Recent survey from SWIFT and EuroFinancerevealscorporates wish list for enhancements in cross-border payments.

Unveiled at the EuroFinance International Conference in Barcelona, the survey, The future of payments: a corporate treasury perspective, gauged the views of 300 treasury professionals from corporations worldwide, ranging from SMEs to global corporations, in 18 different industries.

The survey results identify pressing issues such as the current lack ofpayments traceability and confirmation of credit, the lack of visibility on the bank fees deducted from transactions and theinconsistencies between the amount sent and amount received by the beneficiary.

The majority of the surveyed corporate treasury professionals place real-time tracking at the top of their list of enhancements, followed by more consistency between bank payment processes and better visibility on banking fees.

“Corporates expect greater transparency in cross-border payments. They want to know what is happening with the payment and when it has been credited on the beneficiary’s account. Until now, this has not been the case. This survey confirms the relevance of SWIFT gpi,because of its ability toaddress these key painpoints”, commented Wim Raymaekers, Head of Banking Market and SWIFT gpi at SWIFT.

Treasurers also gave their views about working with alternative payment providers. Despite the hype surrounding this topic, only 8% of participants are currently using alternative payment providers for their cross-border payments. Also, the majority of respondents have no plans to use alternative solutions. The main concern they see with new payment solutions are scalability, security, regulatory oversight and standardisation.

Khaled Moharem, Head of Middle East and North Africa at SWIFT, says: “We see more treasurers in the region looking for solutions for real-time payments tracking and better visibility on cross-border transactions. Many Middle East banks are responding by signing up to gpi. We already have 11 banks from the region on board including Mashreq Bank from the UAE and NCB from Saudi Arabia. They are joining more than 100 leading banks from around the world to deliver more transparent and quicker payments to their customers.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

·         Sixty-four percent of treasurers said they want real-time payments tracking, while 42% are looking for instant payments;

·         Gaining visibility on the cost and deductions from a transaction (47%)and reducing and optimising exceptions and investigation handling (41%) are also high on the list;

·         When choosing a bank partner for cross-border payments, 86% of treasurers cited the need for efficient payment processes and effective customer support. Other criteria included competitive pricing and transparent charges, as well as extended global coverage;

·         Payment innovation was referenced as a priority when selecting a bank by only 30% of treasurers, suggesting that innovation for its own sake is a relatively low priority compared to innovation leveraged to address fundamental concerns and needs.

“SWIFT is continuously engaging with corporates in order to understand their priorities and challenges. The recently launched SWIFT gpiservice addresses many of the main topics cited by treasurers, in particular real-time payments tracking. This is the ideal foundation to make international payments more efficient for corporates and we are working very closely with banks and corporates to fully embed SWIFTgpi into their core processes”, commented Marc Delbaere, Head of Corporates and Supply Chain at SWIFT.



SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.


About EuroFinance

EuroFinance run more than 50 events worldwide, they enable treasurers and CFOs to exchange innovative strategies, best practice and expert opinion.

Through their in-depth research with over 2,000 corporate treasurers every year, EuroFinance has a unique insight into the trends and developments in cash management and treasury, and an unrivalled global viewpoint. EuroFinance is an Economist Group business.


Source: Borouj Consulting