Swift Launches Cross-Border Instant Payments

Global messaging platform Swift says cross-border payments to Europe can reach their destination in seconds.

That’s due to this week’s launch of the European Payment Council’s (EPC) One-Leg-Out Instant Credit Transfer scheme (OCT Inst), which went live this week, the organization announced Thursday (Nov. 30). 

This scheme, Swift said in a news release provided to PYMNTS, allows for payments to and from Europe to be processed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Interoperability is at the heart of everything we are doing at Swift to achieve our strategy of instant and frictionless payments for all, and it will be key to achieving the G20’s goals for cross-border payments,” said Marianne Demarchi, Swift’s chief executive in Europe. 

“The EPC’s OCT Inst scheme is a positive step for Europe that will enhance the user experience for payers in Europe, but also all around the world.”

Swift argues that connecting market infrastructures this way can help reach G20’s goals for cross-border payments around speed, transparency, cost and access, with that group aiming for 75% of cross-border payments to be credited to their beneficiaries within an hour by 2027.

Swift announced in April that it had exceeded that target, with 89% of payments on its network reaching their banking destination within an hour. 

Swift says this go-live follows a successful proof of concept earlier this year, in which Swift teamed with Iberpay, the European payment system, and a number of banks from Spain, Australia, Brazil and the U.K.

The organization says it is also involved in other interlinking programs and studying how they could tap into Swift’s offerings.

“For instance, forthcoming European legislation for instant payments directs payment service providers to offer instant payments at the same price as traditional payments, while also mandating them to check beneficiary details before a payment is initiated,” the release said.

As PYMNTS noted earlier this year when Swift reached its 89% milestone, research shows that nearly two-thirds of financial institutions are either “very” or “extremely” willing to invest in new technology to solve cross-border pain points. The percentage increases for FIs serving cross-border payments needs of larger companies, as 88% of them say they are “very” or “extremely” willing to embrace new tech to carry out B2B payments.

More recently, research by PYMNTS Intelligence and Ingo Money showed that customer satisfaction grows as issuers offer more instant payment options.