The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a global messaging network better known as Swift, has announced an initiative designed to increase the speed and transparency of cross-border payments.
The Global Payments Initiative, which Swift touted as an industrywide collaboration, will initially focus in early 2016 on being a business-to-business payments service backed by participating banks.
Swift said the effort will enable banks to offer corporate customers enhanced services such as same-day use of funds, transparency and predictability regarding fees, end-to-end payments tracking and richer payment information.
The service will operate on the basis of business rules captured in multilateral service-level agreements among participating banks, the network noted, and will operate on Swift’s global platform. Participation will be open to any supervised financial institution that is a Swift member and adheres to the network’s business rules.
“Correspondent banking serves the industry with millions of secure cross-border payments day in, day out; with the Global Payments Innovation initiative we are building on those strengths, enabling banks to provide distinctive cross-border payments services and providing real benefits to end customers,” Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift’s chief executive, said in a press release.
Swift is also meeting with banks to forge a strategy for to speed payments processing, or "faster payments."
Faster payments initiatives are accelerating globally, particularly as mobile and digital payments mature, and that's attracting the interested of technology companies, standards boards and other stakeholders.
Vocalink, for example, this week, finalized their partnership agreement with The Clearing House to build a faster payments system in the U.S.