Business payments are speeding up, and so is information about those payments. In the latest evolution of the payments landscape, a dozen banks worldwide have gone live with SWIFT's global payments innovation (GPI) initiative, which provides corporate treasurers with more timely information about cross-border payments they make using the correspondent banking network.

"The focus here is to improve the cross-border payment experience the corporate treasurer gets from their banks," said Wim Raymaekers, head of GPI at SWIFT, the global financial messaging network.

When a company does a cross-border wire transfer, the payment may travel through a chain of three, four, or even more banks before it reaches the bank of the company due to receive it, and each bank along the way can subtract a fee from the payment. Until now, companies have been left in the dark as to the progress of their cross-border payments.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.