SWIFT adds new capability to cross-border payments ‘pre-check’ service

SWIFT Payments

Payments standards and financial messaging service SWIFT has announced it has extended the capability of its recently launched Payments Pre-validation service, revealing it is now analysing cross-border payments transfer flows to better detect potential errors and help prevent delays in payments.

The new capability, part of SWIFT’s Payment Pre-validation service, is available to banks and cross-border payments services via an API.

SWIFT writes that its 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,” SWIFT added.

“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.”

Commenting on the new capability, Thomas Zschach, chief innovation officer at SWIFT hailed the service as the “ultimate payment pre-check”.

“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,” Zschach added.

Susan Yang, CBA’s general manager, international payments and network management said that the SWIFT Global Payments innovation (gpi), SWIFT’s dedicated fast payments rails, “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.”