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Don’t make international payments cross-border, make them locally in real-time

The future of payment systems - making all payment locally and in real-time - is clear, as three recent announcements show:

  • SWIFT is to provide real-time domestic payment in Australia, see, and is now exploring how “best to deploy these capabilities in a standardised way across multiple markets”.
  • Earthport have announced their agreement with Standard Chartered to provide its efficient and secure international payments service to benefit the bank’s corporate and financial institution customers in the fast growing international trade markets of Africa and Asia. Through the integrated service, Standard Chartered’s customers will be able to choose to route international payments to their beneficiaries through local clearing, giving them control, choice and flexibility. (Banks connecting into the Earthport service can route low value payments through the most efficient clearing schemes in 65 countries.)
  • Earthport and Ripple Labs have set up a global partnership to use their combined expertise and technology to offer real-time cross-border bank payments. Earthport’s new offering will integrate the Ripple protocol alongside its payments network and platform, bringing a wider choice to financial institutions, in particular, to optimize their liquidity management and minimize the need to pre-fund a payment account while executing cross-border transactions. Ripple’s pioneering payments protocol allows for the secure transfer of funds in any currency in real-time with no reserves required.

The new payments solution

Combining cross-border payment services - Earthport or SWIFT - with a local/domestic, real-time payment service - SWIFT domestic or Ribble real-time service - is the new solution. This will take time to implement and spread world-wide, nevertheless, the model is clear. It will open up all sorts new efficiencies for cross-border and domestic payments.

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