Migration to SwiftNet Phase 2 is progressing steadily, although slowly.
Swift says that the migration to SwiftNet Phase 2 is progressing well with almost 4,000 bank identifier codes live, sending 15 million live FIN Phase 2 messages per week. However the consortium warns that some customers are taking the project for granted and shouldn’t leave the necessary preparation until the last minute.
More than a third of the customer locations have completed their migration with the assistance of a Swift Service Partner. More than 50% of base locations and 80% of handheld locations have started testing. As a result, by the end of July, 42% of live BICs and 19% of live FIN traffic is on SwiftNet Phase 2.
“The migration has kicked off in a positive way,”said Isabel Snoeckx, SwiftNet Phase 2 programme manager, Customer Operations at Swift. “Customers are focusing on upgrading their infrastructure to SwiftNet Release 6, using public key infrastructure and hardware security module, and installing their relationship management application interface. About half have already started testing with SwiftNet Phase 2. This is very good news. However, the rest of our customers should not fall behind.”
Swift also announced it will offer two new directories, the BICPlusIBAN Directory and the SEPA Routing Directory, to provide the reference data that financial institutions need to achieve straight through processing and low processing costs. Both will be launched free of charge at the end of December to help banks succeed in the Single European Payments Area.
The BICPlusIBAN Directory enables financial institutions to derive the beneficiary’s Bank Identification Code from the International Bank Account Number and to validate that the IBAN and the BIC belong to a singular institution. The SEPA Routing Directory includes information on receiving banks that are SEPA compliant and ready to process SEPA payments, and it shows through which channels – clearing and settlement mechanisms, automated clearing houses or intermediary banks – it can be reached.
Swift is calling on financial institutions that operate in the SEPA area, whether or not they are connected to Swift, to visit the SwiftDirectories Update website, register for this service and update their institution’s data. The SwiftDirectories Update website can be found at