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Corporate payments 15 Oct 2020

BBVA advances in the exploration of instant payments in the U.K., together with SWIFT gpi

BBVA remains committed to this global network, participating in a new pilot project with which it has managed to integrate payments from the SWIFT gpi network with the U.K.’s national instant payment system. Progress that makes it possible to break away from the time zone restrictions in the process, going one step further in the exploration of this kind of payment.

Since the moment that SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) launched its global payment initiative SWIFT gpi, BBVA was one of the first ten banks in the world to join. Since then, the bank has remained firmly committed to this new standard for interbank payments. Some of its benefits include greater speed, transparency, tracking from start to finish and access to additional information on the transfers.

Despite the advances brought about by SWIFT gpi, there is still room to explore in the field of international payments. For this reason, with the goal of innovating and continuing to improve customer experience in this field, BBVA has actively participated in different payment pilots launched by SWIFT. The latest was a pilot to integrate the gpi with the U.K.’s national instant payment system. The results were recently presented at the Sibos conference — held online this year.

The new pilot’s success

The BBVA Group participated in this new pilot, together with five financial institutions in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. The goal was to test the integration of SWIFT gpi with the British instant payment platform ‘The Faster Payments Scheme’ (FPS).

The pilot was successful and showed the global potential that exists to eliminate the time zone restrictions, which will no longer be an obstacle to payment processing. It also demonstrated that gpi SWIFT’s integration with instant payment systems is globally scalable.

“With the integration of SWIFT with the Faster Payment chamber, we are going to further enhance customer experience, adding real-time processing of payments in British pounds to the benefits gpi already offers, tracking from start to finish and transparent costs,” explains Raouf Soussi, the head of Corporate Payment Strategy at BBVA.

Differences and similarities with the 2019 pilot

This pilot is of the same nature as the one presented at the 2019 edition of Sibos, which aimed to test the viability of transferring money to any country in the world in a matter of seconds. At the time, the results showed that transfer times can be further reduced in SWIFT gpi international transfers by connecting this network with the instant payment networks that already exist in different countries.

The difference between both pilots has consisted in the foreign exchange broker. While in last year’s test payments were liquidated in euros in the European Central Bank’s instant payment platform TIPS (TARGET Instant Payment Settlement) —which allows real-time payments among registered European banks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – in the 2020 pilot, payments were liquidated in pounds in the FPS platform.

BBVA’s commitment to SWIFT gpi

BBVA has supported this initiative since the onset, making it the first bank in Spain, Mexico, Peru and Turkey to offer this service, and the first Spanish bank to give its customers access to all the information on their international payments. BBVA is now offering this service on its channel BBVA net cash, on the SWIFT FIN (MT101) channel and on the direct ‘host to host’ channel, through which its customers can enjoy the benefits of this initiative.

Since it was first launched in 2017, BBVA has performed seven million operations thanks to gpi, a volume totalling more than €4,5 trillion.

“At BBVA, we continue working to offer our customers the different services of added value that exist around the SWIFT gpi initiative. We continue our very active collaboration with SWIFT for everything that we think could add value to our customers and to our own internal management,” said Alberto Arilla, the head of the SWIFT Global Center in BBVA’s CIB area.

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