Banking co-operative Swift is touting the succcess of its integration with Singapore's domestic instant payment service, slashing the time taken to process inbound cross-border message transfers to as little as 13 seconds.
The trial run, which connected Swift gpi Instant into Singapore's Fast and Secure Transfers network (Fast), involved 17 banks across seven countries.
In total, 11 banks initiated cross-border payments into Singapore, and six banks in Singapore processed the payments domestically via the Fast system. Payments between all continents settled with 25 seconds, says Swift, the fasted in just 13 seconds.
The pilot comes on the back of a 2018 test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) in which payments between Australia and China took just 18 seconds, and ahead of an upcoming test with banks and the Target Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) in Europe.
Swift's head of banking Henry Newman says additional tests are planned in other markets with instant payment systems, ahead of the planned global launch of gpi Instant later this year.
"Swift envisages that cross-border payments will become as convenient as domestic transactions," he says. "The successful testing across multiple corridors between Europe and North America to Asia Pacific confirms the important role that gpi Instant will play in making that bold vision a reality.”
Swift is betting that the roll out of the service will steer banks away from alternative networks, such as Ripple and IBM's World Wire, as demand for real-time payments escalates beyond domestic markets into the cross-border realm.
Serge Munten, head of agile operations, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, says: “We were very pleased that it only took 15 seconds to carry out the test payments between Europe and Asia. These pilot tests with Swift are part of our efforts to offer our clients the same high level of services for worldwide payments they have come to appreciate for domestic payments.”