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Cash & Liquidity Management
Published  5 MIN READ

European Payments in 2018 – A Landscape Charged with Possibilities

With SWIFT gpi, instant payments, and PSD2 all now part of the equation in the European payments market, Cédric Derras, Global Head of Cash Management at UniCredit, explains how these initiatives add up for corporates, who stand to benefit from faster, more efficient, and more tailored services.     

As we move into 2018, we see European payments entering a distinct new era, where a number of pan-European initiatives and technologies finally either come into play or enter full maturation. Whether improving the speed, efficiency and transparency of cross-border payments through SWIFT gpi and instant payments, or fostering collaboration through the imminent arrival of open banking, European payments services are entering an exciting phase of growth and development.

A good year for SWIFT gpi

The transition began in 2017 with the successful implementation of SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) which enjoyed a storming first year of operation. SWIFT gpi is successfully tackling the twin pain points of slow and opaque cross-border payments, making them faster (a payment between London and Singapore takes just one minute) and more transparent, while simultaneously offering the possibility of tracking each payment end-to-end. 

Clients appreciate these benefits, of course, as well as the fact that banks bear the responsibility for implementing SWIFT gpi. Despite this latter point, take-up by banks has been similarly enthusiastic and swift. Although there are a number of other initiatives targeting cross-border payments, SWIFT gpi has the advantage of using an existing highway, with demonstrated scalability and security, and now more than 120 leading transaction banks – accounting for over 75% of all SWIFT payments – are signed up.