Swift’s gpi Instant service has gone live for the first time in the UK, after Lloyds Bank switched on the service for its clients.

Launched in 2017, Swift’s gpi has increased the speed, transparency and tracking of cross-border payments through its network. On average, 40% of gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 30 minutes. However, delays come about when the final leg of the transaction needs to be cleared within the recipient country, due in part to local clearing systems’ limited operating hours.

Swift’s gpi Instant, which connects gpi to regional and domestic instant settlement systems, in this case the UK’s Faster Payments Service, is Swift’s way of getting around this issue.

After testing the idea in SingaporeAustralia and Europe, Swift officially launched gpi Instant in October last year, and subsequently began to invite institutions involved in the trials to progress to live operation. Lloyds, which together with Barclays, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DBS, Wells Fargo and BBVA carried out UK-based pilots earlier this year, has now become the first bank to do so.

“The gpi Instant service is set to be a game changer in cross-border payments and we are very excited to be the first bank globally to offer the service here into the UK,” says Ed Thurman, head of global transaction banking at Lloyds. “We already offer our financial institution clients access to the Faster Payments Service for their cross-border flow into the UK. The launch of Swift gpi Instant will make those transactions visible on the Swift gpi tracker.”

This latest development comes on the heels of Swift’s announcement in September of a dramatic overhaul of its core architecture to “fundamentally transform” payments processing. At the heart of the new strategy is an enhanced platform which will use APIs and cloud technology to provide a set of common processing services that banks have historically invested in individually, such as the pre-validation of essential data, fraud detection, data analytics, transaction tracking and exception case management.

With the total value of all cross-border payments expected to rise to US$250tn by 2027, according to consulting firm BCG, Swift says it can create tangible value addition by enabling instant, frictionless payments from account to account anywhere in the world, with faster speeds, clarity on fees and predictability on when an end beneficiary’s account will be credited.