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Global payment traffic at all-time high in 2017 - SWIFT

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) reached several milestones last year, including its highest ever number of messages and payments traffic. The society announced:

  • FIN traffic rose to an all-time high of 7.1 billion messages in 2017 (growth of 9 per cent);
  • FIN payment traffic rose by 12 per cent;
  • there were an average of 28.14 million messages a day in 2017; and
  • there was a peak of 32.84 million FIN messages on 30 November 2017 – 8 per cent higher than the 2016 peak of 30.4 million messages.

The growth in payments traffic was seen in all regions and was partly driven by roll-out of SWIFT’s GPI service in January 2017. GPI now accounts for nearly 10 per cent of all cross-border payment instructions carried on the SWIFT network.

GPI impact on global payment traffic

SWIFT's chief marketing officer, Luc Meurant, commented: “The success of GPI in 2017 exceeded expectations. With more banks going live, additional banks signing up to the service, and fast-growing demand from corporates, volumes will continue to rise dramatically. Meurant added that SWIFT expects GPI to become the norm “within the next two to three years”.

The high volume of payment traffic in 2017 is good news for the organisation following the high-profile fraud case involving Bangladesh Bank in 2016. In response SWIFT set up its customer security programme (CSP) to reinforce security and investigate security issues. The organisation has also committed to a price reduction programme. It stated: “In 2017 SWIFT made measurable progress in delivering on that commitment, reducing average message prices by 12 per cent year-on-year. This resulted in an overall 20% price reduction just two years into the 5-year programme.”


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