SWIFT To Introduce Real-Time Payments To APAC

Payments messaging company SWIFT is hoping to launch real-time payments services in the Asia Pacific region, according to Verdict reports on Friday (April 20).

The publication said SWIFT is in discussions to create a consortium of financial institutions across Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand to develop a cross-border, real-time payment service for the region powered by SWIFT’s gpi (global payments innovation) technology.

SWIFT gpi, launched last year, provides financial institutions with infrastructure to facilitate transparent, faster cross-border payments. The company has also rolled out its gpi Tracker solution, enabling real-time payment tracking as it moves across borders for FIs and their customers.

ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Guangfa Bank, Commonwealth Bank, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB, Siam Commercial Bank, UOB and Westpac are participating in the collaboration with SWIFT, the publication said. The partners aim to launch the new service in phases, first focusing on banks’ settlement of payments in real-time using gpi.

The next phase, reports said, would integrate gpi into the banks’ existing payment systems in the region, enabling banks that aren’t using gpi to enable real-time settlement.

Finally, the third phase would see domestic real-time payment systems integrating with SWIFT gpi.

“SWIFT gpi already reduces cross-border payment times to minutes, even seconds, and indeed nearly 50 percent of gpi payments are already being completed in less than 30 minutes,” said SWIFT Asia Pacific managing director Eddie Haddad in a statement, according to reports. “This new scheme will both further speed up those payments and extend the reach of the gpi capability far deeper into domestic markets, driving radical change in the cross-border payments market across the region.”