SWIFT provides a centralized store-and-forward mechanism, with some transaction management. For bank A to send a message to bank B with a copy or authorization with institution C, it formats the message according to standard, and securely sends it to SWIFT. SWIFT guarantees its secure and reliable delivery to B after the appropriate action by C. SWIFT guarantees are based primarily on high redundancy of hardware, software, and people.
During 2007 and 2008, the entire SWIFT Network migrated its infrastructure to a new protocol called SWIFT Phase 2. The main difference between Phase 2 and the former arrangement is that Phase 2 requires banks connecting to the network to use a Relationship Management Application (RMA)instead of the former Bilateral key exchange (BKE) system. According to SWIFT’s public information database on the subject, RMA software should eventually prove more secure and easier to keep up-to-date; however, converting to the RMA system also meant that thousands of banks around the world had to update their international payments systems in order to comply with the new standards. RMA completely replaced BKE since January 1, 2009.
SWIFT also offer a secure person-to-person messaging service, SWIFTNet Mail, which went live on 16 May 2007. SWIFT clients can configure their existing email infrastructure to pass email messages through the highly secure and reliable SWIFTNet network instead of the open Internet. SWIFTNet Mail is intended for the secure transfer of sensitive business documents, such as invoices, contracts and signatories, and is designed to replace existing telex and courier services, as well as the transmission of security-sensitive data over the open Internet. Eight financial institutions, including HSBC, FirstRand Bank, Clearstream, DnB NOR, Nedbank, Standard Bank of South Africa and Bear Stearns, as well as SWIFT piloted the service.
Open source java based library for SWIFT
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