SWIFT to launch global payments innovation initiative next year

Nurdianah Md Nur

SWIFT recently announced a global payments innovation initiative to help improve the customer experience in correspondent banking.

The initiative will initially focus on a business-to-business payments service supported by participating banks in early 2016, said SWIFT. It will help corporates grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies by enabling corporates to receive an enhanced payments service directly from their banks. Such services include same day use of funds, transparency and predictability of fees, end-to-end payments tracking, and transfer of rich payment information.  

The new service is designed to address end-customer needs, without compromising banks' abilities to meet their compliance obligations, market, credit and liquidity risk requirements, said SWIFT. As such, it will operate on SWIFT's secure and resilient global platform; and participation will be open to any supervised financial institution that is a member of SWIFT and adheres to its business rules.

 "Correspondent banking serves the industry with millions of secure cross-border payments day in, day out," said Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO, SWIFT. "The global payments innovation initiative will build on those strengths, enabling banks to provide distinctive cross-border payments services and providing real benefits to end customers. This is a critical step in cross-border payments innovation."

Following next year's pilot that focuses on cross-border payments for corporates, SWIFT aims to incorporate additional innovations and deploy new technologies as part of the initiative. SWIFT will work together with the industry to define additional service level agreements that will cater for other client groups, further reducing the costs and frictions arising from compliance, liquidity and processing efficiency considerations involved in cross-border payments.

"As part of the global payments innovation initiative, we will continue to develop new and enhanced services, utilising SWIFT's Innotribe initiative to further engage the FinTech community and explore the application of innovations such as real time payment status tracking, the use of peer-to-peer messaging and blockchain technology," said Wim Raymaekers, Head of Banking Markets, SWIFT.