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 however, on the 15th of March 2018 transaction fee was radically reduced to 0,80 - 1,00 ₽ (0.012 - 0.015 $) per transaction. The system only works 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 developing 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. 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.
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