end visibility of transactions to reduce settlement fails and fines.

SWIFT said the move has the potential to power instant and frictionless transactions between four billion accounts serviced by financial institutions across its network.

The digital platform will use Application Programming Interfaces (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.

It will also enable the pre-validation of essential data, fraud detection, analytics, transaction tracking and exception case management.

Javier Pérez-Tasso, chief executive 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.

"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 transformation initiatives, including SWIFT gpi, the benchmark in cross-border payments messaging.

The board, representing much of the global banking community across more than 11,000 institutions in 200 countries, has endorsed the new strategy.

Manish Kohli, global head of payments and receivables at Citi, commented: “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."

Thomas Halpin, global head of payments product management at HSBC, added: “We support SWIFT’s new approach that focuses on innovation to deliver new services while maintaining resilience and security."

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