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Citi’s programme for digitisation of the whole payment process

The SWIFT community’s Global Payments Initiative is changing how payments are made domestically and internationally. Banks and corporates are having to change their internal processes and systems banks and corporates to take full advantage of the new SWIFT gpi processes and data. Citibank decided that SWIFT gpi was the opportunity to digitise their domestic and international payments processes and systems using modern technologies including APIs and cloud platforms, and deliver a new frictionless payment service world. 

SWIFT gpi progress

Citi were the first bank on SWIFT gpi and now around 75% of all SWIFT payments sent from the Citi globally are gpi payments, and payments processed on Citi’s books take 3.2 seconds on average.

Citi have also found that SWIFT gpi payments processed through 3rd party banks have been exceptionally fast over many corridors, e.g.:-

  • Citi London to 3rd Party banks in Germany: average 2 minutes to beneficiary credit confirmation
  • Citi London to 3rd Party banks in the Netherlands: average 9 minutes to beneficiary confirmation
  • Citi NY to 3rd party bank in Singapore: average time to beneficiary credit confirmation 2.5 hours [includes time zone differences].

But these figures just represent the raw speeds, not how easy and effective SWIFT gpi is to use in their corporate clients. This requires specific development.

Citi Payments Insight development

Citi has been working with many clients, including Royal Dutch Shell, who represented a range of  companies across  industries and geographies The input from these users on what they actually do has been essential in defining what facilities to include, see figure below:

Source & Copyright©2018 - Citi

A first major design decision was that Citi Payment Insights would include all payments for all clients - both the internal Citi payments that settle on Citi’s network as well as the SWIFT gpi payments- and that they would show all the FX rates, deductions, etc. for all transactions in real-time. 

The service has an intuitive easy to use interface currently providing :

  • Tracking: the most popular service, provides transparency on what is happening, and shows where the payment is in any correspondent bank(s) network
  • Proof of payment: can issue a bank certificate on Citi letterhead  to prove that payment is on its way.  Users can download or send to themselves via email
  • Returned Credits: are much easier to issue a recall request, and then confirm Yes/No
  • Debit Authorities are now much simpler to issue. 

Coming soon

Facilities that are coming in the next few months are:

  • Extension of enhanced payment transparency via API channel to allow clients to access payment status directly from their own treasury/enterprise management system
  • Ability to stop or modify high value payments with intelligent routing to seamless affect the change in Citi’s or SWIFT network.

Manish Kohli, Global Head of Payments & Receivables at Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions summed up their Citi Payment Insights programme saying, “We believe that Citi Payment Insights has the potential to shift the balance of power in B2B payments to the institutional customers. SWIFT gpi is a myth buster, removing misconceptions around cross-border payments and enabling digital age experiences.  We expect widespread adoption of the service by our clients. The cost savings and quality can only increase as we add new features and functionality, and as more clients use the service world-wide.”

CTMfile take: SWIFT gpi is not only a myth buster, it is the catalyst for a wave of new digitized domestic and international payment services from banks around the world. 

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