For SWIFT, gpi continues to gain traction.
The global financial messaging service said last week that six Spanish banks – covering roughly 85 percent of the cross-border payments market tied to that country – have signed on to SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi for short).
The new banks include Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, Bankinter, BBVA, CaixaBank and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar. As reported last week, each bank is live on the service, and gpi is being used for cross-border payments.
SWIFT has said hundreds of thousands of cross-border payments have been sent using the gpi standard, which equates to $300 billion daily. As much as $40 trillion was sent last year. SWIFT has said gpi is about 56 percent of messaging, a 270 percent jump.
“SWIFT gpi is the new norm for cross-border payments, delivering on the expectations of both the banks and their customers. We are very proud of the value that gpi delivers to the financial industry,” said Juan Carlos Botrán, head of SWIFT Iberia, in last week’s announcement. “We look forward to launching a series of new functionalities, including pre-validation and case resolution, and to announce the results of our proof-of-concept work linking SWIFT gpi to eCommerce and instant payments platforms. All of this will help us improve both the end client experience and processing efficiency even further. On behalf of SWIFT, I would like to thank all gpi banks, and especially the Spanish gpi banks, for leading the way in making gpi the new standard.”
Beyond the SWIFT news, the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) said it has added new API definitions to its API Exchange, which help banks with payments processing and KYC. An announcement from BIAN said the newly added APIs, which bring the tally to 89, also help with onboarding of new card accounts, while smoothing the process of transferring physical cards into digital wallets.
Hans Tesselaar, executive director of BIAN, said in a statement, “We’re very pleased to announce the new additions made to our API Exchange. The team has continued working hard after the portal launched last October to develop new definitions designed to address the pressing business challenges banks are facing currently. We remain on target with our goal to create an accessible repository of high-quality APIs and microservices, to help banks modernize quickly and more cost-effectively.”
In deal-making news, amid Apple headlines this past week (such as those tied to the Apple Card), the firm reportedly bought API integration development firm Stamplay for about $5.7 million. VentureBeat reported that the Rome-based startup won a contest tied to Visa’s APIs. Stamplay has said through its Co-founder Giuliano Iacobelli that it is a “Lego for APIs” that helps business developers connect internal APIs to applications.
Funding Round … and a Unicorn
Separately, in individual company news, the Australian payments solution firm Airwallex received a $100 million series C funding round. As reported, the company has now been valued at more than $1 billion, which puts it in unicorn status. Previous investors that also contributed to this round included Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, Gobi Partners and others. The company focuses on cross-border payments, and also provides international collection and payment services and products.