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BRICS Contemplates New Payment System to Challenge SWIFT

The global economic consortium, BRICS, is reportedly mulling over introducing a new global payment system. This system could bypass the universally recognized banking protocol, SWIFT. According to TASS, a Russian state-funded media outlet, the finance ministers of the BRICS nations are currently assessing the viability of this unified payment network. Significantly, a formal discussion on its implications and potential is slated for next year’s upcoming BRICS summit.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov emphasized the initiative’s intent. He stated, “We aim to incorporate our financial messaging platform, the SPFS. Moreover, our Chinese peers have established their own. Additionally, other BRICS nations either possess their systems or are in the development phase.” Hence, he reiterated that this topic will be a focal point of discussion among the financial authorities of BRICS member countries.

This groundbreaking revelation follows the recent expansion of BRICS, incorporating nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the UAE. When probed about Russia’s perspective on BRICS’s future trajectory, Siluanov indicated a strategic shift. He said the alliance is keen on “transitioning from Western ties to those in the Southeast.” He believes this paradigm shift will undeniably persist.

SWIFT, the bedrock of the international banking landscape, facilitates banks in transmitting secure financial messages. This cooperative, predominantly bank-owned entity, barred multiple Russian banks in March 2022 under the directive of the European Union. Consequently, BRICS’s proposed system has attracted significant attention.

However, there are contrasting views within BRICS regarding this endeavor. In August, Enoch Godongwana, South Africa’s finance minister, mentioned that the envisioned BRICS payment system’s primary goal would be to amplify trade in local currencies rather than the US dollar. However, he also provided a word of caution, stating that actualizing this system would pose challenges. Moreover, he clarified that this system would not be designed to confront SWIFT directly.

In conclusion, the potential introduction of a new global payment system by BRICS signifies a monumental shift in global economic dynamics. However, the road ahead seems challenging and filled with uncertainties.


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