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SWIFT and Capgemini join forces to test use of the international network for CBDC transfers

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the Belgian financial news network used by banks for international money transfers, announced Thursday that it is teaming up with French IT firm Capgemini to conduct experiments with cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC). to perform. payments. This is SWIFT’s second research project on CBDC.

SWIFT and Capgemini are testing ways to connect multiple CBDC networks as well as CBDC and traditional currency networks as proof of concept. The majority of central banks worldwide are working towards the creation of CBDCs, “with numerous central banks developing their own digital currencies based on different technologies, standards and protocols,” Thomas Zschach, SWIFT’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement.

According to the company, it is developing a gateway for domestic CBDC networks to intercept, translate and forward them to the SWIFT platform for onward transmission. The system uses existing SWIFT standards, authentication models and infrastructure. SWIFT connects over 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.

SWIFT’s new alliance is a continuation of efforts begun last year with American services company Accenture. This collaboration managed to create a cross-border transaction between a CBDC network and “an established real-time gross settlement system (RTGS)”.

“If the experiments are successful, it will show that SWIFT has the capability and the technical components to connect different networks together,”

said SWIFT chief of innovation Nick Kerigan. “This would help solve a tremendous technology and industry challenge facing CBDCs. And it could allow us to help central banks prepare their own CBDC networks for cross-border payments.”

Related: EU to ban 7 Russian banks from SWIFT, with consequences for ordinary Russians

SWIFT processed 42 million messages a day last year, but transactions on the network can take several days to complete. It strives to maintain its relevance in the international economic order, particularly with regard to CBDCs. Many developers envision CBDCs interacting outside of the traditional network, possibly using Ripple (XRP).