Following the recent loan frauds that have rocked the banking sector, primarily involving Punjab National Bank and Nirav Modi – which has amounted to more than Rs.13,000 crore, ICICI Bank has adopted the SWIFT global payment service tracker to improve transparency with regard to loans. SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is an international messaging network that banks and financial institutions have adopted to transparently, securely send and receive messages or instructions for loans and money transfers. According to SWIFT’s head for Indian subcontinent, Kiran Shetty, ICICI Bank is the first bank in India to have opted for this service. He then added by saying that the recent loan fraud Punjab National Bank is involved in has hurt India’s international trade and if the country needs to grow economically, then it is imperative for its international trade not to be hurdled by such scams.
Explaining how the SWIFT payment and tracking service works, Mr. Shetty said that with the SWIFT banks, financial institutions, and corporates track real-time payments, and more importantly track the payment instructions carried out by banks and financial institutions.
Following a number of Banks being put under the lens of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for similar loan defaults, Kiran Shetty said that a number of new features will be added to the SWIFT platform, such as a tool to recall payments that are duplicated or are fraudulent, or when the payment has been made by mistake. Their new SWIFT GPI (Global Payments Innovation) feature will also allow banks and financial institutions to settle payments in seconds.