15 African banks sign on to SWIFT gpi cross-border payments  

15 African banks sign on to SWIFT gpi cross-border payments  

SWIFT’s global payments innovation system (gpi) is live for four of the African banks—FirstRand Bank, ABSA Bank, Nedbank, and Standard Bank South Africa. The gpi system in Africa is working particularly well, with 70% of payments being credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking at SWIFT, says the gpi not only enables banks to quickly make payments but provides added value to their customers because they can ship goods in  a more expedited manner and engage shorter supply cycles. “This is a very significant step forward for banks and for their customers,” says Newman.

And the African banks where the service is already live are enthusiastic about the system. Indrees Kolabhai, head of cash management at Standard Bank South Africa, praises the service for giving his bank the opportunity to offer its customers “a cross-border payments service that is second to none”. Prominent individuals at Nedbank, FirstRand, and ABSA Bank also note the services’ efficiency, transparency, and ability to make African banks more competitive in the realm of cross-border payments.

The addition of 15 African banks is part of an enormous adoption of the service. Since launching mid-2017, 165 banks have signed on, of which 49 are number amongst the globe’s leading banks. Stephan Grainger, head of UK, Ireland, and Nordics at SWIFT remarked on this trend in reference to HSBC joining the ranks of gpi users by saying, “Having yet another of the world’s largest banking and financial organizations go live with SWIFT gpi is a testament to the service, which is quickly becoming the gold standard for international payments.”

This rapid adoption by banks all over the world could be seen as a consequence of the service’s ability to provide extremely fast payments, with 50% of payments being credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes, and 100% nearly 100% in 24 hours.

By Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst

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