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SWIFT To Explore Blockchain Technology As Part Of Global Payments Innovation Initiative
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) on Thursday announced a Global Payments Innovation (GPI) initiative in a bid to improve the customer experience in correspondent banking by increasing the speed, transparency and predictability of cross-border payments. The pilot of the new initiative will start from early 2016.
“This initiative is an important first step in driving cross-border payments innovation”, said Wim Raymaekers, Head of Banking Markets, SWIFT.
Initially it will focus on a business-to-business payments service supported by participating banks. The new service will help corporates grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies. It will enable corporates to receive an enhanced payments service directly from their banks, with key features including same day use of funds, transparency and predictability of fees, end-to-end payments tracking and transfer of rich payment information.
Following the pilot focused on cross-border payments for corporates, SWIFT aims to incorporate additional innovations and deploy new technologies as part of the global payments innovation initiative.
“As part of the initiative we will continue to develop new and enhanced services, utilising SWIFT’s Innotribe initiative to further engage the FinTech community and explore the application of innovations such as real time payment status tracking, the use of peer-to-peer messaging and blockchain technology”, Raymaekers added.
Launched in 2009, Swift's Innotribe startup programme was created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry going forward.
Silicon Angle reported that while the organization is exploring the use of the Blockchain, it won’t happen overnight.
Raymaekers said, “you can improve [the existing system] over time when needed. That’s the strategic roadmap. But you cannot just unplug it and put something else in there just like that. That’s not realistic. Banks have built that into their systems for compliance, you have to maintain that level of control.”
Blockchain might be applicable in more complex use cases like securities, Raymaekers added, particularly when it comes to reducing transaction time, or the required term to null.