SWIFT Trials Instant Cross-Border Payments Service in Asia Pacific

SWIFT is set to trial its gpi payments service using Australia’s New Payments Platform, together with banks from China, Singapore and Thailand.

SWIFT will test its new instant cross border gpi (global payments innovation) payments service in the Asia Pacific region using Australia’s New Payments Platform, the company said in a release on Thursday (23 August).

Workshops were held at participating banks from Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand earlier this year – including ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Commonwealth Bank, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB (National Australia Bank), Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank.

The initial trial will focus on Australia-bound cross-border payments processed through the NPP, a recently launched real-time payments system that uses an email address or phone number – a PayID – rather than  traditional account numbers.

SWIFT gpi is designed to scale and integrate with real-time systems around the region through its members, and will eventually allow for a complete real-time cross-border payments experience for all bank customers in the region, including for P2P remittances and SME trade settlement.

The new approach will save banks from investing in new cross-border infrastructure and instead build on SWIFT gpi and its connectivity with domestic instant payment systems, said SWIFT managing director for Asia Pacific Eddie Haddad.

“The SWIFT gpi real-time service is a critical step in delivering cross-border instant payments. The commitment and support we have from Asia Pacific’s leading banks is a strong indication that they understand the immediate value of partnering with SWIFT to realise a fast, secure and seamless cross-border real-time payment service that scales globally,” he said. “We are looking forward to showcasing test results from the service at Sibos in Sydney in October.”

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Launched in early 2017, gpi now has over 200 banks signed up and accounts for a third of SWIFT cross-border payment traffic. More than USD 100 billion in SWIFT gpi messages is sent daily, enabling payments to be credited to end beneficiaries within seconds or minutes.

SWIFT expects that the service to be universally implemented across its global network by the end of 2020.

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