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SWIFT leaps into remittances with SWIFT Go

The new service will give banks a new defense against fintechs eating into their cross-border payments business.



SWIFT has entered the remittances market, in a move that will help incumbent banks compete more effectively against fintechs that specialize in cheap, fast, and transparent cross-border payments for individuals and small businesses.

Traditionally a messaging service for high-value correspondent banking payments and securities transactions, the group has now launched SWIFT Go, a service for consumers and small businesses to send low-value payments across borders directly from their bank accounts.

Seven global banks are already live: BBVA, Bank of New York Mellon, DNB, Alibaba’s MYBank, Sberbank, Société Générale, and UniCredit. They can use SWIFT Go to offer a seamless payments experience for low-value transactions. These include activities from SMEs paying overseas suppliers to consumers sending money to their families internationally. 

“Our new service will allow banks to compete effectively in one of the fastest growing segments of the payments market, delivering a seamless experience for their customers,” said Stephen Gilderdale, chief product officer at SWIFT.

By leveraging SWIFT’s network, notably the rails of SWIFT gpi – a program designed to make SWIFT-enabled transactions more automated and transparent – banks can take advantage of existing service level agreements and pre-validation of data. That makes SWIFT Go fast, transparent, and low-cost for the roughly 11,000 financial institutions using SWIFT messaging services.

This gives banks a stronger defense against the encroachment of fintechs that have made cheap and near-instant cross-border payments their hallmark.

“SWIFT gpi has become the benchmark for high-value cross-border transactions and we are confident that SWIFT Go will be equally as transformative for SME payments,” said Feng Liang, deputy CEO at MYBank.

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