Unite Global to launch real-time correspondent hub
EXCLUSIVE. Norway’s Unite Global has emerged from stealth with plans to unleash a centralised platform for global real-time payments and settlement between banks.
Tord Coucheron, Unite’s CTO, tells FinTech Futures that it has been developing the system “under the radar” since 2007.
Coucheron describes its tech as “fully centralised” but it “does not involve blockchain in any way”.
The Fredrikstad-based company is in discussions with about 30 larger banks worldwide, where up to a dozen of these will be selected as full partners in the new global network. He doesn’t want to go public on the names at present.
The network will, after the operational start expected later this year, allow any bank to connect and get real-time access to any other bank in the network through an API.
To reach banks outside the network, the platform will automatically route payments through the national presence of the partners (between 160-180 countries depending on the final partner selection), as well as through the SEPA and Swift networks.
The new network has been called the “Global Correspondent Hub” by several banks, as according to Unite they discover that the network will reduce the number of correspondent relationships needed to just one, “dramatically reducing the related compliance costs”.
The way the network is constructed is giving connected banks the ability to hold any currency of the total network (100+).
The network also includes a competitive FX facility where the partners continuously compete (with each other) to provide the “best rates”. Only the best rate for each currency pair is showing to the connected banks, and related settlement/finality occur instantly, making automated processes possible.
The firm explains that since many small and smaller-to-medium banks may not have a BIC, the connected banks will be issued a designated Unite “BIC” to assure bank identification. The connected banks may still use their current BIC if they want, since the network will keep track of both versions.
According to Unite, facilities like unique payment identifier, payment tracking, cash management and currency trading are all built in, and available from the start.