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 global messaging network Swift and its fintech challenger, Ripple, have been vying for bankers’ hearts and minds for more than a year. Whoever prevails, their latest moves could bring needed change to how international banking is done.
Leaked documents appear to show NSA analysts were able to hack into Middle Eastern banks’ servers through the Swift service bureau EastNets. The same tools could conceivably be used by cybercriminals and nation-states with more sinister motives.
The Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunication is exploring the potential of distributed ledger technology for banks to provide real-time reconciliation of their databases for accounts they hold in other banks in a foreign currency.