The new capability is designed to allow for query handling between banks on the SWIFT network, with the aim to quickly resolve instances in which operational, regulatory or compliance information is incorrect or missing from payment instructions.
SWIFT said the development complements its integrated gpi pre-validation service, aimed at identifying and eliminating errors and omissions in payment messages prior to payment initiation.
The new feature is in the first stage of its launch, with it being piloted by 12 major banks and three management software providers.
The companies taking part in testing are Bank of China, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, Gazprombank, HSBC, ICBC, SMBC (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation), Societe Generale and Standard Chartered, along with software providers Appian, Pega and Syracom.
The service will eventually be available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network, scheduled to go live in November.
“In our drive towards frictionless payments, we are working together with banks and software providers to bring in a fully integrated, network-wide service to ensure a smooth payments process,” Harry Newman, head of banking, SWIFT said.
“It has been a consistent bug-bear of many banks that, whilst only a minority of payments are held up by errors and missing information, they are frustrating, time-consuming and costly.
“Ultimately all 10,000 banks on the network will be able to use these tools seamlessly to resolve them.”
The new service will speed up the resolution of operational, compliance and regulatory-related issues that can arise along the payments chain, SWIFT said, changing how interbank efforts for resolutions in the past would involve multiple requests and responses that were unstructured and unstandardized.
The feature will use a combination of the gpi tracking function and standardised industry protocols, with the intention to improve transparency, shorten resolution time and reduce the need for manual interventions.
Users will be able to detect hold ups via the gpi tracker, as well as the identify the beneficiary or intermediary banks that may be causing them.
Requests and responses will be sent in a standardised ISO 20022 format, with the service facilitating 14 enquiry types and covering three payment types (customer credit transfers, financial institution transfers, cover payments).
“In addition to our goal of providing real-time, ubiquitous, cross-border payments, our ambition is to ensure that any associated customer enquiries are transacted real-time,” Mark McNulty, global head, clearing and FI payments at Citi said.
“Gpi case resolution is a very important step forward as it provides the platform for banks, across the payment chain, to interact in a far more dynamic, efficient and transparent manner than today and thus ultimately better serve our clients.
“Case resolution is well placed to build on the scale and reach of gpi to transform how enquiries associated with cross-border payments are resolved.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
Sarah has a dual bachelor's degree in science and journalism from the University of Queensland.