Calling it a first in international payments, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication [Swift] is providing a cross-border, real-time payments tracker for banks handling global transactions.

The new tracker complements the growing trend of real-time payments and same-day settlement for international payments, Swift says. It also becomes a key component of Swift's Global Payments Innovation initiative, which the coding agency launched with 20 banks in January and has another 50 beginning to implement the process.

Swift has positioned the global initiative essentially as a way to improve payments speed, security and reliability through emphasizing common standards and practices amongst banks, while adding new technology such as the tracker that fits in with current legacy systems.

"This is only the beginning for the Swift global payments innovation," Wim Raymaekers, program manager for Swift GPI, said in a May 23 press release. "We will continue to explore new technologies such as blockchain and deliver more value-added payments services, further transforming the international payments landscape and, in doing so, accelerating global trade."

The new tracker addresses a common complaint of corporate executives sending global payments — lack of visibility on their payments' status. The tracker provides corporate treasurers with a real-time, end-to-end view of their payments, combined with a confirmation notice when the money reaches the recipient's account, Swift says.

The tracker is available through an open application interface, making it compatible with banking systems worldwide.

"Uptake of Swift's global payments innovation service has been encouraging, and the addition of the tracker capability can only help build momentum and accelerate the adoption of the service in international payments," David Bannister, principal analyst with Ovum, stated in the release.

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