Cash from China to Australia in 18 seconds

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People wanting to hold events in, holiday to, or send family members to school in Australia have less of a hassle getting cash here than first thought.

It turns out cash transfers into Australia from China, Thailand and Singapore can be done within 30 seconds – even if local banks are closed – according to results from a cross-border payment trial that revealed on Sunday.

Ahead of its Sibos 2018 event in Sydney this week, the global financial messaging service and a group of 12 banks from Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand ran a trial to see how fast international payments could clear if different instant payment systems were joined – even outside local operating hours.

The test saw SWIFT’s global payments initiative linked with Australia’s existing New Payments Platform, which SWIFT designed, built and operates, and the speed of transfers clocked.

Essentially, people wanting to hold events in, holiday to, or send family members to attend school in Australia have even less of a hassle getting money here than first thought, according to SWIFT’s Asia-Pacific managing director Eddie Haddad.

“(For example,) if you’re a parent in China and your kid is going to Macquarie University, or UNSW, you’re probably writing a cheque, you’re using an application provider,” Mr Haddad told AAP.

“With that you pay fees … then you’re not actually sure if it gets to the kids school, you’ve got to have the right name on it, the right courses on it, and wait for it to clear.

“The fast GPI allows you to do that straight away, payment in China goes over the GPI system and into the Australian payment network.”

Mr Haddad said the fastest SWIFT GPI payment in the trial was sent from China, reaching the end beneficiary account in Australia via NPP in 18 seconds.

The fastest test payments from Singapore and Thailand were similarly credited to Australian end beneficiaries via NPP within 30 seconds.

All the payments sent during the trial were processed end-to-end within 60 seconds.

“Basically it’s recognising every market is going to, or already has one of these real-time networks, and that they will play an increasing role in the payment systems of not only those countries but internationally as well,” Mr Haddad said.

“Booking a holiday or a wedding in Australia, it’s going to cost $20,000 to $30,000, plus credit card fees which will be two or three per cent … but if you’re sitting in Singapore you can make a payment over faster GPI and get it done.”

SWIFT will reveal the full results of its trial at its Sibos event in Sydney, which starts on Monday at the International Convention Centre.

By Alex Druce
News Corp.

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