SWIFT enables instant 24/7 cross-border payments

Published 

Brussels and London — SWIFT today announces the activation of the world’s first live gpi Instant connection, a new service that enables consumers and businesses to send payments in seconds across borders, around the clock via their financial institutions.

Lloyds Banking Group is the first to go live with the service and the UK is the first market where it is available. Remittance payments from anywhere in the world destined for the UK routed through Lloyds can arrive in seconds with fee and foreign exchange transparency, robust security and full regulatory compliance.

The gpi Instant service works by connecting SWIFT gpi, the high-speed cross-border rails with real-time domestic infrastructure, in this case the UK’s Faster Payments. It enables banks to use existing infrastructure to provide better service 24/7, with faster speeds, clarity on fees and, crucially, predictability on when an end beneficiary’s account will be credited.

And this is just the beginning. Adoption is expected to continue globally as demand for an instant cross-border experience rises. gpi Instant is a building block in SWIFT’s new strategy to enable instant, frictionless payments from account-to-account anywhere in the world.

David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at SWIFT, said: “This is an important milestone in our strategic ambition to help banks meet growing global demand for instant and frictionless cross-border payments. We developed gpi Instant with our community through responsible innovation and equal emphasis on four core needs — speed, security, transparency and compliance. We look forward to continuing our work with market infrastructures and financial institutions to bring the benefits of seamless cross-border payments to customers across the globe.”

Ed Thurman, Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “At Lloyds Bank we strive to continually evolve and create innovative solutions for our clients. The gpi Instant service is set to be a game changer in cross-border payments and we are very excited to be the first bank globally to offer the service here into the UK. We already offer our financial institution clients access to the Faster Payments Service for their cross-border flow into the UK, the launch of SWIFT gpi Instant will make those transactions visible on the SWIFT gpi Tracker. This partnership demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the market by working with SWIFT to launch gpi instant in the UK.”

The gpi Instant service is the culmination of several trials conducted by SWIFT with banks and payment infrastructures. The go-live follows a successful pilot that took place earlier this year and involved banks including Lloyds, Barclays, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DBS, Wells Fargo and BBVA. It saw cross-border payments credited to accounts in the UK in seconds and built on the successful proof of concepts run by SWIFT and market infrastructures in Singapore, Australia and in Europe over the past two years.

In September 2020, SWIFT announced a new strategy to fundamentally transform payments and securities processing by retooling cross-border infrastructure to enable the world’s financial institutions to deliver instant and frictionless end-to-end transactions. At the heart of the new strategy is an enhanced platform which will orchestrate interactions between financial institutions and other participants to minimise friction, optimise speed and provide end-to-end transparency and predictability from one account to another anywhere in the world.

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