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Completing the last leg of the payments journey

In recent years, the emergence of digital banking services fuelled by innovation in the consumer technology space and the accelerated growth of real-time domestic payment networks have transformed customer’s expectations. Business and corporate customers now expect real-time access to payment status information. They want to track all their payments from end-to-end, and know with certainty when the funds have reached the end recipient’s account.

Unlocking payment confirmations for all

Payment confirmations are the next piece in the puzzle to create a seamless cross-border payments experience for financial institutions and their customers.

This is why the SWIFT community has endorsed the decision to make payment confirmations mandatory as part of SWIFT Standards Release 2020 in November. From that point on, all financial institutions will need to provide a confirmation on the status of their incoming MT 103 payments. This applies if the funds have been credited to a beneficiary account as well as if the payment is rejected.

To help institutions meet that requirement, SWIFT is making basic elements of gpi available to all members. Being able to track, and receive final confirmation, on all cross-border payments unlocks opportunities.

In line with this move, the white paper produced with Aite Group looks at the benefits that universal confirmations can bring to the SWIFT community.

Six key takeaways from the report

1. Customers are seeking certainty on the status of their payments, a demand that is being intensified by the proliferation of domestic real-time payment infrastructures and consumer pressure for payments delivered in real time. With universal confirmations, all SWIFT member institutions will have the tools to address this demand.

2. To extend the benefit of tracking to all financial institutions and help ensure they are compliant with the mandate, SWIFT has introduced the Basic Tracker in November 2019, which is free and available to all financial institutions.

3. For smaller financial institutions, the Basic Tracker provides free search and tracking features as well as the ability to manually confirm payments. A number of automated options are also available for payment confirmations.

4. Banks will be able to provide payment tracking information and confirmations on a self-service basis, dramatically reducing customer queries as well as providing improved customer service and cost reductions.

5. Universal confirmations will allow banks to create new value-added services in areas such as trade and supply chain management, for which a payment delay can be a major problem - for instance, in the transportation of perishable goods.

6. Payment confirmations will also help banks in jurisdictions where obtaining payment status is difficult, such as in high-risk markets.


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