B2B Payments

In Europe, Banks Trial SWIFT Instant gpi Payments

A group of banks in Europe said they are trialing SWIFT instant gpi cross-border payments. Elsewhere, Square has launched a payment processing service for CBD firms.

SWIFT said late last week that a group of banks in Europe are trialing instant gpi cross-border payments through the TARGET instant payment settlement platform (TIPS).

The company announced that it has teamed with the European Central Bank to boost the reach of cross-border payments into Europe through TIPS. As part of that push, the bank settlements will allow for instant credits to accounts. SWIFT added that processing gpi cross-border payments will help further the ubiquitous availability of real-time, cross-border payments.

“This trial is another critical step in extending the reach and utility of our cross-border instant payments service. By linking SWIFT gpi and TIPS, our customers will be able to leverage their existing investments to deliver a superior service to their clients,” said Alain Raes, chief executive of EMEA and Asia-Pacific at SWIFT in the statement. “The support we have from major European banks demonstrates their commitment to partnering with SWIFT to deliver a fast, secure and seamless cross-border, real-time payment service that scales globally. We look forward to sharing the results of the pilot at Sibos in London in September.”

As part of the initiative, SWIFT gpi, which launched two years ago, has gained traction across borders, as an average 40 percent of gpi payments are credited to recipients within five minutes.

The banks participating in the European pilot include Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, BBVA, Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Santander, Sberbank and UniCredit.

Separately, Square said this past week that it is getting into the CBD arena, with a payment processing service geared toward CBD companies. CBD, derived from hemp, was recently legalized in the U.S. According to reports, Square is providing basic financial services to those companies, being done through an invite-only beta, a Square spokesperson told Forbes.

In terms of individual company initiatives, treasury management tech firm Kyriba is bringing real-time payments to its corporate clients through a JPMorgan application program interface (API). Kyriba said in a press release that joint companies of both firms will have access to real-time payments through an API that connects into The Clearing House’s RTP network.

In the release, JPMorgan Global Head of Open Banking Sairam Rangachari said, “Kyriba’s vision to broaden the payment choices available to corporate CFOs and treasurers aligns with JPMorgan’s Open Banking initiatives. Our clients value the option to transmit real-time payments, and the API integration we have implemented with Kyriba enables these payments to be processed and confirmed within seconds”.

In cross-border activity stretching beyond U.S. shores, Nordic payments platform P27 — created by banks such as Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, OP Financial Group and others — is mulling an acquisition of Swedish clearing payment company Bankgirot, the 60-year-old firm owned by most of those banks. As reported in this space, Bankgirot processes 6 million payments daily, with all mass payments in Sweden processed by the company.

As reported, if P27 were to buy Bankgirot, the platform would get a boost in the real-time payments and cross-border payments infrastructure.

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