Cross-Border Payments: Getting Them to Their Ultimate Destination

Reed Luhtanen, Executive Director, FPC

Summer is officially here and travel is surely on the mind. At the FPC, we’re also thinking about how payments travel cross-border. As we all know, cross-border payments can be slow and costly. They often lack transparency. And the process to ensure the payment reaches its ultimate destination can be complex. But at the FPC, we’re trying to find ways to change that.

In late May, we released the third installment of the Cross-Border Payments Work Group’s Bulletin. These bulletins serve as a means to educate the industry on the developments of new payment methods supporting cross-border faster payments and provide an ongoing source of information on their benefits, risks, and other considerations. Our most recent bulletin focused on the latest Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) initiatives, and explored the extent to which some of them could be used for cross-border payments.

Take for instance Project Jasper, an initiative of the Bank of Canada. This particular project explored the wholesale distribution of a CBDC to commercial banks for cross-border use cases, leveraging third parties to facilitate the movement of liquidity, smart contract technology to execute functions, and two different ledgers to achieve interoperability. Ultimately, the experiment provided significant insights into the strengths and weaknesses of using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for financial market infrastructures.

Or we can look at Project Mariana, another initiative discussed in the bulletin, which is only in its early stages, but could prove to be transformational. Launched in late 2022, the project seeks to explore the use of cross-border automated market makers (AMMs) to facilitate exchanges between the Swiss Franc, Euro, and Singapore dollar on the wholesale level. If successful, this endeavor would deliver on not only a more efficient and transparent cross-border transaction but solve for the liquidity conundrum through an automated distribution and pricing mechanism.

While surely encouraging, what’s even more energizing is that the larger industry is really mobilizing around the cross-border payments push as well. Case in point, less than two weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released The Rise of Payment and Contracting Platforms, which explores how new platforms for CBDCs can improve cross-border payments. Essentially, it offers a blueprint for a novel class of cross-border payment and contracting (XC) platforms, that could prompt debate and discussion to drive forward and evolve the vision to bring forward interoperability, efficiency, and safety to cross-border payments.

It's clear – faster cross-border payments is an important area of focus for the FPC. Improving the efficiency of how they travel is imperative. We are actively leading efforts to ensure understanding of the environment and the existing and emerging opportunities to enhance the current landscape. Along with you, our Members, we’ll continue on this voyage until we reach our final destination – fast, transparent, efficient, and cost-effective cross-border payments.

If you’re interested in learning how you can become part of our voyage, visit


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