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EBA Clearing, Swift and TCH test instant cross-border payments

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Banks from both sides of the Atlantic have successfully exchanged real-time cross-border payment messages as part of a proof-of-concept trial conducted with Swift, EBA Clearing and The Clearing House.

The PoC was performed as part of a new initiative, dubbed Immediate Cross-Border Payments (IXB), that demonstrates the ability to synchronise settlement in one domestic instant payment system with settlement in the other and convert real-time messages between both systems.

Eleven global banks contributed to the design, with seven banks – Bank of America, BBVA Group, Citi, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, J.P. Morgan and PNC Bank – participating in the proof of concept, where the banks successfully exchanged payment and confirmation of receipt messages.

The platform conforms to the Financial Stability Board’s October 2020 roadmap for boosting cross-border payments, which have traditionally been slow, expensive and unreliable.

“By leveraging the RTP network in the United States and (EBA Clearing’s) RT1 in Europe, along with ISO 200022 message formats, IXB demonstrates that a faster cross-border payments capability is possible and can be delivered using existing technology,” says Russ Waterhouse, EVP for product development and Strategy at The Clearing House. “By utilising existing faster payments systems, financial institutions can leverage existing processes, protocols and technology to make the user experience seamless across payment types, whether domestic or cross border.”

Having proved the concept, EBA Clearing, Swift and TCH plan to begin work on developing a working model that can be replicated across other currency corridors and payment systems.

Similar initiatives are already underway in other jurisdictions, with Singapore beginning a phased linkage of its PayNow plumbing with Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems and India’s Unified Payment Interface, building on a bilateral tie-up that was first implemented with Thailand’s PromptPay in April 2020.

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