Seamless, quick cash transfers are now something we take for granted. Sending instant payment to individuals and businesses, both home and abroad, now requires just a few taps on a screen. As simple as this process is for us, underlying the global payment system, hidden from view, is a complex mesh of technologies and service providers that we rarely need to think about. Perhaps foremost is SWIFT – or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – a messaging system that enables thousands of banks in over 200 countries to communicate financial transaction information in a standardised way. As the backbone of international transactions, launched in 1977, it has driven global interconnectedness and helped stimulate growth in emerging markets.
“Cross-border payments are the lifeblood of international trade, global economic growth, the smooth running of businesses and the remittances that sustain millions of people worldwide.” – The Banker magazine