Singapore, China, Australia and Thailand Banks Join Forces to Build APAC Cross-Border Real-Time Payment

Singapore, China, Australia and Thailand Banks Join Forces to Build APAC Cross-Border Real-Time Payment

by April 20, 2018
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swiftSWIFT has joined forces with a group of SWIFT gpi banks from Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand to develop a unique cross-border real-time payments service in the Asia Pacific region.

SWIFT has held exploratory talks with banks from the Asia Pacific region, including ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Guangfa Bank, Commonwealth Bank, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB, Siam Commercial Bank, UOB and Westpac about the development an Asia Pacific cross-border real-time payments system based on gpi.

At the workshops SWIFT and the participating banks determined that such a service would have significant benefits that would extend beyond gpi banks and their customers, deep into the domestic markets, eventually affording a complete real-time cross border payments experience for all bank customers in the region.

The group agreed the service should be rolled out in three distinct phases:

  • Phase 1 will see the introduction of a new real-time gpi sub-scheme, to facilitate real-time cross-border payments between gpi banks in the region. Building on the significant success of SWIFT gpi payments, which already significantly reduce cross-border payment times to minutes, will ensure real-time settlement of cross-border payments between signatory gpi banks in the region.
  • Phase 2 will effectively extend the SWIFT gpi rails into existing real-time payment systems within each recipient country, thus ensuring that “inwards and onwards” payments can be settled in real-time in each of the four markets, irrespective of whether the final beneficiaries hold accounts at banks that are connected to SWIFT or that are using gpi.
  • A third phase would look to link domestic real-time payment systems via SWIFT gpi to facilitate full cross-border real-time payments between their respective customers. This aims to enable both sending and receiving account holders to benefit from a full real-time payments experience – again independently of whether they hold accounts at banks that are connected to SWIFT or using gpi.

Eddie Haddad, Managing Director of SWIFT Asia Pacific said:

Edward Haddad

Edward Haddad

“With the widespread adoption of domestic real-time payments systems in the region, a cross-border real-time service is both a natural extension for SWIFT gpi in Asia Pacific and a real game-changer for bank customers.

SWIFT is uniquely positioned to help our customers leverage their existing investments in infrastructure, to standardise connectivity across multiple markets and to drive efficiencies in support of cross-border trade, facilitating further integration in the ASEAN region.”

Following the initial workshops, SWIFT and participating gpi member banks have begun work on defining a common cross-border real-time scheme that banks can review and test. The design of the new service will build on existing SWIFT gpi service rules to help resolve additional business process frictions in the payments chain.

SWIFT has also commenced discussions with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia to enable SWIFT gpi payments to be processed onwards through their newly launched domestic real-time payments system. SWIFT has helped to design, build and deliver the NPP, and is playing a key role in operating the infrastructure for the NPP.

Launched in 2017, gpi already accounts for nearly 10% of SWIFT cross-border payment traffic, and is enabling more than a hundred billion dollars to be transferred across the world rapidly and securely every day. More than 160 banks, including 48 out of the 50 top banks on SWIFT, have signed up to the service, sending hundreds of thousands of payments daily across 350 country corridors – including major corridors such as USA-China, where gpi already accounts for more than 30% of payment traffic.

“SWIFT gpi already reduces cross-border payment times to minutes, even seconds and indeed nearly 50% of gpi payments are already being completed in less than 30 minutes”,

said Haddad.

“This new scheme will both further speed up those payments, and extend the reach of the gpi capability far deeper into domestic markets, driving radical change in the cross-border payments market across the region. We look forward to seeing this work in practice and to more countries, and banks joining the new service.”

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