SWIFT Launches Service For Low-Value Cross-Border Payments

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SWIFT, a global provider of secure financial messaging, announced a new service Thursday (Oct. 1) that promises to improve the experience for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and consumers who send low-value payments across borders.

The Belgium-based cooperative said the initiative will enable customers to make faster, easier, predictable and competitively-priced payments worldwide. It is working with more than 20 banks to develop the service, which builds on SWIFT gpi and the high-speed rails that are already powering high-value payments. SWIFT said this latest improvement is another building block for its new strategy.

Last month, the company announced its cross-border platform will be retooled to enable financial institutions to deliver instant transactions. Over the next 24 months, Swift said the project will provide transaction management services to create new value-added services to support business growth. The platform pledges to improve communications between financial institutions, optimize speed and provide transparency and predictability from one account to another anywhere. The move has the potential to provide instant transactions between 4 billion accounts serviced by financial institutions across SWIFT’s network, the company added.

“The success of SWIFT gpi, which is used by thousands of banks and carries billions of payments globally, enables ever-faster transaction processing times and transparency,” said David Watson, Swift’s chief strategy officer, in a statement.

Among the improvements include streamlined service with security embedded at every level, tighter service levels between banks with increased speed, competitively priced processing fees with upfront transparency and payments exchanged through the secure SWIFT network and cleared through channels for international payments.

Last week, the first payments through the new service were exchanged between banks who are helping to develop it, including Bank of China, Barclays, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, KEB Hana Bank, MYbank, National Australia Bank, SMBC, Standard Bank, StoneX, UniCredit and Wells Fargo.

Later this month, seven more banks will participate in a pilot including Banca Intesa, BBVA, DNB, HSBC, Sberbank of Russia, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered. The service is expected to be available to all gpi financial institutions next year.

“Over the past three years, the banking community, together with SWIFT, has completely transformed the high-value cross-border payments landscape as a result of gpi,” said Marc Recker, global head of clearing products at Deutsche Bank, in a statement.

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