SWIFT launches real time global cross-border payments service for small business

Interbank messaging network SWIFT has launched SWIFT Go, a low-value cross-border payments service designed to increase the speed, traceability, and transparency of global fund transfers. 

The launch of Go marks a key milestone in the messaging network’s journey to connect more than 11,000 banks and 4 billion bank accounts across 200 countries in its network.  

Top global banks, including BBVA, BNY Mellon, DNB, MYBank, Sberbank, Societe Generale, and UniCredit, went live with the service on July 27. The seven banks collectively handle $33 million worth of cross-border payments per year. 

The global messaging service aims to lower the cost of overseas bank transfers for both retail and small and medium-sized enterprises that pay international suppliers. Businesses and consumers can make direct transfers from their bank account using the new facility.  

The company is using tight service level agreements between institutions to offer a fast and predictable payment experience. SWIFT said Go is built on the high-speed rails of the SWIFT global payments interface which has transformed the speed and predictability of high-value payments. 

“SWIFT Go is a further step towards achieving our vision of enabling anybody, anywhere, to send money instantly and securely around the world,” said Stephen Gilderdale, SWIFT’s chief product officer. 

“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.”  

BBVA said it recognises the potential of this solution to revolutionise the way SMEs and consumers move money around the world. “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.” 

Small businesses struggle with international transfers 

A Bank of New York Mellon spokesperson said it’s no secret that for many years consumers and small businesses have been running into varying pain points when transacting international payments.  

“These challenges have included opaque costs and lack of certainty on how quickly funds are delivered to the final beneficiary. SWIFT Go overcomes all of these challenges and assists financial institutions in delivering a competitive, seamless, fast, and predictable payments experience to their customers.” 

Feng Liang, deputy chief executive at MYBank said SWIFT’s global payments interface had become the benchmark for high-value cross-border transactions and he is confident that SWIFT Go will be equally as transformative for SME payments. “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.” 

Société Générale said as customer expectations for faster payments evolve the correspondent banking industry requires a solution to more competitively process SME and consumer payments. SWIFT Go fits perfectly with it, allowing the bank to provide its customers with predictable, seamless, and frictionless low-value cross-border transactions reaching beneficiaries accounts quicker than ever. 

These views jibe with UniCredit which said SWIFT Go will lead to real benefits for SMEs and consumers, allowing them to enjoy the speed, predictability, and transparency that the SWIFT global payments interface has brought to high-value transactions. 

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