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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.[1] The system has been in development since 2014, after the United States government threatened to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system.[2]

The first transaction on the SPFS network involving a non-bank enterprise was executed in December 2017.[3] As of March 2018, over 400 institutions (mostly banks) are part of the network.[1]

Compared to SWIFT, the system faces a number of challenges, especially higher transaction costs[4] however, on the 15th of March 2018 transaction fee was radically reduced to 0,80 - 1,00 ₽ (0.012 - 0.015 $) per transaction[5]. The system only works within Russia,[3] though there are plans to integrate the network with the China-based Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System.[4] The Russian government is also in talks to expand SPFS to developing countries such as Turkey and Iran.[6] Owing to its limitations, the SPFS system is seen as a last resort, rather than as a replacement for the SWIFT network.[1] Since 2019 many agreements were reached to link SPFS to other countries payment systems in China, India, Iran, as well as the countries inside the EAEU who are planning to use SPFS directly. SPFS accounts now around 15% of all internal trafficking inside Russia.[7]

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  1. ^ a b c Aitov, Timur (15 March 2018). "Натянутая струна. Возможно ли отключение России от SWIFT". Forbes.ru. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ Turak, Natasha (23 May 2018). "Russia's central bank governor touts Moscow alternative to SWIFT transfer system as protection from US sanctions". CNBC. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b "«Роснефть» провела первую операцию в «русской SWIFT»". 22 March 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b Aggarwal, Parv. "How U.S. Sanctions are Fostering Innovative Strategies for Resiliency in Russia". The Fletcher School, Tufts University. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Система передачи финансовых сообщений | Банк России". www.cbr.ru. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  6. ^ "Press review: Russia eyes dumping US dollar and NATO backs Washington's INF accusation". TASS (in Russian). 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Russia, China & India to set up alternative to SWIFT payment system to connect 3 billion people". Retrieved 29 October 2019.

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