SWIFT may not exist in five years, says Mastercard CEO

SWIFT may not exist in five years, says Mastercard CEO

By Hassan Maishera - min read

Cryptocurrencies and digital currencies are gaining increasing popularity globally.

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach stated that SWIFT might not exist in five years. SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system. 

It is currently a vast messaging network banks and other financial institutions leverage to conduct quick, accurate and secure transfer and receiving of information, including money transfer instructions.

The Mastercard CEO was in attendance in a panel on central bank digital currencies during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. When asked if he thinks SWIFT would exist in five years, he answered no.

His response sent shocks across the room despite smiling when giving his answer. Meibach said;

“If you can get a payment with all the data attached that you need as a company […] the cost savings of that in addition to a payment cost that is lowered, and the overall productivity boost, we can expect if we do this well, that’s the real goal here.”

While many people took the comment seriously, a Mastercard spokesperson downplayed the the impact of Miebach’s response in a statement issued after the event. Mastercard said;

“Let us clarify the intent of the on stage comment, as it’s not as simple as a yes or no answer. Michael was simply reinforcing what SWIFT has previously said – their operations continue to evolve. Its current form will not be the same in the future. They are adding more functionality and moving past just being a messaging system.”

Blockchain projects such as Ripple intend to provide stiff competition to stiff in the global financial ecosystem. Ripple and its technologies offer cheaper, faster and more secure means of transferring funds globally.

With blockchain technology, cross-border transactions are made easier, faster and cheaper. The solutions provided by blockchain projects ensure that the underbanked and unbanked regions of the world gain access to financial services.

Mastercard, like Visa, has been entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem in recent years.