Perhaps a bit of a surprising announcement posted in Finextra has the CBUAE (the Central Bank of the UAE) adopting SWIFT’s gpi Tracker for inbound payments using the UAE Funds Transfer System, which is an RTGS system, akin to Fedwire in the U.S.
While this is a continuation of the trend towards faster, cheaper, transparent, and just easier cross-border payments, we know that gpi has been adopted by more than 4,000 banks worldwide. The original goal was to have all SWIFT banks (10,000 or so) signed up by end of 2020, but COVID likely got in the way of that ambition).
‘The improvement in the functionality of UAEFTS will include the ability for the sending bank to track payments in real-time until they are credited to the final beneficiary’s customer account in the UAE. This will provide maximum visibility on ongoing cross-border transactions.…Dr. Sabri Al Azazi, Chief Operating Officer of the Central Bank of the UAE, said: “We are delighted to launch this initiative as it further enhances the attractiveness of the UAE financial market, strengthens the interoperability between international and domestic payment systems and increases transparency to offer best-in-class customer service.” ‘
The surprising thing from our perspective is that, according to the piece, this is the first case globally of a central bank integrating with SWIFT gpi. There is no real detail in the posting, so we don’t know if there is a heavy ISO 20022 conversion in the integration process, which is likely why other CBs have not yet proceeded, but we don’t know for sure. In any event, an interesting milestone, and we’ll see what follows.
‘Mr. David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer, SWIFT, added: “The implementation of this project will improve the experience of financial institutions and their customers that send payments to the UAE from across the globe. It is also the first one of its kind and we look forward to bringing this concept to other markets.” ‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group