What is SWIFT gpi?

A better payment messaging solution for payers, recipients and financial institutions.

The SWIFT payments network

SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. SWIFT is a secure payment messaging network that facilitates international payments between over 10,000 financial institutions. 

SWIFT provides the connections between the payer and the recipient to ensure funds reach the right account. If you’ve ever made an international payment it was likely through the SWIFT network. SWIFT processes over 15,000,000 payment messages every month.

What is SWIFT gpi?

SWIFT gpi (gpi stands for Global Payments Innovation) is a new initiative from SWIFT and was developed to improve the experience of making a payment via the SWIFT network for both customers and banks.

International payments are renowned for being slow, costly and difficult to track. The previous network suffered from several issues that needed to be resolved to keep up with expectations. These included a lack of visibility over funds once they'd been sent, high routing fees being charged by intermediaries (which meant less money was arriving with the recipient that was sent) and payments being delayed.

SWIFT gpi is a new network that improves upon the old standards to meet greater demands for pricing, speed, and transparency of international payments. The initial launch of SWIFT gpi was in 2017 but there are already over 3,700 banks who are members, processing over $300bn a day. 

“Across the world, through gpi, banks and Instant Payment systems are using our existing rails for international payments to meet today’s need for speed, traceability, and transparency."

Harry Newman, Head of Banking, SWIFT

The SWIFT gpi initiative was started to provide a better service for payers, recipients and financial institutions.

What are the benefits of SWIFT gpi?

SWIFT outlines four key goals of the new gpi network:

To increase payment speed

Improvements in communication and higher standards for banks means that payments will be quicker when made through the SWIFT gpi network

To provide end-to-end tracking

All payments have a Unique End-to-End Transaction Reference (UETR) which can be used to check the location of the funds at any point in their journey, in real-time.

To improve transparency of fees and charges

Banks who are part of the gpi network are required to provide full visibility on processing fees and times, which will enable individuals to make better decisions and allow banks to improve routing.

To maintain consistent data records

Gpi guarantees that all remittance data that is sent with payments will be unaltered throughout the whole payments journey. This allows recipients to easily reconcile payments against invoices or orders.