Data and payments security has never been more important, with the rise of debilitating hacks costing venues millions. This has led SWIFT, one of the leaders in cross-border payments, to take its own measures to increase security and efficiency.
SWIFT has been under pressure over the past year to strengthen its processing times and transparency. This challenge has come from blockchain technology and other networks such as Ripple, among others. Last month, SWIFT bolstered its processing times in a new bid to get a leg up on its competition.
Looking to the present, SWIFT has again opted to address its gpi Tracker, this time by fostering universal tracking across all payments. SWIFT gpi payments are sent across a total of 220 country corridors. This includes over $100 billion in SWIFT gpi messages sent every day.
The new measures will help banks track their SWIFT payment instructions at all times, giving them full visibility over all payment activity. This reflects the second major advancement in SWIFT’s Tracker since its inception last May.
“The extension of the Tracker to non-gpi payments is a major step forward. It will significantly extend transparency and it will drive more banks to join the service, rapidly making gpi the new normal in cross- border payments,” Navinder Duggal, Group Head of Cash Product Management from DBS, one of the first gpi adopters in Asia, commented.
In particular, the Tracker automatically will provide status updates to all banks involved in any gpi payment chain. This allows banks to confirm when a payment has been completed, shoring up any gaps in the payment chain.
Consequently, SWIFT’s Tracker also enables more accurate reconciliation of payments and invoices, while also optimizing liquidity with improved cash. As a cloud-based service, the Tracker is available through an API, making it compatible with global proprietary banking systems.
“These expanded tracking capabilities are part of a series of gpi services we will roll out in 2018 to further improve the cross-border payments experience, enable banks to provide a far superior service to their customers and rapidly attract more banks to join,” reiterated Harry Newman, Head of Payments at SWIFT.
Presently, SWIFT gpi accounts for nearly 10 percent of SWIFT cross border payment traffic. Approximately 78 percent of SWIFT’s cross-border payments traffic has signed up to the service, which should yield immediate benefits for banks.
SWIFT’s gpi upgrade will only be implemented in all payment instructions via a mandatory annual standard update in November 2018. At that juncture, all existing SWIFT customers will be required to include the end-to-end transaction reference in their payment instructions.