SWIFT’s figures show an average of 31.31 million messages a day in 2018 as its annual traffic rose to an all-time high of over 7.8 billion.
This marks an 11.3% increase on 2017 - and a 56% increase over the last five years.
Traffic growth was driven by the mass adoption of SWIFT gpi - which now accounts for over half (55%) of cross-border payment instructions carried on the network, only two years since its launch.
Growth in SWIFT’s payments traffic was strong in all regions as well as in domestic and cross-border segments. The cooperative also recorded a new peak traffic day in 2018, processing 35.22 million FIN messages on 31 May 2018.
Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO at SWIFT, said: “Our traffic increase is remarkable, and I’m delighted we’ve hit an all-time high of 35 million messages in a single day. This is not only indicative of the wider growth in the global economy, but also the financial services industry’s continued trust in SWIFT. The success of SWIFT gpi and its rapid adoption has played a key part in our increased annual message traffic, with well over a million payments a day now passing over gpi.”
During 2018, SWIFT’s gpi service, which is supported by hundreds of banks, including more than 50 of the world’s top banks, continued to radically transform correspondent banking and is now used to send over $300bn in payments every day - more than 55% of SWIFT’s cross-border traffic. SWIFT gpi has transformed the cross-border landscape with payments typically made within minutes or even seconds, and over 50% of SWIFT gpi payments credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes.
Against this backdrop of strong traffic growth, rapid adoption of SWIFT gpi, and the roll-out of real-time payments in Australia and the Eurosystem, SWIFT continued to demonstrate operational excellence, with 99.998% availability for its FIN and 99.999% availability for its SWIFTNet messaging services
InterAct saw a 12% growth in traffic in 2018 mainly driven by T2S, while FileAct traffic grew 8% in 2018 with the main contributor to this growth coming from increased activity from corporate customers.
Yawar Shah, Chairman at SWIFT, said: “In 2018, SWIFT continued its core mission and commitment to its customers by ensuring high security and continued reliability. This was achieved against a backdrop of rolling out new capabilities such as the Payment Controls Service and instant payment solutions in Australia and Europe. I’m confident that in 2019 SWIFT will continue to accelerate this momentum across its payments, securities and financial crime compliance areas.”