The payments sector has made huge strides in recent years. In Europe, the introduction of instant domestic payment services such as SCT Inst and TIPS has stoked demand for faster payments beyond Europe’s borders. While SWIFT gpi has moved us closer to meeting this demand, there is still work to be done – starting with the integration of gpi and the continent’s instant payments schemes, argues Cédric Derras, UniCredit’s Global Head of Cash Management.
Faster, more transparent cross-border settlement has long held a place near the top of European treasurers’ wish lists – and, slowly but surely, that wish is becoming reality. Recent improvements – most notably, the introduction and continued refinement of SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) – have helped break down barriers to more seamless international payments, but there remains work to be done, with disparate time zones and limited clearing hours often delaying settlement.
The answer lies in combining the capabilities of gpi with domestic instant payments systems. Spearheaded by two robust instant clearing and settlement services, the real-time paradigm has taken off in Europe and, by harmonising these payments systems with gpi, there is scope to extend such service levels beyond European borders.