SWIFT has published a report on the future of payments entitled “Payments: Looking to the future – instant, accessible, ubiquitous“. 

With this report, SWIFT analyses the present and tries to describe what could be the future developments of international payments, that is, real-time, 24/7, and as accessible, transparent and cost-effective as national payments. 

At a time when international flows are growing and new technologies are entering this market introducing substantial improvements, the future of international payments seems different from the present. 

According to SWIFT’s vision, international payments should be done in real-time, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and also be as accessible, transparent and cost-effective as domestic payments.

The report also identifies the dynamics that will support this revolution. The first of these is a new international core infrastructure, which is able to overcome the current barriers of individual national payment systems, so as to make the transfer of values across borders fast and secure. 

This infrastructure will be supported by SWIFT’s new universal standard, GPI, which will be available by 2020 and will make every international payment fast, transparent, traceable and truly global. 

The report also analyses the development of so-called intelligent payments, which use more data, artificial intelligence and automatic learning, to effectively and efficiently detect possible fraud, and to perform compliance duties by eliminating stops or delays due to missing or incorrect information. 

The new ecosystem will be based on API technologies that will support open and agile architectures, allowing fintech to offer value-added services and banks to differentiate their existing products and services.

In recent years, innovations in this field have multiplied at a rate never seen before, leading to improvements unthinkable just a few decades ago. 

Goods and services are now moving around the world at such a rapid rate that it is necessary for value to move much faster as well. 

New technologies already make this possible, hence SWIFT has also decided to play a role in this new scenario, although it will be necessary to have the cooperation of all actors involved at the international level in this global value transfer system. 

The goal is to revolutionise “both incrementally and radically” the transfer of value “from any account to any account, anywhere in the world” with the same immediacy and practicality as national payments.