The global payments network Swift says it’s open to using distributed ledger technology – but don’t hold your breath on the payments giant using Ripple and XRP anytime soon.
In a new interview with CNBC’s Crypto Trader, Swift Asia Pacific managing director Lisa O’Connor says some of its members are using DLT to power their infrastructure, but Swift does not plan to directly utilize the tech to settle bank-to-bank transfers.
“There is work that’s going on from a market infrastructure perspective. Our stakeholders are looking at that. We’d be very open to working with DLT platforms who are looking at that. But we are not in the market ourselves to do things like multi-lateral netting, to do clearing of transactions. That’s not what Swift does. At our core, we are a platform, and we are a place where we could connect up potentially to those infrastructures. I think that it’s really interesting, everything that’s gone on in the payments space around DLT.”
When asked if Swift is worried that Ripple and XRP will challenge its dominance in the world of finance, O’Connor said many issues with cross-border payments have already been overcome.
“I would just say that I think the numbers speak for themselves, in that the old days of it taking several days to make a payment cross-border don’t exist anymore. It’s down to minutes and/or seconds even directly connecting to real-time payment systems. So those old days are gone.
And outside of that, Swift has something called GPI, the Global Payments Innovation. And this Global Payments Innovation is all around making payments fast, transparent and taking the friction out of this process. And I would say the numbers speak for themselves in that $300 billion a day is done across the Swift network.”
In January, Swift announced it will link its GPI to R3’s blockchain-based Corda Settler platform in a proof of concept. Corda Settler is designed to settle transactions between crypto and traditional assets on a distributed ledger, and is utilizing XRP as its first crypto payment rail.
Despite the proof of concept, R3 founder David Rutter told Decrypt that Swift is not likely to utilize XRP on Corda Settler.
“You’d have to ask SWIFT about that, but that is not at all my understanding, and I think that is a misinterpretation of what in fact happened.”