Faster Payments

European Banks Trial SWIFT’s Instant gpi

SWIFT announced Tuesday (May 21) that a group of banks are trialing instant gpi cross-border payments in Europe via the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement platform.

In a press release, SWIFT said it has teamed with the European Central Bank to extend cross-border payments further into Europe by enabling gpi on the TIPS platform. Banks will settle cross-border payments through TIPS, allowing for instant crediting of accounts, SWIFT said in the press release. SWIFT noted that processing gpi cross-border payments instantly is the key to enabling 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 EMEA and Asia Pacific at SWIFT. “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.”

According to SWIFT, since it launched gpi in 2017 it has transformed the cross-border payments market, with an average of 40 percent of SWIFT gpi payments credited to those receiving it within five minutes. Still, payments can be delayed because they need to be cleared within the recipient’s country. Real-time payment systems like TIPS remove those frictions, ensuring payments can be credited nearly instantly.

“The support of the ECB to this initiative is in line with our strategic objective of ensuring that our TARGET Services keep pace with the evolving needs and requests of banks in the payment landscape. By facilitating gpi, TIPS proves its flexibility to cater to additional use cases. This shows how the 24/7 availability of central bank money provided by TIPS can open new possibilities for the market,” said Mehdi Manaa, deputy director general of market infrastructure and payments at the European Central Bank.

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

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