Paying Here & Abroad
International Payments

Gear up for the future with SWIFT gpi

Published on 31.08.2022

In just a few years, SWIFT gpi has become the new standard for international payments, providing customers with real-time tracking of payments and visibility over the banks involved, their fees and applicable FX rates.

BNP Paribas, as one of the early joiners of the initiative, has focused on giving its customers direct access to the various SWIFT gpi services in the maximum number of geographies.

In 2022, the bank deployed the full suite of gpi services in four additional countries: Ireland, Portugal, Denmark and Norway, and a fifth one, the UK, should be fully activated in just a few weeks. This makes a total of 16 countries that currently benefit from the full offering of our gpi services, plus four additional countries that also propose a partial offer. BNP Paribas has one of the largest scope of gpi-compliant countries in Europe and also offers gpi services in the US and Canada.

This means that over 90% of our international flows can be tracked worldwide via SWIFT gpi, representing a yearly average of several million transactions.

The full suite of SWIFT gpi services available to BNP Paribas customers includes the gpi metroline in our e-banking tools, to track both outgoing and incoming cross-border payments, our exclusive feature called BENEtracker, to notify beneficiaries of incoming payments from BNP Paribas and allow them to track these payments in real-time, as well as the gpi for corporates (g4C) service, for BNP Paribas clients who wish to integrate SWIFT gpi information directly into their ERP or TMS.

In our global e-banking tool Connexis Cash, Inbound Tracking, which allows BNP Paribas clients to get upfront visibility on inbound payments before they reach their account, is now enhanced with a brand new email alerting feature. Users no longer need to log into Connexis Cash to check if there are inbound cross-border payments to trace. They only need to set up the alert feature to be notified by email of the transaction details, as soon as an incoming payment is released on the SWIFT network by the ordering bank.

Connexis Cash users have the possibility to receive a new notification for each status update and can customise the alerts based on different criteria: BICs, accounts, or UETR (unique end-to-end transaction reference), in combination with amount, date range and status.

Another exclusive feature available in Connexis Cash is the Counterparty Advice functionality, which enables customers to generate a PDF that contains both the transaction details (ordering and receiving parties, amount, value date, references…) and a link to the BENEtracker portal. This PDF can be sent directly from Connexis Cash to the payment beneficiary who can monitor the progress of the transactions in real-time, until their account has been credited, just like following a parcel delivery.

SWIFT gpi has been a real gamechanger for the cross-border payment ecosystem, and through the use of these additional features – which are available in Connexis Cash without additional costs - corporates can further enhance their payment strategy and stay one step ahead by anticipating other upcoming changes in the payment industry, such as the interbank migration to ISO20022.

By proactively sharing the BENEtracker link with counterparties enabling them to benefit from the real-time gpi tracking, and by using Inbound Tracking to be notified of future incoming payments from the moment they are executed, there is no need to use a copy MT103 anymore as proof of payment. This proof of execution is delivered automatically to corporates through Inbound Tracking, with useful additional details for reconciliation such as fees charged by corresponding banks.

The same logic applies to BENEtracker – allowing counterparties of BNP Paribas payers to track their payment in real-time: BENEtracker is a more powerful tool than sending them the MT103 copy of the executed payment (which only proves the payment has been delivered to the next bank in the payment chain, but does not indicate what happens to the payment beyond this stage in the process). If the payment is delayed or blocked at an intermediary bank, or if it has been rejected for any reason, this information will be visible through ourSWIFT gpi metroline and BENEtracker, making it far superior to an MT103 copy.

Moreover, the usage of MT103 copies will further diminish with the ISO20022 migration. Starting November 2022 until 2025, clearing systems and interbank communications will gradually move from the traditional MT format to the richer XML format of ISO20022, which ultimately will make MT103 obsolete and hence, not available anymore. Some banks might propose a copy of the PACS.008 message (ISO2022 equivalent of MT103), but this format is less user-friendly to read and requires a translation tool to view the transaction details in a readable format.

But again, whether it is in MT or XML format, the proof of execution from the ordering bank is only the first step in the payment chain, whereas SWIFT gpi tools provide end-to-end and real-time visibility on the payment status.

So, the time is just right for you to gear up for the future and start using our SWIFT gpi services today!