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Friday, 19 July 2019 11:11

SWIFT payments trial cuts Australia-Singapore cash transfer to 13 seconds


Global payment services provider SWIFT has completed a trial to integrate its cross-border instant payments service gpi Instant into Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) – with the fastest payment in the trial from Australia into Singapore processed via FAST in only 13 seconds.

The successful trial which involved 17 banks across seven countries — Australia, China, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand — saw cross-border payments between these continents settle within 25 seconds.

The successful global trial comes on the back of a 2018 test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform in which payments from China to Australia took just 18 seconds, and ahead of an upcoming test with banks and the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement in Europe.

SWIFT says the “major advance” extends the speed and transparency of SWIFT gpi deeper into domestic markets, reaching a wider set of ultimate beneficiary accounts around the world.

“The final leg of cross-border payments often introduces delays due to domestic clearance and settlement. However, gpi Instant capitalises on the 24x7 availability of instant payment systems such as FAST, to enable payment settlement in the destination market, even outside normal business hours,” SWIFT said.

The ANZ Bank’s Luke Perkins, director, Clearing Services, said, “At ANZ we believe it is important to support initiatives such as the gpi Instant Payments service in order to continue the innovation delivered when SWIFT gpi was first introduced”.

“SWIFT gpi is constantly re-imagining how cross border payments are processed to deliver an enhanced and improved customer experience and the gpi Instant Payments service is a case in point.

“The gpi Instant Payments service provides the opportunity for banks to push the boundaries of conventional cut-off times allowing a far more real time experience than is available today and significantly improving the last mile in the cross border payment lifecycle.”

Eddie Haddad, managing director of SWIFT, Asia Pacific, said: “We are systematically linking domestic instant payment systems on the gpi platform through our existing rails, and Singapore’s track record for payments innovation makes it a fitting launch pad for gpi Instant".

"The successful testing of the Thailand-Singapore corridor also confirms the scalability of gpi Instant towards a pan-ASEAN cross-border instant payments service essential for integration across the region. The trial is a nod to SWIFT’s vision of ensuring that cross-border payments become as seamless and convenient as domestic ones, and speaks to the global scalability of gpi for ubiquitous cross-border instant payments.”

According to SWIFT, the trial further demonstrates the global scalability of gpi to integrate with multiple domestic instant payment systems and, as well as the 13 second fastest payment from Australia to Singapore, results showed that:

  • The fastest payment from Asia into Singapore and processed onward took 14 seconds; 15 seconds from Europe and 20 seconds from North America.
  • All payments were processed end-to-end within 25 seconds.
  • Eleven banks initiated cross-border payments into Singapore, and six banks in Singapore processed the payments domestically via the FAST system.
  • Six country corridors into Singapore were involved in the trial, with a maximum time difference of 12 hours on the Canada-Singapore corridor.

SWIFT says that together, the TIPS, FAST and NPP instant payment systems are the first of many domestic real-time infrastructures, connected via the banks and using gpi that will enable a globally-scalable instant cross-border payments service.

And SWIFT says additional tests are planned in other markets with instant payment systems, ahead of the planned global launch of gpi Instant later this year.

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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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