Swift Announces B-to-B Payments Innovation Effort

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a global messaging network better known as Swift, has announced an initiative designed to increase the speed and transparency of cross-border payments.

The global payments initiative, which Swift touted as an industrywide collaboration, will initially focus in early 2016 on being a business-to-business payments service backed by participating banks. Swift said the effort will enable banks to offer corporate customers enhanced services such as same-day use of funds, transparency and predictability regarding fees, end-to-end payments tracking and richer payment information.

The service will operate on the basis of business rules captured in multilateral service-level agreements among participating banks, the network noted, and will operate on Swift's global platform. Participation will be open to any supervised financial institution that is a Swift member and adheres to the network's business rules.

"Correspondent banking serves the industry with millions of secure cross-border payments day in, day out; with the global payments innovation initiative we are building on those strengths, enabling banks to provide distinctive cross-border payments services and providing real benefits to end customers," Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift's chief executive, said in a press release Thursday.

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