Zhenya Winter: By November 2020, when it becomes mandatory to respond to a SWIFT gpi message, what do you think the expected market penetration of gpi will be?
Daniel Lynch: GPI tracking is already universal as of last year. As end beneficiaries’ confirmations are wrapped into SWIFT’s 2020 standards release, we’re quite confident that through a combination of banks fully joining gpi, and those that begin providing confirmations as part of the Universal Confirmations standards, we can reach 100 percent of SWIFT’s cross-border customer credit transfers. We had a lively debate on the benefits of confirmations at SIBOS last month, where the panel was unanimous that this will improve cross-border transfers significantly, and that true payment confirmations are a necessity as part of a customer-centric payments evolution.
ZW: What are the benefits of the SWIFT gpi API tracker?
DL: In terms of benefits, there are a few levels. The first is that by ensuring all payments receive an update into the tracker, banks will be able to share this data with their customers, providing better confirmation and reconciliation capabilities. This in turn improves the customer experience. It also means that there will be more customer self-service of tracking of payments, and that will reduce the work for the banks’ customer service teams, while also improving the customer experience.
ZW: So, does the bank just need to connect to the data tracker database?
Craig Ramsey: No, because the data that the customer wants is more than just the tracker database. To provide a truly enhanced customer experience, the bank will want to merge the tracking database data with other data held solely in the bank. By augmenting the data from the SWIFT tracker with the bank data, the bank can provide a full end-to-end view of the whole transaction with the bank.
ACI has worked with SWIFT to understand where the data tracker stops, and where ACI can help the banks to bring a holistic view to customers.
Not only does this improve customer experience, but according to SWIFT, it eliminates manual intervention and reduces customer investigations by 50 percent, saving on the cost of resources (“SWIFT Global Payments Innovation,” SWIFT, August 2018).
ZW: How can SWIFT gpi help businesses improve their profits?
DL: With gpi, there is the opportunity to build new services, not just with the data coming out of the tracker, but with what businesses can do with that data once they’ve combined it with the more granular things they know about their customers: liquidity management, hedging, possibly even supply chain management. In addition to building richer services for wholesale payments, there is also the opportunity to recapture lost retail flows with more immediate and transparent payments.
CR: SWIFT gpi isn’t a solution designed primarily to generate new revenue streams; it is about supplying a solution with added transparency that enables banks and financial institutions to retain and onboard new corporates that are looking for a “best-in-class” cross-border solution and optimum customer service. However, this ability to enable customers to self-serve reduces investigations and this is supported by one international bank claiming that they were able to save on the cost of three full-time employees; improved remittance data increased the success of payments completion (to the beneficiary) and removed the burden to re-send payments back to the originator.
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