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SWIFT GPI is going to change the cross-border payment market - really??

Once you receive service in one area of your business, it is quite natural to expect this level of service in other areas. Businesses for years have been used to being able to track their shipments, so why not international payment and why shouldn’t they be cleared in real-time or at least same day. This is why businesses have been so enthusiastic about the SWIFT and  banks’s GPI initiative

ACI’s Wijay Asirwatham, believes, “SWIFT gpi will not only deliver a much-needed improvement in the speed of transaction, but also improve overall customer experience by creating predictable settlement times and clear statuses, through additional information on remittances and transparency around the FX rates and fees applied throughout the payment cycle. The usability of this information and the overall customer experience is greatly enhanced through the cloud-based tracker.”

Individual bank services

The SWIFT GPI initiative allows banks to choose what services and at what prices they make available to their corporate clients. However, the announcement that non-bank organisations can join SWIFT GPI Initiative - first two are Ebury and INTNL FC Stone - has probably leveled the playing field with the offerings from these non-banks will force banks to provide a minimum level of service. 

But Asirwatham warns, “Different banks have different strategies when it comes to the application of SWIFT GPI, and it will be interesting to see where they find success. The New Payments Ecosystem is increasingly unpredictable, so these use cases for SWIFT GPI will be broad, and we may see traction in unexpected areas. It will be critical for banks to be agile; able to adapt to emerging trends and launch new services quickly to retain their competitive edge.”

Corporate treasurer’s role

As always, but particularly on the SWIFT GPI initiative, corporate treasurers have a responsibility to encourage the banks to maximise the opportunity to improve cross-border payment systems and level of service.

CTMfile take: The SWIFT GPI initiative is critical in improving cross-border payments, however, the end point of the payment - the local correspondent bank - is vital. The large cash management banks have some responsibility here to force improvements in their systems and services as well.

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