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SWIFT reveals its low value cross-border payments play

Last year, SWIFT announced that it was trialling a new service for low value cross-border payments. Now, the SWIFT community has unveiled the solution for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumer payments that it was working on.

The solution, SWIFT Go, is designed to enable SMEs and consumers to send fast, predictable, secure, and competitively priced low-value cross-border payments anywhere in the world, direct from their bank accounts.

"As customer expectations for faster payments evolve, the correspondent banking industry requires a solution to more competitively process SME and consumer payments," said Jean-François Mazure, head of Cash Clearing and Correspondent Banking at Société Générale. "SWIFT Go fits perfectly with it, allowing us to provide an outstanding experience to our customers with predictable, seamless, and frictionless low-value cross-border transactions reaching beneficiaries accounts quicker than ever."

Seamless payments experience

"It’s no secret that for many years consumers and small businesses have been running into varying pain points when transacting international payments," commented Isabel Schmidt, head of Direct Clearing and Asset Account Services Products at Bank of New York Mellon. "These challenges have included opaque costs and lack of certainty on how quickly funds are delivered to the final beneficiary. This is why BNY Mellon is pleased to be the first US bank to go live with SWIFT Go, a new service that overcomes all of these challenges and assists financial institutions in delivering a competitive, seamless, fast and predictable payments experience to their customers."

Using tighter service level agreements between institutions and pre-validation of data, SWIFT Go enables banks to provide their end customers with a fast and predictable payments experience with upfront visibility on processing times and costs.

"BBVA is very excited to be one of the first banks to sign up to SWIFT Go and we recognise the potential of this solution to revolutionise the way SMEs and consumers move money around the world," said Raouf Soussi, head of Enterprise Payments Strategy of Client Solutions at BBVA. "We have listened closely to our customers and we know how much they value a secure service that ensures payments reach their destination quickly and seamlessly."

Building on strong foundations

SWIFT Go builds on the high-speed rails of SWIFT gpi, which have transformed the speed and predictability of high-value payments.

"SWIFT gpi has become the benchmark for high-value cross-border transactions and we are confident that SWIFT Go will be equally as transformative for SME payments," added Feng Liang, Deputy CEO of MYBank. "By providing for instant, seamless transactions within one of the highest growth areas of our industry, we expect that adoption of SWIFT Go will be widespread and that it will quickly be established as the industry standard for lower value transactions."

Delivering industry transformation

SWIFT Go marks another milestone in SWIFT's strategy to enable instant and frictionless transactions from one account to another, across the SWIFT network that connects more than 11,000 institutions, and 4 billion accounts across 200 countries worldwide. It will further strengthen the capabilities of banks to serve their customers in the high-growth small business and consumer payments segments.

"SWIFT Go is a further step towards achieving our vision of enabling anybody, anywhere, to send money instantly and securely around the world," noted Stephen Gilderdale, Chief Product Officer at SWIFT. "The new service is a direct response to the needs of small businesses and consumers for fast, easy, predictable, secure and competitively priced cross-border payments. Our new service will allow banks to compete effectively in one of the fastest growing segments of the payments market, delivering a seamless experience for their customers."

Service now live

SWIFT Go was developed in close collaboration with the global SWIFT community. Seven global banks, which collectively handle 33 million low-value cross-border payments per year, are already live with the service. The live banks are BBVA, Bank of New York Mellon, DNB, MYBank, SberBank, Société Générale, and UniCredit, with many others set to begin soon.

The service is underpinned by the following pillars:

  • Speed: Tighter service levels between banks increase speed. A single payment format increases straight-through processing, while services such as pre-validation remove frictions that cause delays.
  • Predictability: The amount, time, fees and foreign exchange rate of a payment are known in advance. The sender and receiver of a payment can track the status in real-time.
  • Easy to use: The user experience is simple and streamlined, with data requirements known upfront. Strict network validation provides for easy initiation and processing of SWIFT Go payments.
  • Competitive prices: Processing fees are agreed between financial institutions upfront so they can provide their customers with full transparency; increased straight-through processing further reduces processing costs.
  • Security: Senders and receivers have peace of mind that payments are underpinned by the strong security of the SWIFT network.

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