SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation Initiative will Transform Cross-border Payments

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

HONG KONG, June 28, 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 Credito del Peru, Banco do Brasil, Bangkok Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Banque Europeenne d’investissement, CaixaBank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Credit Agricole, CTBC Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Fifth Third Bank, ICICI Bank, Itau Unibanco, Mashreq Bank, Promsvyazbank, Rabobank, Svenska Handelsbanken, Swedbank, TMB Bank and U.S. Bank.

“It’s 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 swift.com/gpii and join us at Sibos in Geneva.

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.