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SWIFT announces trial integration with R3 blockchain platform

Luc Meurant, Chief Marketing Officer, SWIFT

The interbank messaging service, SWIFT has decided to start testing its gpi payments standard on R3’s blockchain platform Corda. It will later extend support to other distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled and non-DLT-enables trade platforms as well.

In its initial phase, the Proof of Concept (PoC) will enable corporates on R3’s platform to authorise payments from their banks via gpi. The gpi payments will be settled by banks and the resulting credit confirmations will be reported back to the trade platforms via gpi on completion.

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.

“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,” said Luc Meurant, chief marketing officer, SWIFT.

The PoC will include bank and corporate participants. A prototype will be demonstrated at Sibos in London in September 2019, SWIFT 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,” said David E Rutter, chief executive officer, R3.

David Rutter, chief executive officer, R3

The blockchain software startup is working with more than 300 members and partners across industries. R3 has a team of over 190 professionals in 13 countries, supported by over 2000 technology, financial, and legal experts. Its Corda platform is being used across financial services, healthcare, shipping and insurance among other sectors.

SWIFT said it also plans to interlink e-commerce platforms. The new “gpi Link” gateway will enable trade platforms to offer settlement of payments by gpi banks. It will also allow gpi capabilities to be embedded into e-commerce and other trading platforms.

“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,” Meurant added.

The gpi Link will connect members to multiple trade platforms enabling gpi payment initiation, end-to-end payment tracking, payer authentication and credit confirmation. The gateway will also 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 APIs as well as SWIFT and ISO standards.

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