11th Nov 2021

What is SWIFT gpi? AccessPay’s Role in Developing Inbound Payment Tracking

We’ve written before about the corporate value of SWIFT gpi and the waves it’s making throughout the finance landscape, but let’s take a step back – what is SWIFT gpi?

And more pertinently, what is AccessPay’s relationship with it? (spoiler: it’s significant).

Back in 2017, SWIFT launched what would become the new norm in cross-border payments: SWIFT gpi (Global Payments Innovation).

Today, gpi has accrued a certain ubiquity among large-scale businesses and banks, with over 4,000 financial institutions signed up and a frankly staggering $300+ billion sent on it every single day.

Despite this, many corporates remain unaware of its benefits, or even its existence – so let’s get started.


Just to Recap: What’s a SWIFT?

We know you’re most likely here as an industry insider, but our sector’s reliance on acronyms can be daunting to say the least.

SWIFT simply stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a secure payment messaging network for international transactions created way back in the 1970s.

Accounting for over 11,000 financial institutions, chances are if you’ve ever made an international payment, it was with SWIFT.

Until recently, though, cross-border payments remained plagued by inconsistencies, frustrations, and setbacks. On your money’s long, lonely journey between banks, not only would you not be able to view its progress, but it was also historically subject to seemingly inexplicable delays (many likely caused by human error and solvable via payment automation) and fees.


SWIFT gpi – the Evolution of Payment Tracking

As the Bank of England notes, “faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive cross-border payment services would bring widespread benefits for citizens and economies around the world.”

Not only this, but “the value of cross-border payments is estimated to increase from almost $150 trillion in 2017 to over $250 trillion by 2027, equating to a rise of over $100 trillion in just 10 years.”

Put simply, cross-border payments are growing – and so the technology it’s predicated on must too.

Thankfully, SWIFT gpi is a modern solution for our contemporary age of instant gratification.

Sweating over a delay in your banking operations? Check in with gpi. Just fancy tracking the progress of your payment as it shoots across the globe? Check in with gpi.

There are two elements at play here: outbound and inbound tracking.

Outbound tracking, or Pay and Trace, provides corporates with the ability to generate their own unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR) and presents a payment status report that allows for real-time payment tracking – fees, delays and all.

This is presented in XML format, meaning it can be plugged directly into your ERP systems  (which then, through AccessPay, would be linked straight to your banks).

Failed transfers are costly, and SWIFT gpi can help mitigate the number of cancelled or unsuccessful cross-border payments through providing reassurance to corporates.




Inbound tracking, on the other hand, is perhaps equally as self-explanatory.

Imagine your boss has said you’ll be paid on the final day of the month, but the payment is late. You’d be left wondering where the money has ended up, or whether it was sent at all.

As far as you’re concerned, inbound tracking is mitigating something that is likely inherently more urgent and stressful, as it’s money that you’re owed your business is waiting on.

It functions much the same as outbound tracking; as well as allowing you to secure proof of payment and increasing your visibility of funds, inbound tracking allows you to reconcile your payments more efficiently.

All in all, gpi is a service lauded by AccessPay’s Head of Product, Mike Doherty.

“SWIFT gpi for corporates (G4C) is a valuable extension to the SWIFT for corporates platform. Within the world of outbound and inbound payments there is always that element of uncertainty from a payment being submitted to receipt by the final beneficiary”


What Are the Benefits?

While the usefulness of SWIFT gpi may already be apparent, the organisation themselves outline a few of the key corporate banking operations factors that its development contributes towards.

  • Speed: nearly 50% of payments are credited within 30 minutes and over 90% are credited within 24 hours.
  • Transparency: imagine if tracking your payments (stressful) was as simple as checking in on the progress of your Amazon order (not stressful)? That’s the idea.
  • Security: with increased transparency comes increased security – a benefit for customers, too. Reliable payments build client trust and encourage greater use of your services.


AccessPay – Winners of SWIFT’s Global gpi Industry Challenge

Sounds pretty helpful, right?

It is – but what if we told you that AccessPay had a direct role in its creation?

Back in September 2017, SWIFT hosted an industry challenge workshop in Singapore for five start-ups to discuss the current challenges faced by those making daily cross-border payments.

Supported by 40 representatives from 30 gpi banks globally, the event was designed as an opportunity to brainstorm how FinTechs could expand upon the precedent set by gpi, further innovating and revolutionising  these international transactions.

As it turns out, AccessPay were one of two winners – alongside Australia’s Assembly Payments – bagging a €100,000 prize to help further their concept.

Remember when explained that SWIFT gpi has two elements?

Before AccessPay, this wasn’t the case.

Up until their Global gpi Industry Challenge, SWIFT hadn’t considered the role of inbound payment tracking, which was very much the brainchild of AccessPay.

For succeeding in the Industry Challenge with the proposal of inbound tracking, AccessPay were awarded £100,000 to further its development.


Cross-Border Payment Visibility with AccessPay

Best of all, AccessPay’s platform is able to offer full access to this information.

“A key benefit of AccessPay’s solution is the ability for customers to track the time a payment spends at each hop in the transfer journey”, Mike further explains.

“This valuable insight may enable customers to identify effective routing strategies as payments are very often time critical.

“Finance and treasury professionals can benefit from AccessPay’s implementation and support of G4C, tracking their outbound and inbound cross-border payments using enriched status information as they travel through the intermediary bank landscape”, he elaborates.

“This valuable, real-time journey information, including associated payment fees, is tracked using a unique end-to-end transaction reference number (UETR), and presented on AccessPay’s easy-to-use payments portal.”

To learn more about our solution, book a demo today or join our partner programme.

Alternatively, stay tuned to the AccessPay Knowledge Hub to learn more about the financial landscape’s key topics.