Successful instant payments trial with SWIFT gpi instant and FAST

SWIFT today announces the results of a global trial to integrate SWIFT gpi Instant, the co-operative’s cross-border instant payments service, into Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST).

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; with the fastest from Australia to Singapore in just 13 seconds.

As a global hub for payments innovation, Singapore is known for its strong culture of promoting new and emerging financial services. This trial further attests to the strong collaborative relationship between SWIFT and the Singapore financial community.

This 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.

The trial further demonstrates the global scalability of gpi to integrate with multiple domestic instant payment systems. Results show that:

The successful global trial comes on the back of a  2018 test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) 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 (TIPS) in Europe. 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. Additional tests are planned in other markets with instant payment systems, ahead of the planned global launch of gpi Instant later this year.

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.”

Peng Hua, Deputy General Manager, Operation Management Department of ICBC, said:“ICBC has played an important role in the Singapore FAST gpi Instant trial, both in Singapore and in China. Our head office in China, which acted as an originating bank, verified the feasibility of cross-border instant payments along the China-Singapore corridor. In Singapore, our branch office was the only intermediary bank during the trial to convert SWIFT cross-border payment messages to FAST messages. 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.”

Atul Bhuchar, Group Payments Head, Global Transaction Services, DBS, said:“The dynamic pace of global commerce is defined by the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments. Singapore has sought to be at the forefront of digital and payments innovation. As the lead-bank for the Standards Workgroup, one of the key drivers for this initiative, DBS is working closely with the industry to define the roadmap to this next frontier in payments.”

SWIFT gpi Instant reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, minimises implementation costs for users and allows them to avoid the complexities of adopting new cross-border infrastructure.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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