SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 9,700 financial institutions and corporations in 209 countries, is launching SWIFTRemit to address the needs of the global remittance market.
Providing the first truly global platform for person-to-person payments, SWIFTRemit connects banks, money transfer operators (MTOs) and other types of supervised payment institutions over the highly secure and stable SWIFT network. The service provides the remittance industry with a business and technical framework that includes ISO 20022 message standards, to support cost-effective implementation and scalability for remittance services worldwide.
SWIFTRemit helps users provide better customer service in the form of additional flexibility and cost and time transparency. With SWIFTRemit, money transfers can be made in cash and to accounts, cards and cheques. The service is mobile-friendly and provides for mobile instructed payments, notifications and payouts, including payments to mobile wallets. In addition to person-to-person payments, SWIFTRemit also supports pension payouts.
Gottfried Leibbrandt, Head of Marketing at SWIFT, says: "SWIFTRemit offers our customers a unique opportunity to offer a competitive product in the global retail payments market. A lack of interoperability and consistent quality standards among existing systems is holding back growth. SWIFTRemit provides a brand-neutral solution that institutions can customise in line with their specific customer and business demands."
SWIFT's initial workers' remittances service, launched regionally in 2009, has been well-received by the industry. Nearly 70 financial institutions have already registered for the service and about 25 are already operational.
CaixaBank in Spain was an early adopter of SWIFTRemit and has seen a number of clear benefits for its remittance business. Antonio Blanco, Management Control Director, International Banking, CaixaBank explains: "SWIFTRemit's standardised approach makes it much easier to establish relationships with new counterparts. With SWIFTRemit it takes an average of two months to set up a new counterpart - compared to six months before we started using the service."
And it's not just banks that are benefiting from the SWIFTRemit solution. At Sibos 2011, global MTO MoneyGram announced it too is signing up for SWIFTRemit. Paul Thomas, Director Global Strategic Partnerships, MoneyGram International says: "MoneyGram's product strategy is to deliver a choice of transaction methods that are secure, convenient and economic for our customers. Our membership with SWIFTRemit is a perfect enabler of this strategy. MoneyGram's participation to the service will give SWIFTRemit members the potential network of 244,000 agent locations in 192 countries."