Cash & Liquidity ManagementPaymentsSWIFTSWIFT’s trial to integrate gpi Instant with Singapore’s FAST hailed a success

SWIFT's trial to integrate gpi Instant with Singapore's FAST hailed a success

As an outcome of the trial, payments between all continents got settled within 25 seconds, the fastest payment getting settled in merely 13 seconds

SWIFT has hailed as a success attempts to integrate its gpi Instant cross-border instant payments service, into Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST).

The trial involved 17 banks across seven countries – Australia, China, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand.

The trial, which comes on the back of a 2018 test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP), is a first of many domestic real-time infrastructures, connected via the banks and using gpi. The payments between Australia and China took just 18 seconds and preceded an upcoming test with banks and the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) in Europe.

TIPS, FAST and NPP instant payment systems trials are set to enable a globally scalable instant cross-border payments service.

Observations from the trial include:

  • The fastest payment in the trial, from Australia into Singapore and processed onward via FAST, took only 13 seconds
  • The fastest payment into Asia Pacific from Europe took only 15 seconds and from North America in 20 seconds
  • 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.

SWIFT gpi Instant reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, thereby minimising implementation costs and avoiding the complexities of adopting new cross-border infrastructure. In the case of this trial, SWIFT gpi Instant capitalises on the 24×7 availability of instant payment systems such as FAST to enable payment settlement in the destination market, even outside normal business hours.

As convenient as domestic transactions

With the success of this trial, SWIFT gpi is set to extend to larger beneficiary accounts around the globe.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, SWIFT, said: “Across the world, through gpi, banks and Instant Payment systems are using our existing rails for international payments to meet today’s need for speed, traceability and transparency. SWIFT envisages that cross-border payments will become as convenient as domestic transactions, and the successful testing across multiple corridors between Europe and North America to Asia Pacific confirms the important role that gpi Instant will play in making that bold vision a reality.”

Peng Hua, Deputy General Manager, Operations Management Department of ICBC, said: “The trial represents a significant milestone for SWIFT and we are proud to be part of this ongoing progress. ICBC is prepared for and very much looking forward to the live application of gpi Instant. We are also eager to work with other financial institutions on other gpi Instant trials to develop what we believe is a service that will offer tremendous value to the payments industry.”

Serge Munten, Head of Agile Operations, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, said: “As an innovative bank striving to offer our correspondent banking and corporate clients cutting-edge services, it was only natural for BIL to participate in this gpi Instant payment trial. We were very pleased that it only took 15 seconds to carry out the test payments between Europe and Asia. These pilot tests with SWIFT are part of our efforts to offer our clients the same high level of services for worldwide payments they have come to appreciate for domestic payments.”

SWIFT’s proven track record

Building upon its proven track record of excellence, global reach and resilience, SWIFT documented its views on the future of payments in a landmark paper titled ‘Payments: Looking to the future’ last month. It aims at maximising convenience to enable the movement of value ‘from any account to any account, anywhere in the world’.

Through its reportThe value of standards in the FX markets, SWIFT has also called for greater harmonization through standards to drive down unnecessary costs, delays and risk. This includes changes to enable automation of the FX matching process.

Over $40 trillion were sent over SWIFT gpi in 2018 as standard reached its two-year anniversary in February.

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