Insight & Analysis

Press release: SWIFT publishes paper on the future of payments

Published: Jun 2019

20th June 2019 – SWIFT has today released a landmark paper, “Payments: looking to the future”, in which the global co-operative articulates the future of cross-border payments. With the increase in cross-border flows, new technology enabling dramatic improvements and end-customers demanding a better customer experience, SWIFT is setting out its views on the future of cross-border payments in order to support the community.

SWIFT’s view of the future is deceptively simple: to make cross-border payments real-time, 24/7 and as seamless, convenient, cost-efficient and accessible as domestic payments.

The paper lays out the elements and dynamics supporting the revolution in international payments, including:

  • A core infrastructure, that responds to the challenge of bridging the ‘closed loops’ of individual payments systems and securely unlocks value across borders, supporting trade and economic growth.
  • The widespread adoption of SWIFT gpi, which will be the universal standard by 2020, making every cross-border payment fast, transparent, traceable and truly global – unlocking value from every account, to every account.
  • A hyper-connected future, in which gpi-enabled banks are the bridges between real-time domestic payments infrastructures, enabling instant cross-border payments to move seamlessly and safely across borders via SWIFT.
  • Smarter payments which utilise superior data and the power of AI and machine learning for effective and efficient financial crime compliance and to eliminate the hold-ups and bottlenecks caused by missing or incorrect information.
  • Modern, open, globally adopted standards, which allow smaller markets to internationalise faster and larger markets to fluidly transfer value through the entire payments chain.
  • Further embracing new technologies that serve a real purpose to resolve industry problems through the deployment of cutting edge technology.
  • A vibrant and innovative ecosystem, with API technologies supporting open, agile architectures that allow fintechs to offer value-add services and banks to differentiate themselves by layering services and products.

Payments are not an end in themselves – they exist to enable investment, trade and commerce. By laying out this industry roadmap, SWIFT aims to galvanise the global payments community – market infrastructures, banks and fintechs – to collaborate and help drive progress, ensuring cross-border payments better serve market needs.

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