Financial messaging network Swift is moving into the personal communications space with the launch of a new secure e-mail service, dubbed SwiftNet mail.
The system is intended for the secure transfer of sensitive business documents, including invoices, contracts, signatories and STP reports, and is designed to replace existing telex and courier services.
Rather than using the insecure public Internet as the transport mechanism, messages are despatched between member banks via SwiftNet using a software programme that sits on the SwiftAlliance interface device. Swift says the system is fully compatible with existing e-mail systems.
The Brussels-based co-operative has yet to release specific pricing for the service, but says that costs will kept to an absolute minimum to encourage user uptake and head off member concerns about rising infrastructure costs.
Six financial institutions, including HSBC, First Rand Bank and Clearstream, have already signed up for a pilot of the service commencing early next month. The tool is slated for general release in February 2007.