gpi Instant launched by new Swift CEO

New Swift CEO Javier Pérez-Tasso, yesterday launched gpi Instant, which links gpi, banks and domestic real-time payments systems.

By Neil Ainger

Speaking at his first conference as CEO, the former UK & Ireland Swift country head, who has been with the banking cooperative for 24 years and is attending his 19th Sibos, said Swift’s “vision is to become the instant cross-border platform” for the world.

He wants to provide a global payments innovation (gpi) Instant service that is as “fast, frictionless” and “seamless” as a domestic real-time payment (RTP). 

To achieve this, Swift has to rely on its banking members using its new quasi-standard and partner with national infrastructures such as FAST in Singapore and the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia, where a successful trial recently delivered a payment to China in 18 seconds. 

The gpi information remains unchanged regardless of any domestic RTP platforms it travels over, giving the required global connectivity. Swift also has a number of fraud detection, compliance and analytics tools, which banks can optionally use if they don’t have the capacity to develop their own tools.

The formalised new gpi Instant service can be used by all types of bank end-users from large multinationals through to small and medium enterprises and on retail or e-commerce platforms. It will provide a “fast, safe and compliant” platform for business-to-business (B2B) payments, said Pérez-Tasso, outlining core likely marketplaces, with potential for many other end uses and front-end applications. It offers instant international payments, with up-front fees and foreign exchange (FX) transparency for all users.

A trial has also recently been completed with the European Central Bank (ECB) Target Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) market infrastructure and a group of 19 banks, 12 of which sent  cross-border payments from nine countries into Europe via five banks.

A speed of 41 seconds was recorded for a payment sent from Singapore, which cleared in Germany, and was credited to the end beneficiary account. Further progress is expected as the global instant service rolls out. 

In an accompanying statement, Ignacio Terol, deputy head of division market infrastructure development at the ECB, said: “During the trial, the processing time in TIPS was as low as 60 milliseconds. We look forward to working with Swift and the TIPS participants on the next steps.”

In the same statement, Shirish Wadivkar, global head of correspondent banking at Standard Chartered, said: “Global commerce in today’s emerging platform economy is increasingly happening in real time. Customers expect us to move money across borders with a speed to match. The end-to-end velocity, traceability and transparency of payments is solved with gpi.

“With this new offering, we aim to capitalise on the 24×7 availability of instant payment systems everywhere, enabling real-time, round-the-clock payment deliveries.” 

Other banks offering the service include HSBC and Wells Fargo.