Russian newspaper Vedomosti has reported that Russia will receive a discount on the transfer of financial messages beginning in 2018, citing SWIFT Director for Central and Eastern Europe Matvei Gering. According to Gering, the discount will apply to financial message transfers between Russian organizations.
The newspaper notes that SWIFT operations within the country accounted for 72.5% of all operations by Russian users in the international system, according to data from 2016.
Vedemosti's source is from the association ROSSVIFT, which is close to representing the interests of Russian SWIFT users. As ROSSVIFT explained to Vedomosti, after Russia receives the discount, the cost per message in the SWIFT system will be fixed. At present, the more messages users send in the system, the lower the price per message. According to one Russian user, the discount rate will be over 40%, for approximately 97% of SWIFT users in Russia, with the biggest discounts going toward medium and small players.
SWIFT saw a record amount of message traffic from Russia in 2014, as users sent more than 94 million messages through the system. But the following year, this indicator fell by nearly a quarter. Russia agreed to the discount in 2016, on the condition that the discount’s receipt would be linked to an increase in Russian traffic on SWIFT by 30% as compared to 2015.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is an international system of financial correspondence that unites more than 10,000 banking and financial organizations in 210 countries and provides for the transfer of about 1.8 billion financial messages per annum. In Russia, 436 organizations participated in the system as of the end of 2016, including the Central Bank and the largest banks. The presence of a country representative on SWIFT’s Board of Directors depends on the amount of traffic provided by users from a particular country (Since 2015, Russia has been represented on the Board by Eddi Astanin, Chairman of the National Settlement Depository).