Diamond Trust Bank, a major banking group in East African Community (EAC) has become the first East African bank to go live on SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) service.
Gpi is a rapid cross-border payments service that includes real-time payments tracking and transparency on transaction fees and foreign exchange rates.
The bank’s EAC active operations are in Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The widespread adoption of SWIFT gpi has been driven by demand for a faster, more transparent cross-border payments service.
Around 40% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end-beneficiaries within five minutes. Half are credited within 30 minutes; three quarters within six hours; and almost 100% within 24 hours.
The service also enables clients to track the status of their payments from end-to-end, and provides an unprecedented level of visibility into each payment – including information about each participant in the payment chain and any fees that have been deducted.
Suraj Shah, Head Of Centralised Operations, Diamond Trust Bank, said: “Reducing friction in cross-border payments is a priority for us and our clients. As the first East African bank to go live on gpi, we are now offering our corporate customers faster, more transparent and traceable cross-border payments. SWIFT gpi addresses some of the biggest challenges around cross-border payments and makes the process simpler for all parties.”
Denis Kruger, Head of Sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT said: “I am delighted that Diamond Trust Bank is live on gpi and will be able to extend the benefits to its customers. We are very proud of the value that gpi delivers to the financial industry by tackling the frictions, costs and delays associated with cross-border payments. We look forward to seeing other banks in East Africa follow suit.”
SWIFT gpi is already carrying over $300bn a day in 148 currencies across more than 1,100 country corridors. More than $40trn was transferred over the service in 2018.
More than 3,500 banks, accounting for 85% of SWIFT’s total payments traffic, have committed to adopting gpi, evidencing how the service has achieved the near total transformation of the cross-border payments landscape just two years since launch.
Following the SWIFT community’s recent endorsement of global gpi adoption, SWIFT gpi will be the standard for all cross-border payments by the end of 2020.