Correspondent bank could be really tough. They are forced by law to check each payment for money laundering and other criminal activities. If your payment stuck for the manual check in a correspondent bank, it could easily take up to one month to release it. But what if there are 2 correspondents / intermediaries in between? Or may be 3? Or even 4? Sometimes chains of the banks could be really long in cross-border payments.
The process of inter-bank communication is not optimal. In order to check your payment, bank should see the supporting documents. But documents are not attached to the MT103 form, so the bank should request it. The request will go through the whole chain of banks to the sender's bank (or in some cases to beneficiary's bank). Often documents expected to be sent by e-mail, so it is really easy to lose it and keep you waiting.
The best solution is to send payments via shortest chain of banks. If you can select the bank from which you send the payment or beneficiary can provide options, than we recommend to use SOWSOF Route Planner before the sending the payment.
How Does It Work?
You select the sender's bank, beneficiary's bank and the currency. The service requests Standard Settlement Instructions from each bank and build the initial route.
Click on the sender's correspondents and beneficiary's correspondents to make sure there are no banks in between. So for the payment above, if you send USD from Bakai Bank to Hipotekarna, there will be 3 banks in the middle. That's a lot!
Can we use other currencies? Yes, under each bank we can see the list of currencies supported: CNY, EUR, KZT, RUB, USD.
Don't stuck with a first available option. For example, for the payment above, if you try EUR as a currency, you see that those 2 banks share a single correspondent bank - Landersbank (SOLADEST). That's a perfect solution!
Important to mention, the service so far doesn't provide recording capabilities, so don't forget to make screenshots between each route buildings. Also, use laptop to work with the Route Planner.
How to Influence the SWIFT Payment Route?
Well, if there is a single bank in between sender's bank and receiver's bank, we know the route. But if there are several options, can we decide through which correspondent bank payment will be sent?
Yes and no. Often we can manually select beneficiary's correspondent bank. If you don't see such field in your mobile app, try WEB-version of internet banking. If you can't see it there as well, you can go to the bank's branch if you have one in your city.
But, to be clear, we almost cannot influence sender's correspondent bank. Unless they share one with the beneficiary's bank.
SOWSOF Route Planner is the best way to check Standard Settlement Instructions of the banks and build the most optimal route before sending the SWIFT transfer. It's easier to prevent the problem, check the route before any new cross-border payment.
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