Investment Operations



As part of its ambitious strategy for instant and frictionless transactions, SWIFT recently announced 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 analyzes 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 centralized verification, based on aggregated and anonymized data from 9 billion transaction messages between 4 billion accounts each year, provides a level of insight no single financial institution has on its own and 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,” Zschach 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.

Analysts say the new platform 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 that commitment, SWIFT said it 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, tokenization, and AI.

Susan Yang, General Manager, International Payments and Network Management, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said the SWIFT Global Payments Initiative (gpi) provides an opportunity to address challenges – like speed and flexibility – in the cross-border payments space. “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,” Yang said. “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,” she added.