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BENEFIT signs Memorandum of Understanding with SWIFT

30/10/2019, Manama, Bahrain

BENEFIT, a major regional player in electronic financial transactions, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SWIFT, global provider of secure financial messaging services, at the Sibos Conference and Exhibition in London. The MoU will explore how the two parties can add value to Bahrain’s payments infrastructure and improve the customer payments experience using SWIFT’s global payments innovation service (SWIFT gpi). 

BENEFIT’s Chief Executive Officer, Abdulwahed Al-Janahi, and SWIFT’s Chief Executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific, Alain Raes, signed the MoU at Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event that attracted more than 11,000 financial services professionals from across the world. 

Under the MoU, the two parties will explore opportunities to give the Bahraini banking sector access to SWIFT gpi through a gateway provided by BENEFIT. The service will bring significant improvements to customer experience in the field of cross-border payments thanks to the end-to-end speed, transparency and traceability offered by SWIFT gpi. 

"The Memorandum of Understanding with SWIFT is part of BENEFIT’s strategic plan to provide advanced infrastructure to the banking sector and allow the rapid settlement of cross border payments," said Mr. Abdulwahed Al Janahi. “The number of electronic payments is increasing in Bahrain as a result of BENEFIT’s ‘BenefitPay’ application for mobile payments. The Kingdom of Bahrain aims to reduce the use of cash significantly from its current level and make the country a regional model for FinTech services. BENEFIT is working with international partners to support the these goals.”

Commenting on the agreement, Alain Raes said: “We are delighted that SWIFT’s partnership with BENEFIT will provide financial institutions operating in the international remittance sector with an innovative and advanced platform that delivers fast and transparent payments.” 

About SWIFT gpi

The SWIFT global payments innovation (SWIFT gpi) is the largest change in cross-border payments over the last 30 years and is the new standard. SWIFT gpi dramatically improves the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing their speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking. Hundreds of thousands of cross-border payments, totalling over $300bn, are sent every day using the new gpi standard. Payments are made quickly, typically within minutes, even seconds.

 SWIFT gpi allows corporates to receive an enhanced payments service, with the following key features:

Faster, same day use of funds within the time zone of the receiving gpi member 

Transparency of fees 

End-to-end payments tracking 

Remittance information transferred unaltered

With SWIFT gpi, the correspondent banking community, together with fintechs, corporates, and others, is collectively removing frictions and reducing the costs associated with cross-border payments. Since its launch in January 2017, gpi has dramatically improved the cross-border payments experience for corporates in over 1,100 country corridors. Key features of SWIFT gpi include enhanced business rules and a secure tracking database in the cloud accessible via APIs. New gpi services are routinely developed with the gpi member community and rolled out to the growing network of banks.

Thanks to SWIFT gpi, corporates can grow their international business, improve supplier relationships, and achieve greater treasury efficiencies. On average, 40% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries within 5 minutes. 50% are credited within 30 minutes; 75% within 6 hours; and almost 100% within 24 hours.

Already, 3,500 banks accounting for 85% of SWIFT’s total payments traffic have committed to adopting gpi and more than 55 payment market infrastructures are already exchanging gpi payments, enabling domestic exchange and tracking. Payment market infrastructures have a critical role to play in facilitating the end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments because as soon as international payments hit the destination country, they are typically cleared through local payment infrastructures.


 About SWIFT

SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance. 

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world. 

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. SWIFT’s strategic five year plan, SWIFT2020, challenges SWIFT to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.



BENEFIT, www.benefit.bh  was established in 1997 and is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as an ancillary service provider to the Kingdom’s financial services industry. BENEFIT is owned by Banks in Bahrain, regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), to provide innovative Payment Capabilities, Information Management Solutions, and Business Process Outsourcing Services across different sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region.

BENEFIT’s range of services – supported by GCCNet in countries within the region – include operating of Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (POS), GCCNet, The GCCNet Dispute Management System, Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), Telecom Bill Payment (Tele BP), Direct Debit (DD), Payment Gateway (PG), Internet Banking (IB), Bahrain Cheque Truncation System (BCTS), Amex Cards withdrawal and recently national eWallet and national eKYC Platform for the financial sectors.


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