Swift adds information check pilot for gpi payments
Swift will soon begin piloting an integrated pre-validation gpi (global payments innovation) service with 14 banks from around the world.
The initial focus of the pilot is to detect and resolve errors in payment messages, where sending banks will be able to receive API calls over Swift to check a beneficiary account’s information, which will fix inaccurate information in real-time.
The pilot is the first stage in the roll-out of the gpi pre-validation programme, which will also look at using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the predictability of international payments.
According to Swift, many payments that are held up are done so due to errors in data like incorrect or missing beneficiary or regulatory information. The gpi pre-validation service will ensure the vast majority of these errors and omissions are corrected before the initial instructions are sent, so that the instruction can be processed straight-through.
In 2019, the gpi pre-validation service will be complemented by a new investigation and reconciliation service that will facilitate the settlement of any remaining payment inquiries and investigations.
Today, more than 50% of all of Swift’s cross-border payment volumes are sent as gpi.
Manish Kohli, global head of payments and receivables, Citi treasury and trade solutions, says: “The gpi pre-validation pilot is a significant step forward for the payments industry in building a platform on which banks can interact with each other in real-time, both pre-transaction and post-transaction. It demonstrates how banks can leverage Swift gpi to continue to transform cross border payments.”
Christof Hofmann MD and global head of payments and collection products, Deutsche Bank, Germany, adds: “Beneficiary account validation addresses an important pain-point in cross-border payments; it will help increase STP ratios while reducing fraud and exception handling.”
Together with the pilot banks, Swift will agree the global industry specifications for the gpi pre-validation service by the end of 2018, while the pilot is set to commence in early 2019.
The 14 banks taking part in the pilot are: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, E.SUN Commercial Bank, ICBC, JP Morgan, National Australia Bank, Piraeus Bank, Société Générale and Wells Fargo.
Over time, the service will be expanded to provide up front transparency on fees, based on the exact routing of the payment message.
Tales of progress
Last month, Swift celebrated when Central Cooperative Bank in Bulgaria chose its gpi service.
It was the “first” bank in the country to provide its customers with this cross-border service, with real-time payments tracking and “transparency” on bank fees and foreign exchange rates.
Gpi went live in February 2017. According to Swift, nearly half of gpi payments are credited within 30 minutes, “many within seconds – and almost 100% within 24 hours”.
The service also enables end-clients to track the status of their payments from end-to-end, and provides visibility – including information about each bank in the payment chain and any fees that have been deducted.