SWIFT Launches Global Instant Payments Service Using GPI

The payments giant will integrate gpi with domestic instant payment systems.

SWIFT has announced the launch of a new service in which it will deliver global instant payments this Monday. The payments giant has achieved this by integrating its cross-border payments service, gpi (Global Payment Initiative), into domestic instant payment systems.

Together with gpi banks, SWIFT will facilitate instant international payments through a combination of gpi and domestic real-time payment networks. According to the statement, the payments will have an up-front fee and foreign exchange (forex) transparency for senders.

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SWIFT’s gpi was created to improve the customer-bank experience in the international payments space. It was launched back in 2016, and there are more than 200 financial institutions involved in the SWIFT gpi.

SWIFT trial results

Before today’s launch, the payments giant conducted a number of trials. As part of this,  the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia delivered payments between Australia and China in 18 seconds.

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In Singapore, a separate trial with Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) was conducted. For this trial, 17 banks across seven countries participated. During the test, the fastest payment was processed in just 13 seconds and payments between all continents settled within 25 seconds.

Commenting on the launch, 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.”

The service will be available for all end-customers of the banks that are part of SWIFT gpi. Therefore, customers such as large multinationals to SMEs and from retail to e-commerce platforms will be able to use the service.

“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,” added Tom Halpin, Global Head of Payments Products, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, at HSBC.

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