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ICICI Bank taps SWIFT for instant cross-border inward remittances

ICICI Bank has announced that it has tied up with SWIFT to offer a facility that helps overseas partner banks to send instant remittances on behalf of their customers to the beneficiary in India. The beneficiary gets the credit to the bank account instantly. ICICI Bank says this makes it the first bank in Asia Pacific and second globally to offer the SWIFT gpi Instant service for cross-border inward payments.

How it works

The service offers instant credit by connecting SWIFT gpi, the high speed cross-border rail with a real-time domestic payments infrastructure. ICICI Bank has enabled its systems to process the payments message coming via SWIFT gpi Instant and further remit it instantly to any bank account in India using the IMPS (Immediate Payment Solution) platform. The solution makes the cross-border personal remittances up to ₹2 lakh (approximately US$2740) coming into India, transparent, reliable and instant and thereby reducing the turnaround time significantly from the industry practice of at least few hours.

ICICI Bank was the first bank in India to enable SWIFT gpi, which provided the partner banks improved transparency on charges, speed of execution, predictability and end to end tracking of cross border payments for retail and corporate remittances. For the corporate customers, it was enabled in December 2019 and is available on Trade Online, the bank’s digital platform for export-import transactions. SWIFT gpi enables companies/ entities to get current status of their payment, time taken at each step and final delivery date for their payments.

ICICI Bank outlined the key benefits of SWIFT gpi Instant as follows:

  • Instant transfer: Personal remittances of up to ₹2 lakh sent through SWIFT gpi Instant are processed instantly and credited into the beneficiary account held with any bank in India enabled to receive foreign remittance through IMPS.
  • Available 24x7 and 365 days.
  • Transparency on the charges: The details about the charges levied by intermediary banks are updated on the SWIFT gpi platform, providing the sender complete clarity on charges.
  • Immediate update on status of the transfers: The SWIFT gpi platform provides end-to-end tracking of payments from initiation through to fulfilment via an instant automated status update.

What they're saying

"India is the largest recipient of cross-border remittances, according to the World Bank data, and ICICI Bank has been a dominant player in inward remittances to India," said Sriram H. Iyer, Head - International Banking Group, ICICI Bank. "We are delighted to be the first bank in Asia-Pacific to go live with the SWIFT gpi Instant solution. This integration with the SWIFT platform brings in the convenience of the path-breaking paradigm of almost instant and seamless cross-border remittances. The inward remittance message received by ICICI Bank on SWIFT gpi Instant is instantly processed, can be tracked end-to-end and the sender gets complete clarity on the receipt of funds by the beneficiary." 

To send instant remittances to India, non-residents can visit their bank overseas and initiate remittance transaction via SWIFT gpi Instant. It will in turn be executed by ICICI Bank in India to send money instantly to the beneficiary.

"As the world is increasingly becoming real-time, SWIFT gpi Instant is an important milestone for our strategic ambition to help banks and their clients meet the growing global demand for instant and frictionless cross-border transfers," commented Kiran Shetty, CEO & Regional Head, India & South Asia at SWIFT. "We look forward to continuing our work with market infrastructures and leading financial institutions like ICICI Bank to bring benefits of seamless cross-border payments to customers, driving financial inclusion in this part of the world."

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