Seamless Cross-Border Payments Now Supported by UAE Central Bank and SWIFT Collaboration


Earlier this week, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) revealed that it had been working cooperatively with SWIFT, an international provider of secure bank-to-bank messaging services.

SWIFT and the UAE reserve bank are reportedly working an initiative that will improve the speed and transparency of cross-border transactions. Officials at the institution stated that the UAE reserve bank was the first globally to implement this type of international payments solution.

The integration between the bank’s local UAE Funds Transfer System (UAEFTS) and SWIFT’s ‘gpi Tracker’ should enable financial service providers with the option to perform cross-border transactions to the UAE. This should allow for greater transparency, certainty, and seamless fund transfers between the SWIFT network and the UAEFTS. This system relies on the Tracker that is a tool provided by SWIFT in order to enable banking platforms to keep track of their payment flows, end-to-end in real-time.

UAEFTS will be upgrading the SWIFT’s Tracker tool on behalf of its users, when an international payment enters UAEFTS and also when the money is credited to the account of the final recipient (based in the UAE).

The enhancement in functionality of the UAEFTS will reportedly include the option for the sending bank to keep track of transactions in real-time and until they have been credited to the intended recipient’s customer account in the UAE. This should offer maximum visibility on cross-border transfers.

Dr. Sabri Al Azazi, Chief Operating Officer at the Central Bank of the UAE, stated:

“We are delighted to launch this initiative as it further enhances the attractiveness of the UAE financial market, strengthens the interoperability between international and domestic payment systems and increases transparency to offer best-in-class customer service.”

David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer, SWIFT, remarked:

“The implementation of this project will improve the experience of financial institutions and their customers that send payments to the UAE from across the globe. It is also the first one of its kind and we look forward to bringing this concept to other markets.”