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Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:04

SWIFT, corporates, banks piloting new standards for cross-border payments

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SWIFT, corporates, banks piloting new standards for cross-border payments Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Global payments company Swift is to collaborate with companies and banks in the testing of an enhanced multi-bank standard aimed at further improving cross-border payments experience for multi-banked corporates.

Swift says the enhanced standard, designed and built in conjunction with 10 multinational corporates and 12 leading banks — including National Australia Bank — streamlines the process for corporate treasurers by allowing them to initiate and track gpi payments to and from multiple banks in a single format and integrate gpi flows in ERP and Treasury Management Systems.

Corporates and banks participating in the pilot include Microsoft, Airbus, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Booking.com, Borealis, Citi, Deutsche Bank, General Electric, IATA, Intesa Sanpaolo, J.P. Morgan, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, National Australia Bank, Ping An  Group, Roche, RTL Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale, Standard Chartered Bank and UniCredit.

According to Swift, the first-of-its kind, cross-industry collaboration tailors its global payments innovation (gpi) for multi-banked corporates, by introducing a common solution delivered in the same way by all gpi banks.

Swift says the new standard will enable application providers and banks to give corporates better visibility and transparency, improving payments certainty, traceability, exception handling and allowing them to reconcile directly in their treasury operations.

Pilot participants are to begin a test phase ahead of bringing the system  into production in the next few months.

Lisa Wagner, Group Treasury Manager at Microsoft, said “The ability to access a greater level of payment information in a timely manner through SWIFT gpi will bring immediate benefits to our payments experience with greater transparency and responsiveness to our vendors.  Providing multi-bank information all in one place and in the same format fits into our modern finance roadmap.”

“We are very pleased to participate in the Swift gpi for Corporates pilot,” says Martin Schlageter, head of Treasury Operations at Roche.  

“There are many challenges to tackle with cross-border payments but Swift gpi, combined with the broader Swift for Corporates programme, will bring considerable benefits to improving the transparency and visibility of our cross-border payments.”

The multi-bank standard design has been developed through a series of Swift-led co-creation workshops with pilot banks and corporates, and supports FIN and ISO 20022 standards to allow corporates to access their payments status across SWIFT and bank proprietary channels.

”Corporates want to track payments in real time and get confirmation of credit to the beneficiary’s account,” says Marc Delbaere, global head of Corporates at Swift.

“This new multi-bank capability will enable that experience in a consistent fashion, across multiple banks and multiple corporates. Having this information instantly in the corporate treasury space is what corporate customers are asking for.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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