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  • Payment
  • Europe

iBanFirst Joins SWIFT gpi Program

The global provider of financial messaging services SWIFT has been testing their gpi offer for over a year by more than 150 institutions worldwide. SWIFT intends for it to become a market standard and enlisted a new member: the French-Belgian FinTech iBanFirst will be the first Payment Institution to integrate this service. Immediacy and transparency are gaining momentum in dealing with cross-border payments.

The SME-focused multi-currency international payment platform iBanFirst is joining SWIFT “global payment initiative” (gpi), as its pilot phase is ongoing. Just like many financial institutions which already integrated it, this FinTech seeks to meet increasing expectations among their business customers in terms of transparency and immediacy.

Through the new cross-border transactions tracking feature, simply called “Tracker”, iBanFirst’s customers will be able to track international payment statuses in real time, and end to end. Each transaction is assigned a code enabling the customer to always keep a close eye on each payment. He is also sent a notification when the amount is credited to the beneficiary’s account.

Besides the notion of transparency, this FinTech wants to help business customers improve their relationships with their own providers, as they can manage their cash flow more efficiently. Their international money transfers are processed the same day, when time zones allow.

Comments – SWIFT speeding up the pace of its transformation

Blockchains’ implementation in cross-border payments and the emergence of specialised FinTechs, such as Circle and Ripple, has had an impact on interbank transactions. The US start-up Ripple, for instance, also focuses on cross-border payments and challenges SWIFT. Ripple’s network has been granted support from leading financial institutions, including Santander, Crédit Agricole, UBS, HSBC, AmEx, etc.

The messaging service has been making adjustments by way of including next-generation technologies and striking back. They have announced several rollouts and pilot experiments: an offer designed to cut down payment execution time to just a few minutes (or even seconds), a real-time transaction tracking tool, and a messaging service for instant payments. Tests are still underway but some of these launches have already proved successful. The group also reported that SWIFT gpi is being used to send more than 100 billion dollars each day. Half of these payments are credited to the recipient’s account in 30 minutes, and nearly 100% in less than 24 hours. Yet, the American FinTech Ripple still stands out with a real-time payment service (a matter of seconds) at very attractive costs since they only charge a small fee. And Ripple’s multi-signing feature is another distinct advantage.

For iBanFirst, this connection is a way to stand out as they are in competition with many start-ups, also aiming to address SME’s needs, through a very much expected service.