SWIFT Completes First Phase of Global Payments Initiative

SWIFT say it has successfully completed the first phase of the global payments innovation (gpi) initiative pilot, clearing the way for the go-live of the service in early 2017.

During the pilot, 15 global banks representing more than 30 percent of cross-border payments successfully tested the design and core functions of the gpi, while in parallel, ten additional global banks started to prepare for the service’s launch.

“The gpi pilot banks prove that our innovative approach to cross-border payments works,” says Wim Raymaekers, Global Head of the Banking Market and project lead for the initiative.

“Based on their feedback, we know the implementation period for gpi can be quick – within six months. This is great news for SWIFT and the banking community. Through innovative thinking, which is the backbone of this initiative, and collaboration, we are empowering banks to use existing platforms and combined that with innovative technology provided by SWIFT to facilitate end-to-end payments tracking."

Improve correspondent banking

A new initiative from SWIFT and the global banking community, SWIFT gpi is designed to significantly improve the customer experience in correspondent banking by increasing the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments.

In addition, the gpi initiative will deliver another major innovation with the provision of end-to-end payments tracking. The payments tracking service will be hosted in the cloud, based on a global tracking database hosted by SWIFT. The new SWIFT gpi tracker will be demo-ed at Sibos 2016.

“The early success of the pilot is a great milestone for SWIFT and the participating banks,” says the SWIFT gpi project leader at Bank of China, one of the most advanced banks in the SWIFT gpi implementation.

“It is amazing to see how much we can accomplish as an industry in just a short period of time. Collaboration is key, and the speed to which SWIFT and the pilot banks mobilised the banking community to change their approach to cross border payments and follow a set of innovative business process rules has been a herculean effort.”

“The preliminary results from the gpi pilot are encouraging,” says Michael Pavkovic, VP, Payment and Trade Operations at Royal Bank of Canada. “We are pleased to be an active participant in the development of a service that can create an improved user experience for our clients.”

In total, more than 80 global banks have now signed up to participate in the gpi initiative. Banks that have recently joined include Budapest Bank, China Merchants Bank, China Construction Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen – and additional banks are joining each month.