Swift's tech network tests links to e-commerce, trading, blockchain

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is testing a link between e-commerce and trading platforms within its Global Payments Innovation network, with the first trial taking place on the Corda blockchain platform.

Banks using the GPI standards can connect to multiple trade platforms through the GPI Link, enabling payment initiation, end-to-end payment tracking, payer authentication and credit confirmation.

The gateway will support Swift and ISO standards and APIs, while also allowing continuous monitoring and control of payment flows and the movement of goods along the trading platforms.

"All trade platforms require tight linkages with trusted, fast and secure cross-border payments mechanisms such as GPI," Luc Meurant, Swift's chief marketing officer, said in a Wednesday press release.

Because distributed ledger-enabled trade is increasing, the GPI Link will address the need for fast and safe settlement of fiat currencies, which in turn allows settlement to e-commerce and trading platforms, Meurant added.

Corda is the blockchain operated through the New York-based R3 consortium of banks that has attempted to counter Ripple as a cross-border payments blockchain.

R3 recently launched Corda Settler, the payment settlement aspect of Corda, and it viewed a link to the Swift GPI as "a logical extension" of its process, David E. Rutter, R3's chief executive, said in the release.

"Swift GPI has rapidly become the new standard to settle payments right across the world," Rutter added.

Swift plans to show a prototype to banks and corporations attending Sibos in London in September.

The standards organization launched GPI two years ago to establish common standards, guidelines and practices among the banks on legacy systems, in addition to the capability of adding and handling similar technology upgrades. Swift says more than half of its current cross-border payments traffic already is generated through GPI.

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