Russia finishes working on alternative inter-bank payment system

Russia has finished building an alternative inter-bank payment system that could function if the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is shut down in Russia, local media reported Friday.

There were threats that we can be disconnected from SWIFT, Russia Today cited Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina as saying.

“And if something happens, all operations in SWIFT format will work inside the country. We have created a substitute,” said Nabiullina.

Some 330 Russian banks have been connected to the SWIFT alternative, called SPFS, which ensures “guaranteed and uninterrupted provision of services for the transmission of the electronic messages on financial transactions,” Russia’s Central Bank says on its website.

Russia has prepared for any of monetary crisis, such as a dollar collapse or sanctions that might be used to attack the Russian currency the ruble, said Nabiullina.

The SPFS began operations in December 2014, when relations between Russia and the West worsened. Some Western politicians urged disconnecting Russia from SWIFT.