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Swift gpi linking two worlds - trade and e-commerce ecosystems

SWIFT gpi as part of their mission to make cross-border payments as seamless as possible have developed a roadmap of new services designed to reduce friction and to deliver more value for both financial institutions and corporates. At SIBOS 2019 in London Swift organised a workshop on the main new services under development in which they discussed the main elements of each of the new services based on artwork summarising the work on the new service and the approach taken. All of the new developments use ISO 20022 standards.

Swift gpi linking two worlds

B2B ecosystems built over distributed ledger technology (DLT) or other technologies are flourishing, yet settlement within those ecosystems remains a challenge as it often requires the use of cryptocurrencies, proprietary wallets or global bank adoption. 

Members of these Distributed Ledger Technology trade ecosystems are increasingly demanding fast, global, secure and transparent settlement in fiat currencies, with the ability to initiate a payment from and receive the credit confirmation into their business ecosystems. 

On the other hand, there is a community of gpi members that can provide such global settlement capability. 

Swift’s new ‘gpi link’ service will bring these two worlds together, i.e. by providing off-ledger settlement of payments initiated on the ledger, and reports a credit confirmation on the ledger, as the proof of concept diagram shows: 

Source & Copyright©2019 – SWIFT gpi roadmap 2019 - 2020 


Swift believes that the main benefits for the corporates will be:

  • seamless settlement experience in fiat currency within the business ecosystem. 
  • payment confirmation returned to the ecosystem, allowing for the smooth execution of business processes and contracts 
  • gpi payment experience: fast, global, secure settlement.

While the benefits for B2B ecosystem, fintech, e-commerce providers will be:

  • no need to build a settlement capability 
  • easy access to SWIFT gpi via open APIs 
  • no exclusivity: settlement via SWIFT gpi can co-exist with alternative settlement methods.

Timeline and status

This service is in the proof of concept stage and its further development will be subject to SWIFT Board approval. The predicted timeline is

  • January-March 2019: deployment of infrastructure 
  • Mid-March 2019: API testing 
  • Mid-July 2019: start testing with participants.

CTMfile take: The new gpi link service exemplifies how Swift see their role, their raison d’etre as being the infrastructure, the glue that brings the global financial world together. This is a really vital project for everyone: consumers, businesses, banks, FIS, fintechs, etc. It brings the old and new technologies together. 

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