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0 3 mins
SWIFT: A quarter of all cross-border payments now over gpi

More than 165 banks signed up, with 100 currencies and 350 country corridors in operation as service rapidly gains traction

SWIFT announces today that just 15 months after the service launched, 25% of all SWIFT cross border payment traffic is being sent over the global payments innovation (gpi). SWIFT gpi, the most transformational change in cross-border payments in 30 years, dramatically enhances the customer experience by increasing the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking capability of payments. It is set to be the standard for all cross-border payments made on the SWIFT network by the end of 2020.

SWIFT gpi has seen rapid widespread adoption since going live in 2017. More than 165 banks, representing 80% of SWIFT’s cross-border payments traffic, and including 49 of the world’s top 50 banks,  have signed up to the service. To date, 50 million gpi payments have been processed, with hundreds of thousands of payments sent daily across 350 country corridors, in more than 100 currencies.  In major corridors, such as USA-China, gpi already accounts for more than 40% of payment traffic.

Commenting on the growth in adoption of gpi, Harry Newman, SWIFT’s Head of Banking said: “It’s clear that the global payments industry needs to evolve in order to provide customers with a modern, service that meets their expectations. As a truly global, fast, secure and transparent cross-border service, gpi is delivering real and tangible change, and the increase in its use is testament to the huge benefits it delivers to end customers….

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0 9 mins
Breaking from tradition

by Lee Hills, founder of SolutionsHub, offers traditional investors advice on how to approach initial coin offerings 

As the world goes digital, traditional ways of doing business are changing beyond all recognition. Even heavily regulated sectors and practices find themselves being disrupted.

Take investing, for example. Crowdfunding has been around in various guises for a few years now, with several platforms gaining prominence. In the last couple of years, however, a new type has been garnering significant attention – Initial Coin Offering, or ICO.

An ICO is an event where a company releases its own cryptocurrency for funding. It creates a certain number of cryptographic (“crypto) tokens and sells those tokens to its intended audience by establishing a smart-contract (an immutable piece of code published publicly online), with those willing to participate sending Bitcoins or Ethereum to receive tokens.

As a result, the company gets the capital to fund further product development, R&D and expansion and token purchasers get their heavily discounted crypto tokens which can be used to purchases goods and services on the platform, participate in the ecosystem, or other benefits afforded to those with tokens. This way of raising capital is primarily used by companies operating in cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Whilst this may seem like an Initial Public Offering, investors should be aware of the differences. For instance, in an IPO shares always denote a proportion of ownership, which…

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0 2 mins
Shopper confidence returns as UK retail spending increases

Following today’s ONS announcement that retail sales increased in April, Jimmy New, Director of Marketing at VoucherCodes, explains that retailers must adapt and embrace digital to capitalise on returning consumer confidence.

VoucherCodes is the UK’s largest voucher website, helping thousands of UK brands and retailers to connect with consumers. The website, email newsletter and mobile shopping app make it safe and simple for the 8 million registered members to save money, whether they’re shopping online, in-store or through their mobiles.

Jimmy New, Director of Marketing at VoucherCodes: “Today’s rise in retail sales figures is testament to growing consumer confidence across the UK. It’s great to see UK shoppers returning to the high street following a dip in sales last month, with the early Easter holiday driving consumer spending. This coincided with a core inflation drop to 2.1%, announced yesterday in the Consumer Prices Index, which is also welcome news for the retail industry. 

Our research has revealed that whilst a quarter of people in the UK have decided to cut back on spending in spring to afford summer plans, consumers are set to spend £7.7bn over the coming months celebrating sporting and cultural events. This is proof that, although consumer confidence is improving, shoppers remain mindful of exactly how and where they spend their money. To capitalise on this expected increase in consumer spending, retailers should be looking towards strategic partners like VoucherCodes to drive engagement online and footfall into bricks and mortar stores and make…

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