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SWIFT Beats Back Competing Blockchain and FinTech Solutions with Its New Payment System

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by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
SWIFT Beats Back Competing Blockchain and FinTech Solutions with Its New Payment System
Photo: SWIFT

The service is expected to enable speedy and seamless transactions, reduce delays and costs, and increase efficiencies in the payments process.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has announced its plan to roll out the global payment innovation (GPI) pre-validation programme which will look at using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the predictability of international payments. The first step of the programme is piloting an integrated pre-validation GPI service with 15 banks from around the world.

According to the press release, the pilot will focus on enabling the speedy identification and elimination of errors and omissions in payment messages. Errors in payment data often lead to payments being longer, and the service, equipped to eliminate errors and omissions in payment data, is expected to enable speedy and seamless transactions, thereby reducing delays and costs, significantly increasing efficiencies in the payments process and improving customer experience.

Based on a real-time API-based mechanism, the pilot will enable banks to send and receive API calls over SWIFT to seamlessly check beneficiary account information with the ultimate receiving banks. This, in its turn, will allow banks to speedily remedy any inaccurate or missing information, reducing delays and costs. Ultimately, the service will be available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.

The pilot is set to go live in early 2019. The banks taking part in the pilot include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, E.SUN Commercial Bank, ICBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, J.P. Morgan, National Australia Bank, Piraeus Bank, Société Générale and Wells Fargo.

Together with the pilot banks, SWIFT will agree on the global industry specifications for the GPI pre-validation service by the end of this year.

Proved Outcomes

In October, SWIFT GPI was successfully tested. Banks in China, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia demonstrated how  SWIFT GPI can be leveraged to continue to transform cross-border payments. Fully integrated with GPI payments, the service will facilitate real-time dynamic bank-to-bank interaction using APIs to improve the predictability and efficiency of international payments.

Luc Meurant, Chief Marketing Officer, SWIFT, commented:

“SWIFT GPI has already created a fast and frictionless cross-border payment experience for many banks and corporates – but we know that there are still payments which can be sped up further by ensuring the correct information is provided at the start.”

He added:

“By embedding this new capability in the same payment messaging channel, thousands of banks will benefit from the resulting efficiencies, thus boosting the financial services industry as a whole as we move toward universal implementation of GPI in 2020.”

Manish Kohli, Global Head of Payments and Receivables, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions, said:

“The GPI pre-validation pilot is a significant step forward for the payments industry in building a platform on which banks can interact with each other in real-time, both pre-transaction and post-transaction. This service is an enabler of our goal to provide real-time ubiquitous cross border payments by allowing banks and our clients to rectify any issues at the point of origination, achieving seamless end-to-end fulfilment along the payments delivery chain.”

Later, the service will be complemented with a post-payment investigation and reconciliation features allowing for fast resolution of the remaining factors that slow down the payments process. The initiative of SWIFT can help the company in its competition against Ripple which is taking all the imaginary steps to take over SWIFT.

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