Universal Confirmations: Get Ready for 2020
With the arrival of universal confirmations, we sit down with some industry experts to find out more about what impact this will have on transforming cross-border payments. We’re welcomed by Fabien Depasse - Head of SWIFT gpi Customer Success at SWIFT and Craig Ramsey - Head of Real-Time Payments at ACI Worldwide.
What are universal confirmations and why are they needed?
Fabien Depasse, SWIFT: As of November 2019, SWIFT will extend the benefits of tracking and confirming payments to all financial institutions on SWIFT. To that end, we’re launching a Basic Tracker, which will provide tracking and search capabilities to all financial institutions on SWIFT. By the end of 2020, every single payment (MT 103 on FIN) will also require a confirmation that the funds have been credited to the end beneficiary account within two business days. Without confirmations, the flow of money around the world becomes unclear when the funds are received or sent on to another scheme. Businesses depend on knowing that a payment has arrived as an integral part of their supply chain. Without this step, trade can grind to a halt and goods and services end up delayed. Confirmations enable banks to provide an excellent customer experience by offering transparency and certainty that the funds have reached their destination and are available to the beneficiary.
What do SWIFT customers need to do and by when?
Fabien: For all MT 103 payments received, banks and FIs need to send a confirmation to the SWIFT gpi Tracker indicating the payment status:
- Accepted & Settlement completed – when funds are made available to the beneficiary’s account (include amount, currency and date/time of credit)
- Reject – If you can’t process the payment accompanied with a reason code
- Transferred – If you transferred the payment to a next agent outside of FIN
- Settlement in Progress – Further processing and it is not possible to either transfer the payment or credit the beneficiary customer
Confirmations are required within a maximum of two business days following the value date indicated in the MT 103 for non-gpi members. However, banks and FIs are encouraged to provide a confirmation as soon as possible.
How can SWIFT members confirm payments?
Fabien: We have a number of user-friendly ways for SWIFT financial institutions to confirm payments. For SWIFT gpi members already have access to the full functionality of the gpi tracker, as well as access to the other value-added features of SWIFT gpi. For non-gpi members, the Basic Tracker will provide some tracking and search capabilities, as well as the ability to manually confirm payments. We also have a range of automated options in the pipeline, including options to confirm using MT 199 on FIN, API calls or batch confirmations.
How is ACI Worldwide supporting universal confirmations?
Craig Ramsey, ACI Worldwide: SWIFT reached out to ACI as one of their longest vendor partners to help them support SWIFT’s pilot program for universal confirmations. For ACI, this was an exciting opportunity to collaborate with SWIFT and increase our offering to the payments industry. ACI’s functionality is available at the end of October 2019 – a full 12 months before the mandate.
Why did ACI see launching universal confirmations for its customers for the SWIFT pilot as a priority?
Craig: ACI is a leader in payments and close partner with SWIFT, so ACI thrives on being at the cutting edge of key technologies and offering our customers the ability to take advantage of SWIFT’s pilot program. After all, whilst this is a SWIFT initiative, there is demand from across the payments industry for universal confirmations. ACI is proud to make this offering available to all our customers one year ahead of the deadline.
What benefits do ACI feel that universal confirmations will provide to payments industry?
Craig: Universal confirmations is vital for the tracking of credit transfers for those banks that are not gpi-enabled. Additionally, the whole industry is evolving with more advanced technology, increased competition from FinTechs, as well as regulatory pressure for greater transparency on cross-border payments as a whole.
Join ACI Worldwide at Sibos 2019 in London, September 23-26, for a joint session with SWIFT What will the world look like when all payments are confirmed? Get ready for 2020, featuring ACI’s Craig Ramsey, head of Real-Time Payments. (Monday, Sept 23, 13:00-13:45, SWIFT Room 1). Visit us at Booth Q125 to find out how to accelerate your business with real-time payments and Open Banking strategies.
Related Blog Posts
From API to AI to I: Banking Tech Gets Personal
Tired feet. Running out of business cards. Countless LinkedIn connections – sound familiar? This time of the year is conference season; the annual SIBOS (SWIFT) and Money20/20 USA gatherings spanning the autumn give attendees plenty of hot topics and talking points. My American colleagues refer to this season as “the fall.” I trust this to be an observation on leaves and fruit rather than a sequitur on the state of the fintech industry. Either way, it’s a good time to harvest, to take stock and to work out what we should be doing with the apparent abundance of innovative produce.
How to Maximize the Value of Partnerships Between Fintechs and FIs
The LATAM Open Banking & Fintech Partnership, organized by Connect Global Group, was held earlier this year in Mexico City, and ACI participated as one of the forum partners driving discussions on how to maximize value from collaborative partnerships between FIs and Fintechs. We explored the invaluable benefits of open API and strategies to differentiate the offerings of FIs and Fintechs, address consumer demands, and best practices for implementation aligned to regulatory requirements.
A Deep Dive into the Payment Tendencies in the Mexican Market (Part 2)
While the sheer volume and age of potential shoppers makes México an attractive market, there is another component to the viability of eCommerce: México is mobile. A recent study performed by the Asociación de Internet.mx, shows that México is one of 22 countries leading the trend toward mobile commerce, with young adults making 88 percent of smartphone purchases. The country has one of the largest mobile markets in Latin America, with one-third of all residents using smartphones.
A Deep Dive into the Payment Tendencies in the Mexican Market (Part 1)
The population of México is the second largest in Latin America, with 122 million residents, 39 percent of whom are considered middle-class. The population is relatively young, with an average age of just 27, and one-third estimated to be millennials, which is often a factor in driving the popularity of eCommerce. Last year, 56 million people accessed the internet in México, though despite the high number of internet and mobile phone users in the country, nearly two-thirds of the population do not have bank accounts (source: Banco de Mexico).
How to be a Payments Trailblazer – The Seven Habits of Highly Innovative Organizations
The new Culture of Innovation Index from Ovum and ACI identified segments—from banks to intermediaries to merchants to corporates—at the cutting edge (of innovation) across the payments ecosystem. But what is most notable about those segments that have reached ‘trailblazing’ status is the apparent lack of commonality between them. No one segment, nor one region fosters better innovation. In fact, what’s driving these segments/organizations to be best of breed is their own culture of excellence. The only thing they have in common is their attitude.
Customer Innovation: Erste Bank [Q&A]
The global banking sector is becoming both more strategically focused and technologically advanced, responding to rising consumer expectations while trying to defend market share against an increasing array of competitors. A great deal of emphasis is being placed on digitizing core business processes, and reassessing organizational structures and internal talent to be better prepared for the future of banking.
Regulating for Real-Time: The Role of Government in Payments Modernization
Dr. Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments and the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time.
Issuing and Acquiring in a Real-Time and Open Payments Ecosystem – The Global Picture
Dr Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments, stemming from the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time. See part one.
Four Questions to Drive Your Retail Banking Payments Strategy in 2019
I keep hearing that it’s “an exciting time to be in payments,” and I certainly agree that there is a lot of noise. However, when I look below the surface, I’d argue that the interesting activity is not with the payment itself, but with all the related events and steps in the value chain.
What Can the Re-Regulation of Other Industries Tell Us About Open Banking One Year On?
UK Open Banking just reached its first birthday milestone (on January 13 to be precise) and given my own commentary – including in the ACI blog – on this topic, the first anniversary of Open Banking in the UK certainly won’t pass without a debrief on the progress that’s been made and what challenges lie ahead.