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Swift and Wise Team to Offer FIs More Cross-Border Options

Swift global messaging company

Money transfer firm Wise and global messaging platform Swift have launched a cross-border payment partnership.

The collaboration, announced Monday (Sept. 18), is designed to provide financial institutions and their customers with more cross-border options.

“Financial institutions seeking to innovate their offerings will be able to route Swift payment messages directly to Wise Platform — Wise’s infrastructure solution for banks and major enterprises — through its latest Correspondent Services solution,” the companies said in a news release.

“This will enable their customers to benefit from the speed and convenience of Wise, and the breadth of Swift without needing to implement any major changes to their systems.”

According to the release, Wise Platform will tap into Swift capabilities such as cloud and API connectivity and payment pre-validation, while offering banks existing Swift features like a payment status tracker which Wise Platform will update to “ensure end-to-end visibility” on both the Wise and Swift networks.

“We know that banks face a number of challenges when it comes to enhancing their international payments, including that this often requires them to embed technology which is incompatible with legacy infrastructure,” said Steve Naudé, Wise Platform’s managing director.

“By simultaneously leveraging existing payments architecture and optimizing payouts using Wise’s global network, we are empowering banks to innovate effortlessly.”

The companies say their collaboration is the beginning of a broader relationship, and is aligned with development goals set by the G20 and UN on the speed, transparency, cost and access of cross-border transactions.

It’s also happening at a time when 27% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) view the complexity of cross-border payments as an obstacle to their growth, according to recent PYMNTS intelligence.

Meanwhile, under a quarter of SMBs reported that the cross-border payment solutions they’re using now were “very or extremely” satisfactory.

As noted here last week, the “opportunity, and the need, to smooth the channels across which cross-border funds flow is illustrated by the fact that 38% of SMBs saw an increase in cross-border payments sent or received in 2021, and 81% of merchants who used online cross-border payment methods say these transactions have helped their businesses grow.”

Last month, Swift announced it had surpassed some of its goals in speeding cross-border payments, with 89% of such made via its service being processed within an hour. The platform says this exceeds the G20’s Financial Stability Board’s goal, which was shooting for 75% of international transactions to go through in an hour by 2027.