“World’s Best Digital Bank” DBS Launches Real Time Cross Border Payments Tracking Using SWIFT gpi

DBS, the Singapore based bank with a network of 280 branches across 18 key markets in Asia, today announced a partnership with bank messaging service SWIFT to use its Global Payments Innovation service (gpi) to offer 200,000 corporate and SME clients increased transaction visibility and speed for their overseas money transfer activities.

DBS is offering its clients in Singapore and Hong Kong access to SWIFT’s real-time cross-border payment tracking service at no extra cost, and says it hopes to roll out the service to clients in India, China, Indonesia and Taiwan within the next few months.

Group Head of Cash Product Management at DBS, Navinder Duggal, commented that “The DBS SWIFT gpi solution gives companies online visibility when tracking payments across more than 48 gpi banks across the globe and this is set to increase as more banks come on board.”

The partnership between DBS and SWIFT is in response to a perceived growth for efficient cross-border payments services by Asian SME’s who are increasingly looking grow their supply chains globally.

Duggal revealed that “Corporate cross-border payment volumes have increased by 25% in the last 12 months. Today one in four of all cross-border transactions are received by their beneficiaries in less than two hours, and we expect these volumes to rise,”

DBS says that transaction values across its “Priority Pay” network, which caters for instant cross border payment transactions across 6 major Asian markets have increased by 60% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, SWIFT has also conducted research that suggested 86% of corporate treasurers look for more efficient payment processes and quicker transaction speeds when selecting a bank for cross border payments.

DBS has certainly been paying close attention to trends within the money transfer industry, where most banks have been losing market share to smaller, newer, and more technologically advanced fintech challenger money transfer services. The bank enjoys a reputation for being tech savvy, having been recently named the “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney, as well as “Asia’s Best Bank”, and also “Asia’s Safest Bank.”

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DBS may have more in common with fintech challenger services than rival banks. This is a bank that has been listening to its customers and responding quickly to changes in the speed and nature of international money transfers, a key growth market both in Asia and globally.

It’s interesting that DBS has chosen to partner with SWIFT, rather than pursue a more “bleeding edge” tech solution, such as blockchain or bitcoin based technology. BBVA, for example have been testing Ripple’s x-Current money transfer protocol, which is built using blockchain tech, whilst many banks have backed another blockchain based solution, known as R3.

SWIFT has a fight on its hands to maintain its leading position in the financial messaging space, thanks to the emergence of a plethora of alternative technologies promising instant international money transfers as well as tracking technology and ultra-low transaction fees.

Thankfully, the ultimate beneficiaries of the ultra-competitive international money transfer market are SME businesses, corporates and individuals who can look forward to seeing a higher and higher percentage of the money they send abroad reach their intended destination, rather than being swallowed up by unfair fees and uncompetitive exchange rates.

But don’t forget, if you want to make sure you are getting the best deal you possibly can on your overseas money transfer, its always worth using a money transfer comparison site. Try to speak to an experienced broker, also. Their intimate knowledge of the FX markets means that more often than not, they will find you the cheapest and most efficient option.

There is simply no excuse for paying excessive money transfer fees, and it’s encouraging to see banks finally beginning to understand and respond to the challenge being laid down; lets hope more banks follow DBS’ lead.

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