Swift's global payments innovation (gpi) initiative has reached a critical tipping point, accounting for over 50% of messaging traffic across the interbank network.
The gpi scheme - a set of service-level agreements between banks that promised end-to-end delivery with full tracking and transparency of messages across the network - was introduced two years ago as a riposte to competition from the likes of Ripple and a growing disenchantment with old-school correspondent banking models.
Rapid adoption saw the share of cross-border messages using gpi soar from 15% at the start of 2018, to 56% by the end of the year, a year-on-year increase of 270%. In total, more than $40trn was transferred over the service in 2018.
Swift has committed to move all of its 10,000 member banks to gpi by 2020, using it as a building block to release fresh new services, including a suite of APIs for bank-to-bank interaction and post payment reconciliation, links to domestic payment schemes and interfaces to third party networks.
Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift CEO, says: “We can now move quickly to realise our ambition of ensuring ubiquitous real-time - even instant - cross-border payments right around the world. By incorporating APIs, trialling distributed ledger technology and exploring new technologies such as predictive analytics, we will continue to deliver new functionalities and applications at pace - ensuring that the cross-border payments experience rapidly becomes as seamless as domestic payments.”