Investment Operations

SWIFT Enables Customer Connectivity Using the Cloud

Craig Young - SWIFT

– Microsoft becomes first provider to build public cloud connectivity with industry co-operative
– SWIFT rolls out next generation private cloud

SWIFT already has a proof of concept in place with Microsoft, building on work that started last year with the technology company’s treasury operations establishing a prototype SWIFT connection on Microsoft Azure and the successful testing of payment transactions.

Under the new Cloud Connect initiative, SWIFT said it will develop network architecture and automation templates for customers to ease deployment on ‘hyper-scale’ public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. While large banks, corporates and fintechs increasingly use such providers, they also require the same level of reliability and security they experience on-premises. Cloud Connect, according to SWIFT, will provide a resilient and secure method of connecting to the SWIFT network.

Also announced today was SWIFT’s Alliance Cloud, which, according to a company statement, will provide a robust option for institutions of all sizes that wish to host their messaging operations on SWIFT-managed infrastructure. Alliance Cloud has been designed to scale quickly to meet changing customer needs while seamlessly integrating gpi, sanctions screening solutions and other SWIFT services, said a company spokesperson, adding that it maintains 24/7 availability and the highest level of security, while reducing customers’ total operating costs.

Taken together, analysts say the developments demonstrate a broad embrace of a trend that banks, corporates and Fintechs are adopting to reduce costs, improve agility and resiliency, and streamline security and compliance burden.

“Cloud computing is a key enabler of a faster, frictionless future and a powerful catalyst for innovative new services,” said Craig Young, Chief Information Officer, at SWIFT said. “Our community is seizing its potential, and we are committed to supporting them with a range of connectivity options reflecting their diverse approaches and breadth of needs. These new developments highlight that commitment, while also underscoring our unwavering focus on security and resiliency as we continue to adapt to an evolving marketplace,” Young added.

SWIFT said it plans to begin customer trials on its Cloud Connect initiative later this year, with a community-wide service targeted for the second half of 2020. A phased rollout of Alliance Cloud will meanwhile launch in 2020, starting in the second quarter.