SWIFT introduces universal real-time payment tracking

SWIFT announces the extension of its gpi Tracker to cover all payment instructions sent across the network, enabling gpi banks to track all their SWIFT payment instructions at all times, and giving them full visibility over all their payments activity.

The Tracker, which has been available since May 2017, enables banks that have signed up to the service to track their gpi payments in real-time. From November, a unique end-to-end transaction reference will be included in all payment instructions carried between all 11,000 customers on SWIFT at all times, across more than 200 countries and territories. This will give gpi customers full end-to-end tracking of all their payment messages quickly and efficiently, bringing even greater transparency and cost reduction.

“The extension of the Tracker to non-gpi payments is a major step forward. It will significantly extend transparency, and it will drive more banks to join the service, rapidly making gpi the new normal in cross-border payments”, said Navinder Duggal, Group Head of Cash Product Management from DBS, one of the early gpi adopters in Asia.

“Enabling end-to-end tracking of all payment instructions through to the end destination is a game-changer,” says Lars Sjögren, Global Head of Transaction Banking, Danske Bank. “Until last year, it was impossible for banks to gather this information on behalf of their customers, but the introduction of the gpi Tracker has addressed this challenge head on, transforming cross-border payments and dramatically improving the service that banks can offer to their customers in a very cost efficient way.”

The Tracker automatically provides status updates to all gpi banks involved in any gpi payment chain and allows them to confirm when a payment has been completed. The Tracker also facilitates more accurate reconciliation of payments and invoices, optimises liquidity with improved cash forecasts and reduces exposure to FX risk, with same-day processing of funds in beneficiaries’ time zones. As a cloud-based service, the Tracker is available via an API, making it compatible with proprietary banking systems worldwide.

“SWIFT gpi has been hugely beneficial for banks and their customers since its launch, but extending this tracking facility across all payments traffic will be truly transformational,” says Harry Newman, Head of Payments at SWIFT. “These expanded tracking capabilities are part of a series of gpi services we will roll out in 2018 to further improve the cross-border payments experience, enable banks to provide a far superior service to their customers and rapidly attract more banks to join.”

Launched in 2017, gpi already accounts for 10% of SWIFT cross border payment traffic, and is enabling more than a hundred billion dollars to be transferred across the world rapidly and securely every day. More than 150 banks, representing over 78% of SWIFT’s cross-border payments traffic, have signed up to the service, sending hundreds of thousands of payments daily across 220 country corridors - including major corridors such as USA-China, where gpi already accounts for more than 25% of payment traffic. Nearly 50% of gpi payments are completed in less than 30 minutes, many within seconds.

The introduction of the unique end-to-end transaction reference in all payment instructions will be effected through the mandatory annual standards update in November 2018. After this point, all SWIFT customers will be required to include the unique end-to-end transaction reference in their payment instructions, irrespective of whether they are gpi banks and or whether they are executing gpi payments. All regulated financial institutions on SWIFT are eligible to join the gpi.