21 Banks Initiate SWIFT’s Global Payments Pilot Initiative: Opting for Speed, Transparency and Predictable Cross-Border Payments

swiftSWIFT, a global member-owned cooperative and a leading global provider of secure financial messaging services, announced that 21 banks have started the pilot for its global payments innovation initiative, intended to improve the customer experience in correspondent banking by increasing the speed, transparency and predictability of cross-border payments. The banks participating in the pilot include: ANZ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Danske Bank, DBS, ICBC, ING Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho, Nordea, Royal Bank of Canada, SMBC, Standard Chartered, UniCredit, and Wells Fargo.

sibosThe pilot is planned to run through to December, the first results of which will be shared at Sibos 2016 in Geneva this September. The banks participating in the pilot include: ANZ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Danske Bank, DBS, ICBC, ING Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho, Nordea, Royal Bank of Canada, SMBC, Standard Chartered, UniCredit, and Wells Fargo.

Wim Raymaekers“The tight knit group of leading banks will help to spearhead the testing through the pilot and beyond. Their commitment is testament to the initiative and our joint ambition to significantly improve the cross-border payments experience for corporate customers,” commented Wim Raymaekers, Global Head of the Banking Market and SWIFT project lead. “As we progress, we aim to incorporate additional innovations and deploy new technologies to this global payments innovation initiative, and 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.”

The Earth Globe WorldHeadquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure.  The 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 secure communication.

Following an announcement in January 2016, 51 banks are now signed up to the initiative to create a new service level agreement (SLA) rulebook for cross-border payments, providing an opportunity for smart collaboration between banks. In response to requests from the banks, SWIFT is offering an on-boarding process in parallel to the pilot, to ensure that all banks signed up for the initiative can prepare for live operations. The service is planned to go live for all participating banks in 2017.

Magnus Carlsson“This is a smart way to address some major pain points with the current cross-border payments process,” observed Magnus Carlsson, Treasury and Payments Manager at the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). “Through the global payments innovation initiative, banks can use existing technology to quickly bring visible improvements to B2B payments for their corporate customers. From a corporate perspective this kind of development in the payments space is very encouraging as it means no significant changes need to be made to internal systems in order to potentially reap the benefits of the program.”

In its first phase, the new service will focus on business-to-business payments. Designed to help corporates grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies, the initiative will enable corporates to receive an enhanced payments service directly from their banks, with the following key features:

  • Same day use of funds
  • Transparency and predictability of fees
  • End-to-end payments tracking
  • Transfer of rich payment information

vince cableSWIFT also announced that senior political figures from the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ camps will debate their views on the impact of the British referendum on the City at the SWIFT Business Forum London (BFL) on 20 AprilSir Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, 2010-15, will make the case for the City benefitting from Britain remaining in the European Union, while the Rt Hon John Redwood MP Conservative member for Wokingham and Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee, will make the case for the City benefiting from Britain’s leaving. This will be an interactive, moderated debate, at the end of which the audience will cast anonymous votes to ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ in the EU. For more info about SWIFT’s largest regional event, click the Business Forum London.

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