Cips ‘not a competitor’ says Swift
Swift was keen to point out that the newly-launched China International Payment System (Cips) is not a competitor. Prior to the launch of the Chinese payments infrastructure, details of the system were scarce. On Tuesday at Sibos, Philippe Dirckx, managing director, head of markets and initiatives, Asia Pacific, at Swift said he wanted to clear up the idea that Cips was a competitor to Swift.
Speaking in the Developing your transaction business with China session, he said: “Cips is a payment system, we are a message provider.” He added that Swift has been engaging with the People’s Bank of China and advising it on the internationalisation and opening up of the system to the outside world.
Referring to media reports that Cips would compete with Swift, he suggested this was because they had been relying on Wikipedia’s description of Cips, which opens that Cips “is a planned alternative payments system to Swift, which would provide a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment”. The Wikipedia paragraph cites a Reuters story from March 2015 as its source.
The Chinese payments infrastructure removes the need for cross-border payment messages to be translated into Chinese once they reach mainland China. Cips will use the ISO 20022 structured format and will support both Chinese and English. Dirckx said Cips would use the Swift bank identifier code.