SWIFT Publishes Paper on the Future of Payments

In Payments: looking to the future SWIFT challenges the community to revolutionise services and collaborate to bring this future closer.

On the last day of the African Regional Conference (ARC) taking place in Accra, Ghana, SWIFT has released a landmark paper, “Payments: looking to the future”, in which the global co-operative articulates the future of cross-order 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.

ARC is just one of the many platforms where SWIFT is engaging the financial services community in Africa. This year’s event with the theme, ‘Enabling the Digital Economy’, looked at the drivers of change, how the financial industry is responding, and how institutions are managing risk in this increasingly digitised world.