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Swift Unveils New Cross-Border Payment Tracking Solution


Swift has unveiled new ways for financial institutions to streamline cross-border payments for corporate customers.

The financial messaging service said it is doing this “by extending ISO 20022 across the entire payment chain and giving banks ready-to-use, white-labeled tracking services that can be activated for customers at the click of a button,” per a Tuesday (May 21) news release.

Swift plans to allow financial institutions (FIs) to capture rich data at its source by standardizing payments end-to-end with ISO 20022, according to the release.

In addition, Swift says it will also help banks offer customers payment tracking services by API or messaging channel, for complete transparency on the status of a payment as well as confirmation that it has been received.

“Currently, corporate payments are complicated by competing standards and proprietary formats, while multi-banked corporates face a fragmented landscape as they interact with a multitude of banking providers with varying features and services,” the release said.

Swift says it developed the plan via a working group of 25 banks and 20 corporations, among them global pharmaceutical company Roche and energy giant Saudi Aramco.

“The goal is to introduce a universal standard that can maximize the benefit of ISO 20022’s richer, more structured data, facilitating automation and reconciliation and drastically reducing integration costs,” per the release.

Roche is one of the companies to have implemented Swift’s new corporate API channel, with a banking partner giving it direct access to tracking information for payments.

“Having direct API access to Swift’s payment tracking system will provide us with more transparency and strengthen our ability to analyze overall payment performance,” said Stefan Windisch, global head of Roche’s InHouse Bank.

“It will allow us to refine our instructions, better identify inefficiencies, and minimize erosion of value in cross-border payments.”

PYMNTS took a closer look at ISO 20022 in a report last week, writing that the integration of its rich data capabilities with existing innovations like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to both streamline payments but also usher in a host of other benefits leading to improved operational efficiency.

“That’s because ISO 20022’s standardized data format ensures consistency and completeness in payment messages,” PYMNTS wrote.

“When combined with ML and AI algorithms, this data uniformity enables automatic data validation, cleansing and enrichment, leading to higher data quality and accuracy. This reduces errors and exceptions, streamlining payment processes — promising a leap forward in driving efficiency and innovation across both financial services and payments.”

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