SWIFT’s Managing director on Distributed Ledger Technology

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) on its website, describes itself as a global cooperation member and world leader in secure finance messages and serves more than 11,000 banking services and securities.

In an interview with CNBC, Crypto Trader, Lisa O’Connor, Management Director of Asia Pacific at SWIFT, discussed the company’s position on distributed ledger technology, or blockchain technology.

The Managing Director initiated the interview by speaking briefly about SWIFT’s core role. SWIFT is considered to be one of the largest payment message networks in the world, enabling instant payments to be paid through a standardized code system.

SWIFT announced a Global Payment Innovation (GPI) initiative to “drastically enhance client experience in appropriate banking by enhancing speed, transparency, and predictability of cross – border payments” as a response to the growing threat posed by California’s Fintech startup Ripple. At the time, it said that GPI would allow businesses to receive an enhancement

“Work is being done from a market infrastructure point of view,” said Lisa O’Connor. She went on to say that SWIFT would be very open to working with DLT platforms. But we don’t have to do things like multilateral netting ourselves in the market, to clear transactions. SWIFT is a platform at the core, and we are a place where we can potentially connect with those infrastructures.

SWIFT now claims that the benefits for GPI – adopting banks and companies are:

1) Fast payments (“in seconds and at most minutes international credit beneficiaries”)

2) Fee and FX transparency (see charged bank fees and applied FX rates)

3) Tracking end – to – end payment

4) Unaltered remittance information (“Payment ensures that the remittance information is unchanged”)

5) Reduced fees (‘ Reduced costs of inquiry because of the payment tracking feature’)

6) Optimized liquidity (“Take advantage of your liquidity with increased visibility to payments”)

7) Facilities to implement (“Use your current SWIFT setup and go live in 3 months”)

8) Confirmed credit (“Deliver your beneficiary’s credit confirmation message”)

Recently SWIFT announced the introduction of a proof of concept (PoC) to test a new gateway to link trade and e-commerce platforms with GPI. This was done to support the growing demand between trading ecosystems for a safe and reliable solution.

SWIFT further stated that “the first phase of the PoC works on R3s leading Corda blockchain to bring GPI payments” to DLT – enabled trade, and that PoC “enable off – level payment settlements based on GPI, which are supported by global, fast, secure and transparent settlements.”

She said, what we would like to be in the future is a platform that helps to connect our members up to the best of these blockchain solutions. So, for example, we work with R3, who does a great deal of work in the field of commercial finance, and how do we link the value chain of trade finance with that value chain which underpins it all, she said.

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