Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) recently became the first local bank to launch the SWIFT global payment innovation (SWIFT gpi), an advanced payment method using modern digital tools for traceable and swifter cross-border payments.

International money transfers from the Philippines can now be as quick as a few minutes. This is a huge improvement compared to existing outward remittance channels which can take up to several days for money to be transferred from one bank in another country to a BPI account and vice versa.

“This is a great benefit for our retail and corporate customers with cross-border funds transfer transactions. SWIFT gpi will allow us to offer an efficient and secure method of sending and receiving money that is traceable and with a much quicker turnaround time,” said Head of BPI Remittance Noel Tagaza.

He added that companies that have frequent international payment transactions will be better able to manage payments, now that international transactions are more predictable. About 46% of BPI outward cross-border transactions are processed within 10 minutes.

SWIFT gpi facilitates international payments across banks through a single channel without convoluted arrangements that may lead to additional costs and longer processing time. Transactions are traceable through the SWIFT gpi tracking facility. Payments still go through the usual screening for anti-money laundering and fraud to ensure the integrity of the transactions.

”I am pleased to welcome BPI to SWIFT gpi. As the first Filipino bank to go live on gpi, BPI offers the local business community a new and exciting standard for cross-border payments, to deliver faster, more transparent and traceable payments. Companies, in particular those handling large volumes of remittances, will now find it possible to track their gpi payments in real-time with and receive confirmation of credit across multiple banks, towards more efficient treasury management systems,” said Bernard Woodruff, SWIFT Country Manager in Malaysia and the Philippines.

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