SWIFT has announced the launch of a new payments initiative, and its Innotribe startup initiative will be a big part of it.
According to SWIFT, the goal is to improve the business-to-business and cross-border payments experience.
Innotribe, the startup competition SWIFT began in 2009, has promoted a number of companies (such as KlickEx) whose business model is a direct threat — or close complement, depending on one’s viewpoint — to SWIFT, without letting those companies inside SWIFT’s walls.
In December, SWIFT announced its global payments innovation initiative, which includes 46 global banks. The idea is to make global payments faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more predictable. The initiative’s pilot program includes 20 of those 46 banks.
The pilot will explore a new set of business rules and software meant to improve the payments process. Banks that adhere to the new standard will provide faster, cheaper service, the company says.
Also, 2017 will see “further adoption and engagement,” and a product should be available for member banks to deploy. SWIFT hopes the number of participating banks, which now numbers about 0.5% of its approximately 9.000 bank partners, will have grown significantly by then.
Additional features are planned, such as adding rich data to SWIFT messages. Initially that will be limited to tweet-length messages — 140 characters — but it will still allow for innovation, such as the addition of invoice numbers to payments. More data will be added over time.
Moreover, in May through September 2016, SWIFT will assemble its “Vision” team, which will help develop ideas for the future including blockchain technology.