Russia Central Bank

The director of the Russian Central Bank’s national payment system announced that eight foreign banks have connected to Russia’s 'SPFS' financial transfer system, with three connections fully operational.

Iran Press/Europe: Russia set up its payment network, called the ‘System for the Transfer of Financial Messages’ (Russian acronym as SPFS) after Western countries tried to cut Moscow off from the SWIFT payment system in 2014 in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

"We have provided the opportunity for foreign banks and legal entities to connect to SPFS. Today, the system has around 400 users, including eight foreign entities," Alla Bakina said, speaking at a banking and retail forum in Moscow on Wednesday.

According to Bakina, SPFS has enjoyed respectable growth over the past year, with traffic accounting for about 15 percent of that of SWIFT inside Russia, up from 10-11 percent in 2018.

Last month, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Iran was one of Russia’s partners and that the two countries were working on ways of linking Russia’s SPFS and Iran’s SEPAM, a Persian acronym for that country’s own homegrown electronic financial messaging system.

Iran’s financial telecommunications system, known as SEPAM, has replaced the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in the country’s financial transactions with Russia, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) confirmed on 17 September 2019.

Abdolnasser Hemmati said banking ties between Iran and Russia have been established through Russia’s financial messaging system and Iran’s SEPAM, without any need for the unreliable Belgium-based SWIFT.


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