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January 30, 2015

International Television and Broadcasting Company MIR. Russia Without SWIFT: Will That Cripple the Banks?

Experts urge to keep calm, because Russia already has its own cheaper and more secure payment system called CyberFT.

Watch footage about CyberFT platform

Russian banks are not afraid of the financial blockade. On Thursday EU Foreign Ministers will consider disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system. Right now experts are making their guesswork wondering whether it will happen or not. Aleksey Dashenko, reporter of the TV Channel ‘MIR 24’, has found out what will happen to Russian banks without SWIFT.

Garegin Tosunyan, President of Association of Russian Banks, assures that it is in SWIFTs interests to continue the cooperation. After all, in 2014 Russia was ranked 1st in currency transactions growth, and ranked 2nd in number of banks.

‘On Friday not two weeks ago Belgium Embassy celebrated 25th anniversary of Russia joining SWIFT, and there were assurances of further joint collaboration’ says Mr. Tosunyan.Few know about SWIFT, fewer still know how it works.

SWIFT is a Belgium private enterprise that unites 10 thousand bank and financial organizations in 210 countries of the world. It annually processes about 2 billion payment transfers, both domestically and internationally. We’ll do without SWIFT just fine, cheer up the bankers.

‘There had been other systems before SWIFT, and they still exist. You can utilize them. They are not as fast and not as effective though — telex, fax, if the worst comes to the worst, you can always use a horse,’ says Garegin Tosunyan, President of Association of Russian Banks.

One other sensation is the fact that Russia has quite recently gotten its own alternative to SWIFT. A brand new system called CyberFT was developed and tested during the previous year. Russian and foreign banks alike are already using it.

‘Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan are among participants of out system,’ specified Philipp Litvinenko, Deputy CEO of Cyberplat Company that developed the product.

The biggest sensation is that Russian system is less expensive and more secure. SWIFTs domestic payment information is known of far beyond that country’s borders. Russian system works differently.

‘There are several processing centers for Russian banks, so all information transferred between two Russian banks doesn’t cross Russian borders,’ clarified Mr. Litvinenko.

Ban of SWIFT is not as intimidating for Russia as Europe may believe it is. Russian experts don’t believe in seriousness of UN intentions and reassure that Brussels will keep us connected to their payment system.

Source: International Television and Broadcasting Company MIR

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