Since its full roll-out in January 2017, SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) initiative has significantly improved the transparency, speed, and tracking of cross-border payments through its single day settlement functionality. The initiative involves more than 160 transaction banks from 200 countries. One of its key features includes the cloud-based Tracker, which collects real-time payment transaction status and also information about the fees charged by intermediary banks for processing the transaction. Several banks including BNP Paribas, National Australia Bank, and Citi have integrated SWIFT gpi Tracker with their payments flow management systems. Along with Tracker, the Observer is a quality assurance tool that monitors adherence to gpi business rules and processes. In the coming years, gpi will focus on improving digital capabilities and exploring the use of blockchain technology for real-time Nostro account reconciliation. Further, SWIFT has announced that it will introduce a real-time payment tracking feature to the GPI Tracker. Recently, SWIFT announced plans to roll-out real-time payments services in the Asia Pacific region. SWIFT is currently in discussions with Australia, China, Singapore, and Thailand to develop a cross-border, real-time payment service for the region. ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Guangfa Bank, Commonwealth Bank, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB, Siam Commercial Bank, UOB, and Westpac are working on this with SWIFT. The project would be delivered in three phases, first focusing on banks’ settlement of payments in real-time using gpi, second integrating gpi into the banks’ existing payment systems in the region enabling banks that aren’t using gpi to achieve real-time settlement, and finally, integrating domestic real-time payment systems with SWIFT gpi.
Traditional banks must evaluate their place within the payments ecosystem and be open to partnering with FinTechs and third-party developers to drive value collaboratively.
Structural changes are spurring payments industry participants to evaluate the future of the business as well as their role in the months and years ahead.
The Payment Services Directive 2 or PSD2 has been in full force for more than six months, and its impact is being felt not just in the European Union, but across the globe – with several markets, such as Singapore, Australia, and Nigeria, as well as Hong Kong announcing open banking initiatives inspired by the PSD2