Swift’s Cross-Border Payments Processing Speed Surpasses G20 Target

Swift today announced strong progress toward goals set by the G20 for enhancing cross-border payments, reporting that 89% of transactions processed on its network reach recipient banks within an hour.

That’s already well ahead of speed targets set by the Financial Stability Board to achieve one-hour processing for 75% of international payments by 2027. The momentum underscores work by Swift, which connects more than 11,500 institutions in over 200 countries, to expedite delivery and enable banks to offer a better service to their end-customers. It also challenges misperceptions that payments are often required to travel through chains of intermediary banks to their final destination. Swift data shows that 84% of all payments on the network are conducted directly or with a single intermediary.

While in-flight processing between originating and beneficiary banks has significantly accelerated, there is still more to be done at industry level to fully achieve the bar set by the G20. At present only 60% of wholesale payments reach customer accounts in that timeframe due to delays at the beneficiary leg caused by issues including regulatory controls, batch processing and opening hours of market infrastructures.

Thierry Chilosi, Chief Strategy Officer at Swift, said: “Our strategy to transform cross border payments is delivering tangible results. Swift already exceeds the G20 target on speed for processing on our own network, and we are well on track towards meeting the other targets. The G20 roadmap to enhance international payments recognises the critical role these transactions play in the growth of the global economy – and how necessary industry-wide collaboration is to achieving tangible improvements. Swift will continue to work closely with the financial community to meet these targets and foster a more inclusive global economy built upon the seamless movement of value across the world.”

In addition to helping the financial services industry meet the G20’s target for speed through services like Payment Pre-validation and Swift GPI. Swift continues to support industry efforts to address other challenges identified by the G20:

  • Transparency: Swift GPI has transformed cross-border payment transparency with the end-to-end visibility it offers on transactions. Swift Go, a fast, predictable and competitively priced cross-border payments solution, is bringing the same benefit to small businesses and consumers. Meanwhile, Swift Securities View is enabling end-to-end tracking of securities transactions, preventing the costly challenge of settlement fails.
  • Cost: Swift is removing friction-related costs to the industry through data, interoperability and screening services, as well as through Payment Pre-validation, which removes millions of costs to the industry around failed transactions while improving the cross-border experience.
  • Choice and access: Swift is opening up new ways to access its capabilities with cloud and API-based connectivity options, both for messaging and full transaction services powered by Swift’s new transaction manager

As new payment means and models to connect to instant payment systems emerge, securing interoperability between domestic or network-based ‘digital islands’ is becoming more important. To help its community meet the G20 targets, Swift will continue to focus on addressing fragmentation head-on, whether by collaborating with central banks to develop an interlinking solution for CBDCs, or by working with market infrastructures to enhance settlement models.

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