SWIFT and Microsoft collaborated with Bank of New York Mellon Treasury Services, the first bank to execute a real-time payment (RTP) transaction in the US, to complete the test transaction validating their new Cloud Connect payments capability for banks, financial institutions and enterprises. Bank of New York Mellon executed the payment for Microsoft’s Treasury Department, confirming the Cloud Connect proof of concept unveiled at Sibos last year.
Cloud Connect hosts SWIFT infrastructure and enables payment transfers via Microsoft Azure – the Redmond, WA tech firm’s cloud-based platform. Belgium-headquartered SWIFT provides financial messaging services to more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries around the globe.
Until now, companies and financial institutions that wanted to initiate transactions through payment messages sent over the SWIFT network had to have their own on-premise installations of SWIFT technology. Hosting SWIFT infrastructure on the cloud instead of with every financial institution reduces the need for on-premise equipment, and enhances the speed, consistency and security of transaction processing.
Microsoft's Treasury department and Bank of New York Mellon were the first to initiate a transaction over SWIFT Cloud Connect, transmitting instructions through the SWIFT network.
“We focus on delivering world class solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations,” said Bank of New York Mellon Treasury Services CEO Paul Camp. “Together with SWIFT, we work to enhance the payments experience for our clients around the world. Now, helping make SWIFT Cloud Connect real, we are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft to leverage their cloud expertise and advance the frontiers of financial technology, offering a new level of service for SWIFT participants.”
Payments are as much an issue for the computer tech giant as for any bank. Microsoft’s Treasury group manages more than $150 billion in assets and, dwarfing many financial institutions, transacts over $400 billion per year in SWIFT-based payments, supporting operations in more than 190 countries.
“Building on the positive experience with Cloud Connect,” Camp continued, “we look forward to exploring additional opportunities to advance Microsoft’s digital payments strategy.”
Craig Young, Chief Information Officer at SWIFT, said, “Cloud computing is a key enabler of a faster, frictionless future and a powerful catalyst for innovative new services. Our community is seizing its potential, and we are committed to supporting them with a range of connectivity options reflecting their diverse approaches and breadth of needs. These new developments highlight that commitment, while also underscoring our unwavering focus on security and resiliency as we continue to adapt to an evolving marketplace.”
Microsoft Corporate VP and Treasurer George Zinn commented, “From a Treasury perspective, the deployment of SWIFT messaging solutions in the cloud enables faster, more efficient and secure payment operations for all concerned. It’s exciting to see Microsoft Azure be the first cloud platform completing a wire transaction via this successful test of the proof-of-concept. Having our trusted payments service provider BNY Mellon validate the capabilities of SWIFT Cloud Connect on Azure was an important validation point for us, and we look forward to working with BNY Mellon Treasury Services to ensure we continue to deploy the best possible payment solutions now and in future.”