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October 16, 2019

Current Problem Statement

The cross border transactions have historically been a puzzle for most of the banks as they cannot predict the exact time and fees to complete the transaction. Moreover, it becomes very difficult to track the payment once it goes out of the processing bank. The involvement of multiple banks (generally referred as correspondent banks) across countries in a single transaction makes it difficult to manage due to lack of common standards and regulation.

In today's world, where consumers from all segments are time sensitive it has been a constant demand from the banks and corporates to realize the cross border funds quickly, easily and relatively inexpensively.

How SWIFT GPI works

To address the above challenges, SWIFT has introduced an initiative called SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation (SWIFT GPI). By joining all participants in a payment chain through a Unique End to End Tracking Reference (UETR), SWIFT GPI can improve the availability, transparency and tracking of payments. This UETR is a 36 figure long globally unique identifier open source code which has to be included in the header of the messages by all the banks in the payment chain. Banks can request the status of the payment through an API call or MT199 to the SWIFT cloud along with the UETR to track the payment in real time.

Business Benefits

  • Availability of funds on the same day
  • Greater transparency on the fees which are levied by different banks
  • Complete tracking of payments in the payment chain
  • No alteration on the remittance information included in the payment by banks in the chain

Services delivered by SWIFT currently:

  • Tracker, Directory, and Observer.


SWIFT has successfully tested a trial recently on SWIFT GPI Instant for cross border payments in FAST which is Singapore`s domestic instant payment service. It involved 11 countries where the payment was sent to six banks in Singapore and the payments were processed domestically through FAST system.

All the cross border payments settled within 25 seconds of the initiation.

How HCL can help

SWIFT GPI will be the standard for all cross-border payments by the end of 2020 and it has already mandated to include the GPI information for all SWIFT users regardless of the GPI membership. Despite the huge benefits and regulatory compliance, Banks would find difficult to implement the change due to upgrade in the back office legacy systems and support of the workflow.

With a dedicated Payment Solutions team of more than 150 experts, HCL has helped banks and financial services of all sizes in implementing GPI as per the rule book, helping them significantly reduce time to market. HCL provides a comprehensive solution to build overlay services and integrate with the existing infrastructure.

Some of the key offerings of HCL:

Integration Partner Build strong business case Creating strong business cases for the internal stake holders to generate short term and long term strategic opportunity
Understanding of GPI Rule Book In depth understanding of SWIFT GPI as per the rulebook to comply with the regulation.
Define the implementation strategy Defining the implementation strategy based on the size and complexity of the bank and FIs.
Provide and Support IT delivery Gathering requirement, design, development and testing activities (including automation) of the implementation.


Solution Partner Develop user friendly interface Developing simple user friendly interface in-house which will help to track all the payments through single interface
Enquire functionality with enhanced search parameters Additional parameters to expand the search criteria for operations and customers
Channel agnostic solution Access GPI information through any channels of the banks through API
Build new workflows New additional workflow for different payment scenarios
Status updates reconciliation Different status updates from the GPI tracker is reconciled with the original payment and statuses are mapped to user understandable formats.
Bespoke and configurable GPI reports Wide range of GPI reports for customer, back office and management
Bespoke and configurable notifications Configurable notifications for the payments which are struck in SWIFT Alliance Access (SAA), SWIFT Alliance Gateway (SAG) and other SWIFT infrastructure during payment processing


Future Roadmap

  • GPI cover (202 Cov/205 Cov) messages to track payments where there is no direct relationship between sender and the receiver.
  • Send rich payments data along with the payments to enable quicker reconciliation
  • GpI Stop and Recall to facility to quickly stop and recall a suspected or erroneous payment.
  • SWIFT GPI is also exploring distributed ledger technology (DLT) for cross border transactions.

The current and future functionalities, including those involving distributed ledger technology, would immensely help the entire ecosystem and HCL would continue to be a pivotal integration and solution partner of SWIFT global payments innovation.

Read how HCL helped banks and financial services of all sizes in implementing SWIFT GPI as per the rule book by helping them significantly reduce time to market. @hclfs #SWIFTGPI #GlobalPaymentInnovation #paymenttechnologies