Almost doubling the $40 trillion transferred in 2018, Swift’s transmission of $77 trillion in cross-border payments messages over the gpi platform during 2019 implies that demand for the programme is becoming entrenched in the bank-to-bank space.
65% of cross-border payment messages by Swift members were sent using gpi, with transmission corridors now numbering over 1,900.
Carlo Palmers, head of payments markets infrastructures at Swift tells Finextra Research that “gpi is proven and is fast becoming ubiquitous.
"Due to the success of gpi we have extended the benefits of tracking and confirming payments to all financial institutions on Swift. Since December 2019, every institution on Swift can access our Basic Tracker and we have already seen many across the world taking advantage of this.”
Front of mind for financial institutions is strengthening the security and traceability of cross-border payments, as cyber criminals attempt to leverage weak points of innovative payment systems. For Swift, the near real-time capabilities of gpi provide a brace against incursions into its core territory from competitive providers like Ripple.
Further, regulatory authorities are increasingly directing the onus of system strength and security onto institutions themselves, meaning they’re obligated to ensure compliance protocols are sufficiently robust.
Palmers explains: “There are a number of gpi features which help protect institutions against payments fraud. The gpi Tracker provides the precise location of a payment, giving complete visibility to financial institutions’ operations teams who can detect fraud faster by tracking a payment along its journey.
In January this year, Standard Chartered switched on the cross-border payments tracker, with global head of transaction banking Lisa Robins, commenting: “Corporations and financial institutions around the world rely on the confirmation of payments to facilitate the movement of goods and services in order to support the healthy growth of supply chains.”
Palmers continues: “However, visibility solves only half the problem. When they see an issue, what can they do?”
Swift gpi allows a transaction to be stopped instantly regardless of its location in the payment chain thanks to a unique tracking code associated with each transaction.
“In addition,” Palmers says, “every bank in the chain is notified at the same time. And if the payment was already credited, the instructed bank receives an immediate recall of funds instruction. Anecdotally, we’ve heard from banks that they have been able to fend off suspected fraud attempts using stop and recall.”
Palmer observes that the gpi allure remains strong for a number of reasons: “It’s fast - over 50% of gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes, 40% in under five minutes, and almost 100% of gpi payments are credited within 24 hours.
“It’s trackable - financial institutions and their end-customers can track their payment flows end-to-end and in real time, and, it’s transparent.”