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SWIFT, R3 open gpi to e-commerce and DLT platforms

January 30, 2019

SWIFT detailed a proof-of-concept (PoC) to trial gpi Link, a gateway to interlink ecommerce and trading platforms with SWIFT gpi – the new standard in cross-border payments.

gpi Link will seamlessly connect gpi members to multiple trade platforms thereby enabling gpi payment initiation, end-to-end payment tracking, payer authentication and credit confirmation.

The gateway will enable the continuous monitoring and control of payment flows and the subsequent movement of goods by those trade platforms, while to ensure global integration and interoperability it will support application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as SWIFT and ISO standards.

The first stage of the PoC will work on R3’s leading blockchain platform, Corda, and aims to bring the benefits of gpi payments’ speed, ubiquity and certainty to distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled trade. The PoC addresses the need for DLT-based commerce to be supported by global, fast, secure and transparent settlement using fiat currencies by enabling ‘off-ledger’ payment settlement based on gpi.

In the PoC, corporates using the R3 platform will be able to authorise payments from their banks via gpi Link; gpi payments will be settled by the corporates’ banks, and the resulting credit confirmations will be reported back to the trade platforms via gpi Link on completion.

While the PoC initially addresses R3’s DLT-based trade environment, it will be extended to support other DLT, non-DLT and e-commerce trade platforms.

Luc Meurant, SWIFT’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “All trade platforms require tight linkages with trusted, fast and secure cross-border payments mechanisms such as gpi. While DLT-enabled trade is taking off, there is still little appetite for settlement in crypto-currencies and a pressing need for fast and safe settlement in fiat currencies. With gpi Link, banks will be able to provide rapid, transparent settlement services to e-commerce and trading platforms, opening up whole new ecosystems to the speed, security, ubiquity and transparency of gpi and enabling them to grow and prosper in the new digital economy. Given the adoption of the Corda platform by trade ecosystems, it was a natural choice to run this proof of concept with R3.”

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said: “Following the recent launch of our Corda Settler, allowing for the payment of obligations raised on the Corda platform, it was a logical extension to plug into SWIFT gpi. SWIFT gpi has rapidly become the new standard to settle payments right across the world. All the blockchain applications running on Corda will thus benefit from the fast, secure and transparent settlement provided through the SWIFT gpi banks.”
SWIFT gpi, which is supported by hundreds of banks around the world, including more than 50 of the world’s top banks, is playing a transformational role in changing the cross-border payments experience for banks and corporates and enabling in excess of $300 billion worth of payments every day. Thanks to gpi, cross-border payments are now typically made within minutes or even seconds, with over 50 per cent of SWIFT gpi payments credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes. With the gpi Link, trade platforms will be able to seamlessly integrate gpi into their platforms, extending the benefits of gpi to a wider range of corporates
and markets.

SWIFT’s PoC will include bank and corporate participants. A prototype will be demonstrated at Sibos in London in September 2019.

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