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Sibos 2023: Visa and Swift Collaborate to Boost Cross-Border B2B Money Transfers

Visa and Swift have joined forces to streamline international business-to-business (B2B) payments. The partnership aims to strengthen connectivity between their global networks, with a focus on providing financial institutions and their clients more options for cross-border money transfers while enhancing the overall speed and transparency of such transactions.

The joint effort, unveiled at the annual Sibos conference in Toronto, marks a concerted attempt by Visa and Swift to address the complexities and challenges that often accompany cross-border payments. Key elements of this collaboration include the integration of Swift’s capabilities into Visa’s B2B Connect platform.

Visa B2B Connect is a global cross-border B2B payment solution that leverages Visa’s network and security measures. It enables businesses to efficiently authenticate and oversee cross-border B2B payments with features such as real-time tracking, faster payment processing and strong monitoring tools. Since its launch in October 2022, Visa B2B Connect has gained over 30 bank clients in more than 20 countries, facilitating payments to 90 countries worldwide.

One notable feature of this collaboration is the implementation of Swift Payment Pre-validation. This functionality allows for upfront checks on Visa B2B Connect payments, potentially reducing delays by identifying and rectifying errors before the payment initiation. Additionally, the partnership will leverage high-speed Swift GPI capabilities and tracking data to provide better visibility into the entire transaction process.

Visa’s connection to Swift will occur through Alliance Cloud, a cloud-based channel known for its scalability and security when connecting to Swift’s network, including messaging services, standards, and solutions.

Swift currently facilitates secure transactions among more than 11,500 institutions in over 200 countries, handling an amount roughly equivalent to the world GDP every three days. Eighty-nine per cent of cross-border payments are processed over Swift within an hour, placing its transaction speed ahead of the G20’s end-to-end target of 75 per cent by 2027.

Addressing challenges

Chris Newkirk, global head of commercial and money movement solutions at Visa, highlighted the potential benefits of this partnership, saying: “Many businesses continue to face complexities while making cross-border payments that hurt their bottom lines. By working with Swift, Visa will help enhance our financial institution clients’ offerings to their corporate customers. The collaboration will help provide clarity and enhanced data, while removing errors before, during and after the payment.”

Thierry Chilosi, chief strategy officer at Swift, also acknowledged the rising expectations regarding international payments. “Expectations for international payments are rising as the complexity of moving money across borders is intensifying. Our work with Visa helps address both challenges, providing new connectivity and capabilities in the backend to drive exciting innovation in front-end customer channels.

“It’s part of our strategic focus on payment optionality, enabling value in all forms to move seamlessly around the world with strong peace of mind on security and trust and, through collaborations like this, consistently elevating the customer experience.”

The central aim of this partnership is to offer financial institutions on both networks more routing options for their business clients. In a world where financial systems often face fragmentation, Visa and Swift intend to play a role in maintaining a connected financial infrastructure that prioritises security, resilience, reliability, and compliance.

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