Swift backs both sides in cloud trend

Swift has launched Cloud Connect, an initiative that expands options for its customers adopting cloud services. The initiative covers large public cloud providers and Swift’s own private cloud platform.

By Heather Mckenzie

In the public cloud space, SWIFT has a proof of concept in place with Microsoft, building on work started last year with the technology company’s treasury operations. This established a prototype Swift connection on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Payment transactions were successfully tested on the platform.

Swift said Cloud Connect would ease users’ migration to providers such as Microsoft and Google Cloud, as well as the next generation of Swift’s private cloud platform. Customer trials on Cloud Connect will begin later this year, with a community-wide service targeted for the second half of 2020.

As part of Cloud Connect, network architecture and automation templates for customers will be developed to ease deployment on the ‘hyper-scale’ public cloud platforms such as Azure and Google Cloud. While large banks, corporates and fintechs increasingly use such providers, they also require the same level of reliability and security they experience on premises, said Swift. It added that Cloud Connect would provide a resilient and secure method of connecting to the Swift network.

Swift’s private cloud, Alliance Cloud, is designed for institutions of all sizes that wish to host their messaging operations on Swift-managed infrastructure. A phased roll-out of Alliance Cloud will launch in 2020, starting in the second quarter.

Alliance Cloud has been designed to scale quickly to meet changing customer needs. It seamlessly integrates gpi, sanctions screening solutions and other Swift services. It maintains 24×7 availability and the highest level of security, while reducing customers’ total operating costs.

Craig Young, chief information officer, at Swift said: “Cloud computing is a key enabler of a faster, frictionless future and a powerful catalyst for innovative new services. Our community is seizing its potential, and we are committed to supporting them with a range of connectivity options reflecting their diverse approaches and breadth of needs.”

Also announced yesterday, Broadridge Financial Solutions has made its Global Asset Servicing Solution available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a public cloud. An unnamed global tier one investment bank is already in live operation with the solution and another top-ranked institution is onboarding.

“Collaborating with AWS to leverage the latest in cloud technology will address the significant challenges of inefficient processes in asset servicing and reduced ability to control costs,” said Samir Pandiri, president of Broadridge International.

Scott Mullins, head of worldwide financial services business development at AWS, said: “Asset Servicing is a vital component of the daily operations of banks and broker-dealers. By using AWS, Broadridge is providing its clients with increased operational effectiveness, resiliency and scalability, while providing the ability to effectively controal costs.”

On Monday, The Clubreported on the use of public cloud and fears that it could become a single point of failure, leading to systemic risk. The Financial Stability Board has commented that:“Third-party service providers to financial institutions are quickly becoming more prominent and critical, especially in areas of cloud computing and data services. The fact that many third-party providers may fall outside the regulatory perimeter places increased emphasis on the importance of managing related operational risk, which could ultimately undermine financial stability”.