The SWIFT Institute, set up to help fund research into the banking industry, has released its first working paper. The research, carried out by US-based Tufts University, shows that mobile money can help to promote financial inclusion and boost savings rates amongst remote communities.
The Tufts research is being carried out in rural communities in northern Ghana which have limited access to financial services. A month into the research project, 10% of participants had used the service solely for money transfer; two and half months later, usage increased to 26% of households, with 86% of users receiving money transfers and 70% of users saving on their mobile phone. Download the working paper here
The volume of trade finance transactions continued to increase in 2011, suggesting a slow but steady recovery in world trade, according to the 2012 ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance. The report, which can be downloaded here, polled 229 banks in 110 countries, a greater response than in any previous year, and found that, while world events such as the Arab Spring and Japan's earthquake had impacted on trade volumes, the trend was still upwards.
SWIFT has set out to support research into Global Transaction Banking with the launch of the Swift Institute, based at its Brussels campus. The new institute will issue grants to support research conducted by academics and senior industry professionals.
SWIFT board chairman Yawar Shah said, "SWIFT is stepping up to the requests of the Banking Industry, especially from the Leaders of the Global Transaction Banking Businesses, to foster research in this important area to assist with thought leadership on key strategic matters. It is a limited but important initiative for SWIFT in its role as a global neutral trusted third party."
Subjects to be covered by the Institute include payments, clearing and settlement, cash management, trade financeTrust and Securities. The first research projects to be funded will cover three areas: RMB internationalisation; Financial supply chain management and Banking inclusion
The Institute's output will include white papers, presentations and conference sessions, including at SWIFT's annual Sibos conference, which in 2012 will be held in Osaka, Japan (28 October 28 - 2 November 2012).
Seven industry figures have been appointed to the Institute's advisory council, including Shah and SWIFT CEO Lázaro Campos . The other are:
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