The three reasons why you should upgrade your SWIFT interface now – Cyber, Standards and Effortless Payments

Transform your payments process and reinforce security by upgrading to Release 7.2 or its equivalent

The financial industry is operating in a constant state of change. Our customers expect fast, trackable and transparent payment services – delivered securely, and in compliance with all relevant regulations. As an industry, we must be able to satisfy these demands and deliver a service that truly meets their needs. Our clients must be centric to all of our actions.

SWIFT is collaborating with the financial community to reinforce security and deliver upon payment innovation in the live environment. The Customer Security Programme (CSP) is hardening the security of the global financial community by creating a security baseline for all SWIFT users; and, SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) is a once in a generation transformation of the cross-border payments industry – enabling fast, transparent and traceable global payments.

Upgrading your SWIFT interface systems will help your institution to meet the requirements of these critical initiatives. This is how it will help:

1. Running supported software will enable you to comply with the CSP’s Mandatory Security Control 2.2

You’ll need to run Release 7.2 or its equivalent on all your systems – including backup & disaster recovery systems – in order to comply with the CSP’s Mandatory Security Control 2.2.

Of course you must also ensure that your SWIFT infrastructure is in full compliance with the mandatory security controls in SWIFT’s Customer Security Controls Framework – and re-attest to this effect by the end of the year.  

2. Upgrading your interface systems prepares you to meet requirements for Standard MT Release 2018 and gpi universal tracking

The functional upgrades in the interface software (Alliance Access/Entry release 7.2.50, AMH release 3.x.20 or equivalent) will enable you to automatically generate the unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR) in the payment messages.

You’ll need to make sure you can generate, store and pass-on the UETR for each transaction from 18 November 2018 onwards in order to meet the requirements of mandatory Standards MT Release 2018 – irrespective of whether or not you have adopted gpi. From this point forward, payment messages without the UETR will be rejected and you’ll receive a negative acknowledgement ‘NAK’ in return. Please make sure to test your full payments flow (incl. payments applications and interfaces) well in advance of the November deadline, also if you rely on your interface to generate the UETRs.

This move will enable the universal tracking of all gpi payments across all SWIFT users. 

3. Meeting the Standard MT Release 2018 requirements is a crucial step towards getting your institution fully gpi-ready

SWIFT gpi is the future of cross-border payments – by the end of 2020 every bank on the network is able to offer same day end-to-end delivery with full tracking and transparency, throughout the payment chain.

Updating your systems to meet the requirements for Standard MT Release 2018 is a crucial step towards getting your institution gpi-ready. You should consider making the additional changes required to be fully gpi-ready at the same time in order to get full value out this operational investment. Don’t forget that SWIFT will support you from start to finish on your gpi project. Contact us to find out how your bank can also go live on gpi.

Please contact your SWIFT account manager or local SWIFT office to find out more about these initiatives.