SPFS instead of SWIFT

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SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is an international interbank payment system.

Sanctions against Russia in 2022 imply a possible disconnection of the country from SWIFT. This led to the need to develop our own interbank system (MS), which partially replaces SWIFT – SPFS.

SPFS of the Bank of Russia is a national financial messaging system.

The domestic analogue of SWIFT (SWIFT) does not depend on world politics and allows Russian organizations to make payments within the state. The system was launched in test mode in 2014, and in the summer of 2015, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Rostelecom, Tatneft, TAIF-NK, Surgutneftegaz, AK Bars, Rostec joined.

Today, about 300 organizations in the Russian Federation, as well as 38 companies abroad, work with the domestic MS, including all the federal districts of the Republic of Belarus. Initially, SPFS was planned to be developed on the territory of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan), however, the banks of Turkey, Sweden, France, Japan, Tajikistan, Cuba, Germany, and Switzerland have already become members of the IS.

The expansion of this method of sending financial messages to all BRICS countries: Brazil, India, China, South Africa is being actively discussed.

Legal entities can become users of the data sending channel. To connect, you need to ensure a high level of data storage security. Next, you need to contact the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CB) and conclude an agreement with it on the use of MS. Foreign credit organizations can also apply.

However, the Russian counterpart is inferior in functionality to SWIFT: it is not possible to send money abroad through SPFS, to send large registers.

Today, the program has a number of shortcomings that do not allow it to completely replace SWIFT. Foreign systems operate on the territory of our state, which have not yet joined the domestic data sending system. Hence the main problem – the lack of sufficiently serious ties between the program and foreign organizations, which means that not all operations are available to users. And yet, the development of its own competitive payment program has made Russia one of the leading countries in terms of banking digitalization.