SPFS (Russian: Система передачи финансовых сообщений, lit. 'System for Transfer of Financial Messages') is a Russian equivalent of the SWIFT financial transfer system, developed by the Central Bank of Russia. The system has been in development since 2014, after the United States government threatened to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system.
Compared to SWIFT, the system faces a number of challenges, especially higher transaction costs. The system only work within Russia, though there are plans to integrate the network with the China-based Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System. The Russian government is also in talks to expand SPFS to third countries such as Turkey and Iran. Owing to its limitations, the SPFS system is seen as a last resort, rather than as a replacement for the SWIFT network.
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