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Treasury Strategy & Transformation
Published  9 MIN READ

SWIFT gpi: Life in the Fast Lane

By now, most treasurers will have heard of SWIFT gpi – the solution that is speeding up cross-border payments and delivering track and trace capabilities. But not all treasurers have grasped the game-changing potential of gpi, or that it isn’t just for treasury functions that are SWIFT-enabled. Christof Hofmann, Global Head of Payments and Collection Products, Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank, explains to TMI how, following the successful gpi for Corporates pilot, the solution is becoming more widely accessible.


Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI (EH): Could you provide a brief update on the current development status of SWIFT gpi?

Christof Hofmann, Deutsche Bank (CH): SWIFT gpi is becoming the standard for all cross-border payments. The general evolution of gpi is following three stages (see fig. 1). The initial stage involved banking participants deploying the concept as the ‘new normal’ in cross-border payments. This created numerous live payments corridors, but largely excluded end-user access to the transferred data – the Tracker was visible only to the banks.

The second stage opened up gpi status data to the electronic banking channels used by corporates, offering users greater transparency and precision on payment location. Not all banks are delivering this service yet, but I believe corporates will expect this as a minimum going forward.

Deutsche Bank entered the third stage (more are planned) in October 2018, giving corporates access to all available information about a payment, across multiple banks, which they can incorporate directly into their ERP or TMS. This information includes payment routing, foreign exchange rates, and bank deducts. It also enables corporates to establish their own payment-monitoring capabilities, potentially delivering alerts via the ERP or TMS if a transaction fails to progress as expected. Furthermore, some corporates are now using statistical analysis tools within their ERP or TMS, leveraging the gpi data to help them engage more in a strategic dialogue – across their banks – around payments workflow efficiencies.