New tracker traces global payments in real time

Companies will find it easier to track cross-border payments, thanks to a new system introduced by the Swift financial service.

The tracker traces international payments in real time and issues a confirmation notice when the money reaches the recipient's account, said Swift, a cooperative network set up by banks worldwide to transmit information about financial transactions in a secure way.

The tracker is also part of what is called Swift gpi - the payment service it recently introduced.

Swift gpi creates a quicker supply chain process, which lets firms dealing with international trade be paid for their services or goods "in a more timely fashion", it added yesterday.

Over 20 global transaction banks, including DBS and OCBC, have been using or are at different stages of implementing the Swift gpi service since January. "Hundreds of thousands of gpi payments have already been sent across more than 85 country corridors," noted Swift.

Swift chief marketing officer Christian Sarafidis said that with the right technology at the right time, "Swift has successfully helped correspondent banking reach a significant milestone in its evolution".

Correspondent banking involves banks providing one another with other services, such as exchanging currencies, so they can conduct business in other countries without being physically present.

CRITICAL TOOL

Swift gpi is critical for the banking industry to remain relevant and competitive in the cross-border payments space. (It) will provide our customers with faster, greater transparency in their cross-border payments and better optimisation of their group liquidity requirements.

MR GREG TROTTER, OCBC Bank's head of cash management, on the Swift gpi service that tracks international payments.

Besides helping corporate finance departments, Swift said, the new tracker encourages accurate payments and invoice reconciliation and reduces exposure to foreign exchange risks as funds are processed in the beneficiary's time zone.

The tracker is available via an open application programming interface, essentially a set of codes for building software and applications. Swift said this makes it "compatible with proprietary banking systems worldwide".

Mr Greg Trotter, OCBC's head of cash management, said: "Swift gpi is critical for the banking industry to remain relevant and competitive in the cross-border payments space.

"(It) will provide our customers with faster, greater transparency in their cross-border payments and better optimisation of their group liquidity requirements."

Rachael Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'New tracker traces global payments in real time'. Print Edition | Subscribe