18/09/2017 09:36 AST

SWIFT announces today that Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has signed up for its global payments innovation (gpi) service. The bank is the first in the country to join forces with over 100 leading banks globally. SWIFT gpi dramatically improves the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking of transactions.

SWIFT gpi is delivering a digital transformation of cross-border payments. The first phase focuses on business-to-business payments, helping corporates grow their international business, improve supplier relationships and achieve greater treasury efficiencies. It also benefits the banks through increased operational efficiency and customer satisfaction while retaining and attracting new customers. Corporates can receive an enhanced payments service from their banks while benefiting from key features such as same day and faster use of funds, transparency of fees, end-to-end payments tracking and remittance information transferred unaltered.

Muhannad Tamemi, Senior Account Director in Middle East & North Africa at SWIFT, said: “The shift towards real time payments is a global phenomenon, changing the shape of payment systems in the Middle East and around the world. Both retail and corporate customers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of the services that they receive. They want transparency and speed. SWIFT gpi is helping the banking industry effectively deliver these requirements while facilitating secure cross-border payments every day. We are pleased to welcome NCB from Saudi Arabia into this initiative.”

Talal Ahmed Khereji, Head Treasury Group in NCB said: “We look forward to working with SWIFT to deliver better and more efficient cross-border payments to our customers. We are committed to improving our services, exploring how new technologies can support our business and enhance our customers’ experiences. This initiative underpins our strategic aim of offering greater speed, transparency and traceability in cross-border payments.”

With SWIFT gpi, treasurers now also have certainty that remittance information, such as invoice references, are transferred unaltered to the beneficiary. Meanwhile SWIFT is already designing a second phase of gpi services that include the option to immediately stop and recall a payment, a service enabling the transfer of rich payment data, and an international payments assistant service to help corporates initiate error-free cross-border payment instructions.

As part of the initiative, SWIFT will also continue to develop new and enhanced services, partnering with Innotribe, the innovation arm of SWIFT, to further engage the FinTech community and explore the application of new technologies such as distributed ledger technology.

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