SWIFT Chief Announcement: Trial DLT Integration With R3

As recently announced, the global banking payments network SWIFT is entering the phase of testing its GPI payments standard through R3’s Corda platform.
The CEO of SWIFT, Gottfried Leibbrandt, has announced the integration with R3 during his speech on the Paris Fintech Forum. The company has also clarified that the “integration” refers to a trial that will connect SWIFT’s GPI Link gateway with R3’s Corda platform. This will enable them to monitor payment flows and support application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as maintain SWIFT and ISO standards.

Through the integration of SWIFT GPI directly to Corda Settler, which allows Corda blockchain users to initiate and settle payments via traditional and blockchain-based means, the obligations created on Corda will be settled through the SWIFT GPI network.
During the trial, those using the R3 platform will be given the opportunity to authorize payments from their banks through GPI Link. The payments will be settled by the relevant banks and the reports of credit confirmation will be sent back to trade platforms upon completion. Initially, the trial addressed R3’s trade environment, but it has been announced that other distributed ledger technology and e-commerce platforms will also be supported.

David E. Rutter, the CEO of R3, has contributed to the discussion by adding that plugging into SWIFT GPI was a logical extension for the Corda Settler. The SWIFT system has established itself as a new global standard of payments settlement. Therefore, the blockchain applications running on Corda will benefits greatly from this fast and secure payment settlement system. Transparent cross-border payments are essential for the success of all trade platforms, mainly those dealing with fiat currencies, and the GPI mechanism is an ideal tool. With the latter, banks will have an opportunity to provide the necessary high-level settlement services to e-commerce and trading platforms. Therefore, it may be considered an absolutely rational and logical choice to run this proof of concept with R3.

Interestingly, Leibbrandt was also onstage with Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, that has been expressing opinions about the aging architecture of the SWIFT network. Not many are familiar with the fact that Corda Settler was essentially supposed to facilitate global crypto-currency settlements, using Ripple’s XRP. This is quite a rapprochement as now Ripple and R3 seem to have established a closer alignment after having gone through a legal dispute.