For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news and flashes and weekly job board.
Sorry I don't agree with most of what you have written here. The FCA did not exist when Faster Payments was launched. BIC codes are less complex than email addresses; they usually only have 8 characters rather than 12-20, and they follow a more predictable
pattern of [4 bank]+[2 country]+. Banks link themselves, using RMA; the customer does not have to do it and it only needs doing once per pairing of banks, not for every payment. Many FIN transactions conclude in near real-time; otherwise they could not
be used for CLS. Regarding SEPA, a meaningful proportion of cross-border SEPA trafiic is transmitted over SWIFTNet FileAct and indeed SEPA has "significantly improved the transfer of cashless payments across borders within the continent", which, though, represent
only 2% of traffic. But SEPA has done very little for the 98% domestic part, where the service level has remained static or gone down: most of the domestic traffic is not transmitted over SWIFT. It is true that "Sweden and Singapore have implemented similar
systems" to FPS and I believe Vocalink is heavily involved there, but SWIFT is heaviliy involved in one you have not mentioned - Australia. Lastly, as a generality, the roadblock for SMEs in exporting is not paying: it's usually the importer that does that.
While WhatsApp is relatively new, web-based instant messaging tools like ICQ have been around since the late 1990s. If there are so many things wrong with SWIFT, any idea why nobody else has managed to disrupt it even 20 years after availability of open
From my experience with sales and implementation of FPS at a Top 5 UK Bank, FPS was indeed mandated by a regulator - OFT - just not FCA.
AFAIK, 8 character BIC only identifies a Bank. To transfer funds to a specific account requires mention of a Branch where the account is held. This adds 3 more characters to BIC. Ergo, an actual fund transfer uses a 11 character BIC e.g. HDFCINBBPNE for
my account. Notwithstanding that, I agree that BIC isn't as complicated as it's made out to be. SWIFT typically handles B2B and FI-to-FI payments of $M ticket size. When I make payments of that size, I'd actually prefer to use a meticulous system like IBAN
and BIC - despite their longer lengths - than a casual and error-prone addressing method like name and risk letting my payment get lose in the "cyberabyss".