Insight & Analysis

Press release: SWIFT sees success with global instant cross-border payments with Singapore’s FAST

Published: Jul 2019

18th July 2019 – SWIFT today announces the results of a global trial to integrate SWIFT gpi Instant, the co-operative’s cross-border instant payments service, into Singapore’s domestic instant payment service, Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST).

The successful trial which involved 17 banks across seven countries – Australia, China, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand – saw payments between all continents settle within 25 seconds; the fastest in just 13 seconds. This major advance extends the speed and transparency of SWIFT gpi deeper into domestic markets, reaching a wider set of ultimate beneficiary accounts around the world.

Building upon SWIFT’s proven track record of excellence, global reach and resilience, SWIFT gpi Instant reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, thereby minimising implementation costs and avoiding the complexities of adopting new cross-border infrastructure.

In this case, SWIFT gpi Instant capitalises on the 24×7 availability of instant payment systems such as FAST to enable payment settlement in the destination market, even outside normal business hours.

Results show that:

  • The fastest payment in the trial, from Australia into Singapore and processed onward via FAST, took only 13 seconds.
  • The fastest payment into Asia Pacific from Europe took only 15 seconds and from North America in 20 seconds.
  • All payments were processed end-to-end within 25 seconds.
  • 11 banks initiated cross-border payments into Singapore, and six banks in Singapore processed the payments domestically via the FAST system.

The successful global trial comes on the back of a 2018 test with a group of banks and Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) in which payments between Australia and China took just 18 seconds, and ahead of an upcoming test with banks and the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) in Europe. Together, the TIPS, FAST and NPP instant payment systems are the first of many domestic real-time infrastructures, connected via the banks and using gpi, that will enable a globally-scalable instant cross-border payments service. Additional tests are planned in other markets with instant payment systems, ahead of the planned global launch of gpi Instant later this year.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, SWIFT, said: “Across the world, through gpi, banks and Instant Payment systems are using our existing rails for international payments to meet today’s need for speed, traceability and transparency. SWIFT envisages that cross-border payments will become as convenient as domestic transactions, and the successful testing across multiple corridors between Europe and North America to Asia Pacific confirms the important role that gpi Instant will play in making that bold vision a reality.”

Peng Hua, Deputy General Manager, Operations Management Department of ICBC, said: “The trial represents a significant milestone for SWIFT and we are proud to be part of this ongoing progress. ICBC is prepared for and very much looking forward to the live application of gpi Instant. We are also eager to work with other financial institutions on other gpi Instant trials to develop what we believe is a service that will offer tremendous value to the payments industry.”

Serge Munten, Head of Agile Operations, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, said: “As an innovative bank striving to offer our correspondent banking and corporate clients cutting-edge services, it was only natural for BIL to participate in this gpi Instant payment trial. We were very pleased that it only took 15 seconds to carry out the test payments between Europe and Asia. These pilot tests with SWIFT are part of our efforts to offer our clients the same high level of services for worldwide payments they have come to appreciate for domestic payments.”

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