Launched in 2017, SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) has transformed cross-border payments, providing speed, transparency and traceability across the payment journey. Louise Mostert, Senior Country Manager South Africa at SWIFT sat down with Naa Wilson, Head of Cross Border Payments at Standard Bank – Corporate and Investment Banking division to discuss how SWIFT gpi has transformed cross-border payments.
Setting the scene, Mostert noted that cross-border payments are inherently more complex than domestic payments as they involve bridging the world’s 180 currency systems, multiple regulatory jurisdictions and they may cross time-zones, be subject to local currency controls, documentary requirements and compliance checks.
Digitisation in all industries is driving more frequent and faster financial transactions and dramatically shaping our expectations of payments and payment providers to ensure that money can follow the goods at the same velocity. As domestic payments have transformed, SWIFT gpi has been doing the same in the cross-border space. Sending and receiving funds across borders, anywhere in the world, with full transparency on where the money is at any given time in the transaction process is now possible through SWIFT gpi. An example of a bank making strides in the implementation of SWIFT gpi in local and African markets is Standard Bank – one of the first banks to adopt SWIFT gpi in Africa.
“We welcome SWIFT gpi into our business because now we can give our clients an enhanced experience in terms of cross-border payments,” explained Wilson. With SWIFT gpi, financial institutions are able to offer their customers increased feedback on payment tracking, shorter query times, and operations teams are empowered to better manage client queries and concerns. Wilson noted that instead of calling to enquire about the status of your payment, Standard Bank’s aim is to provide a portal where customers can access all information and updates online in real time. She added that Standard Bank’s subsidiaries have also bought into the benefits of SWIFT gpi, and Standard Bank’s operations teams can already see the efficiencies that it brings.
“I’m hopeful that gpi will continue to innovate into the future to put the financial industry ahead or in line with financial trends. Providing a compelling proposition that clients can utilise to enhance their business is exciting,” Wilson concluded.