Like the unwanted guest at a party who trashes the house and runs off with your girlfriend, Ripple is throwing its weight around at Swift’s annual Sibos conference with a series of barbed tweets and acerbic commentary asking if the interbank co-operative’s set-piece Global Payments Innovation initiative is all its cracked up to be.
Earlier this week, Swift boasted that it had successfully completed the first phase of the global payments innovation (gpi) pilot with 15 banks, clearing the way for the go-live of the service in early 2017. The programme, which is crafting a series of service level agreements intended to increase the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments, has so far attracted interest from 80 global banks.
The war drums could already be heard from the Ripple camp last week as Swift geared up for its annual Sibos jamboree in Geneva, when it announced that it had signed up several major banks to a steering group on the use of distributed financial technology for global payments.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Santander, UniCredit, Standard Chartered, Westpac, and Royal Bank of Canada have joined as founding members of the Global Payments Steering Group (GPSG), which aims to use Ripple’s technology to slash the time and cost of settlement while enabling new types of high-volume, low-value global transactions.
With Sibos in full swing, Ripple has stepped up the pressure on Swift with a series of tweets from the conference questioning the value of the gpi.