SWIFT India Domestic Services ("SWIFT India") today announced its official launch in India, marking a new era for the domestic financial services industry.
SWIFT India is a member-owned cooperative created by the Indian community, together with SWIFT, and is fully committed to serving and addressing domestic market needs. The partners include leading public and private banks (in alphabetical order): Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India.
SWIFT India will set a solid foundation for India's economic growth and technological innovation by providing a highly reliable, secure and reusable domestic messaging platform for efficient and harmonised exchange of financial information between banks, corporates and market infrastructures. It is expected to deploy domestic messaging services by the end of 2014.
Using world-class and proven SWIFT technology, SWIFT India will offer deep expertise and experience in international standards and best practices, along with facilitating an active industry dialogue on areas where the community can collaborate to better serve India's growing population of market participants. As most banks in India already have SWIFT connectivity or interfaces for cross-border messaging, they can reuse their SWIFT infrastructure for domestic messaging over SWIFT India, which allows individual banks and the financial community as a whole to significantly reduce complexity and costs. This also reduces systemic risks and improves service to bank customers and market infrastructures in India.
M V Nair, Chairman of the Board, SWIFT India, said: "The Indian financial services market is diverse and vibrant, growing at a steady pace towards the next wave of transformation. With such dynamic growth, India needs the robust world-class platform that SWIFT India will provide, and that's why our institutions have come together to make it a reality. The combination of SWIFT's global expertise in best-of-breed messaging systems and our deep understanding of the local market means that SWIFT India is well equipped to fully support the India of today and the India of tomorrow."
Alain Raes, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific, SWIFT, commented: "SWIFT and the Indian financial services community have enjoyed a long-standing trusted relationship for more than 20 years. Today's milestone announcement further demonstrates our commitment to supporting the needs of the financial community in India, working hand-in-hand with market leaders to play a key role in the development of India's financial services industry."
Bhavesh Zaveri, Country Head Operations & Head of Cash Management Products, HDFC Bank, India and a member of the SWIFT Board and SWIFT India Board, agreed: "Our community came together with the guidance of the Reserve Bank of India to bring SWIFT India to life at this time of significant and rapid transformation and innovation in the industry. We are confident that this joint venture will play a key role in the development of India's financial services industry, by providing the next-generation messaging services at a low cost commensurate with the huge volumes anticipated across payments, trade, treasury and securities transactions."
Saqib Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer, SWIFT India, added: "Especially as the Reserve Bank of India realises its ambitious and innovative next-generation RTGS, we believe that this is the 'defining decade' for India's financial services industry. We at SWIFT India intend to be significant contributors to innovation and growth as we develop products for India, by India. As a member-owned cooperative, we also look forward to expanding this partnership by inviting more Indian banks to join us."