B2B Payments

Cross-Border Payments And China In Focus

Cross-border initiatives have been spotlighted this past month with a strategic partnership between Ripple and MoneyGram. Other announcements, such as from JPMorgan, show country-specific focus, such as with China, on the trading of physical goods. Elsewhere, a SWIFT white paper calls for cross-border collaboration.

Cross-border payments may be getting more scrutiny in the wake of news that Ripple and MoneyGram plan to use XRP and xRapid to move money via strategic partnership. Other initiatives seen in the past week, of course, shone a spotlight on moving funds (or data) between parties in far-flung global locations more efficiently, settled with speed.

In one announcement JPMorgan said it has debuted its E-Customs Payment offering — a bid that, the company said in a press release, would make it the first foreign bank in China that would “fully digitize and automate cross-border payment of goods.”

The banking giant said that, in general, import activity mandates that firms based in China must offer supporting documentation to banks ahead of making payments to their overseas suppliers. Yet, through this new solution, the bank said its clients in China need to send payment instructions with what it termed a “linked” customs declaration number. That activity through the payment offering is tied to application program interfaces (APIs). An API works to retrieve customs declaration status in real time through the Shanghai International Trade Single Window. Payments are processed automatically, said JPMorgan.

“We are pleased to roll out an innovative solution that enables the full digitization of cross-border payments, which we view as a milestone, and one that addresses our clients’ specific needs amid a rapidly evolving treasury landscape,” said Rani Gu, head of Treasury Services for China and head of Treasury Services Product for Greater China at JPMorgan, in the statement detailing the payment solution’s release.

Separately, Mastercard said this week that it has teamed up with P27 Nordic Payments Platform to offer the Nordic market with real-time and batch payment offerings. This will aid speed and convenience in banking. In its release, Mastercard noted that through the partnership, funds will be sent and received with immediacy across Nordic markets.

“By working together, the partnership will connect people across the cluster of countries using multiple currencies. This bold ambition will transform how money moves for consumers, businesses, society and the payments industry itself,” Mastercard said in a release about the partnership. “This major investment [program] is a world-first in terms of a real-time and batch multicurrency platform, and will replace the existing payment infrastructure, enabling instant and secure payments at lower costs and increased competitiveness.”

SWIFT’s Action Call On Cross-Border

SWIFT said at the end of last week through a white paper that collaboration is needed in cross-border payments to make them ubiquitous and seamless. Titled “Payments: Looking to the Future — Instant, Accessible, Ubiquitous (SWIFT — Engineering a payments revolution),” SWIFT said that “we don’t think that cross-border payments challenges should be solved for with closed-loop systems. Doing so would easily solve for a subset — or multiple subsets — of participants, but value needs to move everywhere — from every account, to every account.”

Loops create friction, said the messaging network, and limit competition.

“Cooperation by all players in the community is important because the openness and universality of the envisioned system are unique. The more widely adopted the convention for moving value, the easier the circulation of value — and the more the convention will be used,” said the white paper. It said that gpi should be used as standard for such activity.

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