The Central Bank of Russia has signed a memorandum of understanding to use Swift's IP-based interbank messaging network, SwiftNet as its new real time gross settlement (RTGS) system.
The RTGS network will link 10 separate proprietary regional payment systems that currently exist under the Russian Federation and will centralise all intra-regional settlement.
The Russian central bank plans to use SwiftNet FIN services and estimates that the system will handle 50,000 to 100,000 transactions per day.
Although Russia's current payment system is not based on Swift, currently 406 of the country’s almost 1300 licensed banks use the network. Together, these banks account for nearly 90% of the country's payments traffic. In 2003, Russian banks sent and received over 12.5 million messages across the Swift network.
Michaïl Senatorov, deputy chairman, Russian Central Bank, says: "The Swift offering is appropriate for the Russian RTGS system, allowing our commercial banks the choice to use either our proprietary network or the SwiftNet messaging platform to communicate with the central bank."
Swift says the Russian Federation's decision to use SwiftNet for its national payment system has generated a lot of interest from other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Currently, Azerbaijan is the only country from the CIS region using the network for RTGS.