Singapore: Belgium-based financial transaction SMS provider SWIFT is working on a partnership with eight leading Indian banks to form a joint company by 2012-end to expand its footprint in banking and financial sector of India, a company official said on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank of India has given in principle approval in April for the company which would be incorporated by end of this year in Mumbai, Patrick de Courcy, SWIFT's head of Markets and Initiatives for Asia Pacific, told media on Wednesday.

"We are working with RBI and eight banks to offer a range of services including transaction networks covering local banks, securities clearances and settlement as well as other electronics mode of transactions," said de Courcy.

"It will be a SWIFT service driven by banks in India," he added, maintaining confidentiality on naming financial institutions but conceded these were all heavyweights with global operations.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is a non-profit cooperative-based global service provider handles 15 million messages per day from more than 9,000 banks in over 200 countries.

More than 120 Indian banks currently use SWIFT network for about 20 million global transaction messages a year, with about 10 percent annual growth in volume, he said.

"The aim is to increase our volume of daily banking transaction messages in India by five-fold to 100 million messages a year over the next two years," de Courcy said.

The Indian banking sector was also working out innovative initiatives to upgrade services such as paperless transaction among retail outlets.

"These are the opportunities of growth as the scope of financial services expands in India," said de Courcy.


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