After a blockchain-enabled instant global payment service by California-based Ripple hit the market last year, incumbent SWIFT said Tuesday it has launched a service to deliver global instant payments by integrating gpi into domestic instant payments systems around the world.
“Through a combination of gpi and domestic real-time payments networks, we together with gpi banks, will facilitate instant international payments with up-front fee and Foreign Exchange transparency for senders, while also ensuring ubiquitous availability of instant cross-border payments globally,” SWIFT said in a statement.
Integrating gpi, through banks, into domestic real-time payment systems reuses existing cross-border and domestic payments infrastructure, thereby minimising implementation costs and avoiding the complexities of adopting new infrastructure, the cooperative noted, the cooperative noted.
The service will be available to all types of banks’ end customers regardless of company sizes and to retail and e-commerce platforms, according to SWIFT.
The cooperative said it had trials with various organizations.
In the trial with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia, payments were delivered between Australia and China in 18 seconds, SWIFT claimed.
In another trial in Singapore with Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) that involved 17 banks across seven countries, the fastest payment was delivered in 13 seconds and payments between all continents settled within 25 seconds, the cooperative added.
SWIFT also had a trial in Europe between the European Central Bank (ECB), SWIFT and a group of 19 banks using the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) platform.
The trial conducted tests with 12 banks sending cross-border payments from nine countries—Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand and the US—into Europe via 5 banks, the cooperative said.
SWIFT claimed that it took 41 seconds to sent a payment from Singapore, clear via Germany and credit to the end beneficiary account.
According to cooperative’s website, more than 200 countries and territories as well as more than 11,000 institutions are connected to network.
Last year, SWIFT said that more than 30% of all SWIFT customer payments were sent on gpi and more than 200 banks had signed up to the service.
A blockchain challenger
While the cooperative expects gpi to become the standard for cross-border payments on its networks with 10,000 bank members by end-2020 and replace the current messaging service, there are challengers in the market.
Indeed, RippleNet enables users to send money cross-border in seconds even earlier.
Last year, Ripple teamed up with Banco Santander to launch a blockchain messaging technology-based service to allow the Spanish bank’s customers in the UK, Spain, Poland and Brazil to send money in various currencies around the world in seconds.
According to Ripple’s website, more than 200 financial institutions have joined the RippleNet.
In Europe, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said last year at the opening of an ambassadors’ conference in Berlin that the work to build a European payment system independent of the “dominant” SWIFT has already begun.
However, there hasn’t been any update on the work.