Predictive data intelligence removes hurdles to instant cross-border transactions over SWIFT

New capability leverages SWIFT’s insight on millions of daily transactions to flag upfront when a payment may stall because of incorrect payee details

As part of its ambitious strategy for instant and frictionless transactions, SWIFT today announces a new capability that uses its global intelligence on past cross-border flows to predict potential problems before new international payments are sent.

The new service analyses previous flows on the SWIFT network to identify accounts that have been credited successfully and uses this information to detect potential errors in payee information – the most common cause of cross-border delays. This centralised verification, based on aggregated and anonymised data from nine billion transaction messages between four billion accounts each year, provides a level of insight no single financial institution has on its own. It also gives real-time confidence that a payment will go through, regardless of whether the parties or banks in a transaction have transacted with each other before.

“Think of it as the ultimate payment pre-check” said Thomas Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer, SWIFT. “When someone wants to make an international payment, we can instantly predict the likelihood of success based on whether the account has been credited successfully in the past, and then present this information directly to the customer so that they can fix any errors or typos before the payment even starts its processing.”

“We are able to do this because of the unique perspective SWIFT has at the heart of the financial community, and our strategic commitment to make international payments as seamless as the fastest domestic ones,” he added.

The new capability is an expanded feature of SWIFT’s Payment Pre-validation service and is available to banks via an API, meaning their customers can immediately benefit to send and receive international payments around the world even faster.

It marks another bold step forward as SWIFT evolves its platform to enable banks to drive a new era of instant, frictionless and interoperable cross-border transactions to create new value for their customers. As part of this commitment, SWIFT is also significantly expanding its capabilities in areas including low value payments through SWIFT Go and is partnering with industry players to explore the capabilities and potential use of CBDCs, tokenisation and AI.

Arturo Rivera Fermoso, Director General Adjunto de Tecnología, Banca Mifel said: “SWIFT’s Payment Pre-validation service has enabled us to identify issues with account information before a payment is processed. Building on this service will further empower us to better serve our customers, rather than dealing with breaks in automation. Extending this service across more accounts on the SWIFT network will bring the industry real cost-savings and efficiency gains.”

Susan Yang, General Manager, International Payments and Network Management, Commonwealth Bank of Australia said: “The SWIFT Global Payments innovation (gpi) provides an opportunity to address challenges – like speed and flexibility – in the cross-border payments space. As Australia’s largest bank, we’re excited to move towards implementing our digital gpi roadmap. We see SWIFT’s pre validation service as a key capability, aligned to CBA’s priority to deliver the best integrated digital experience to our clients without compromising on simplicity, speed and security. At the heart of this service is checking that the beneficiary’s account is open and accurate, reducing errors and delays for senders and receivers of cross border payments.”

Vijay Lulla, Director, Payments Products, HSBC said; “HSBC is an early adopter of SWIFT’s Payment Pre-validation service and sees it as an important step in removing friction from cross-border payments by providing the capability to detect and prevent any issues before a transaction is completed. This provides our customers with a solution that helps to minimize the risk of payment delays, meaning they can operate more efficiently and at pace.”

Rajesh Vedantham, Head, Cross-Border Payments Products, Standard Chartered Bank said: “At Standard Chartered, we aim to eliminate payment friction with upfront account verification, as well as continuously increasing end to end efficiencies while minimising fraud risks. SWIFT’s new service will play a vital role in enhancing transactional data quality across the payments ecosystem, allowing our clients to experience real benefits with a more seamless payment experience overall.”

Mehmet Ali Memiş, Vice President, Foreign Trade and Credit Operations, Yapi Kredi Bank, said: “We are always keen to make our customers’ lives easier by implementing the latest industry innovations. Speed is of the utmost importance to our customers when sending money internationally, however incorrect data often puts the brakes on before a transaction has even been initiated. By using its data in this way, SWIFT removes barriers to business and ensures clients can operate at pace.”