Company typePayment system
Founded2014; 10 years ago (2014)
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
ParentBank of Russia

The System for Transfer of Financial Messages (Russian: Система передачи финансовых сообщений, romanizedSistema peredachi finansovykh soobscheniy), abbreviated SPFS (Russian: СПФС), is a Russian equivalent of the SWIFT financial transfer system, developed by the Central Bank of Russia.[1] The system has been in successful development since 2014, when the United States government threatened to disconnect the Russian Federation from the SWIFT system.[2]


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

Compared to SWIFT, the system initially faced a number of challenges, especially higher transaction costs[4] though in March 2018 transaction fee was radically reduced to 0,80–1,00 ₽ (0.012–0.015 $) per transaction.[5] As of 2018 the system worked within the Russian Federation[3] though there were plans to integrate the network with the China-based Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System.[4]

The Russian Government was also in talks to expand SPFS to developing countries such as Turkey and Iran.[6] As of 2018, owing to its limitations, the SPFS system was seen as a last resort, rather than as a full replacement for the SWIFT network.[1] Since 2019 many agreements have been 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.[7][8]

At the end of 2020, there were 23 foreign banks connected to the SPFS from Armenia, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Switzerland.[9]

On March 17, 2022, Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, announced that the Bank of Russia and the People's Bank of China were working on connecting the Russian and Chinese financial messaging systems. He also pointed to the beginning of the development of information transfer schemes using blockchains, including the digital ruble and the digital yuan.[10]

On March 31, 2022, the Economic Times of India published information that the Indian government has offered Russia a new transaction system with the transfer of trade to the ruble and SPFS, which will work through the Reserve Bank of India and Russia's Vnesheconombank. According to the same data, the system will be put into operation within a week.[11]

In April 2022, Russian Central Bank governor announced that most Russian financial institutions and 52 foreign organizations from at least 12 countries were successfully integrated with the SPFS.[12]

On January 16, 2024, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Bank announced that in 3Q 2023 four more countries were connected to SPFS bringing the total count to 20, along with 550 organizations of which 150 were from 16 foreign countries. [13]

Geo-economic impact

As summarized by academic Tim Beal, SPFS is among the responses to sanctions imposed by the United States viewed by commentators as contributing to dedollarization.[14]

See also


  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 (October 2018). "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. ^ "Banks in Iran, Russia Connected via Non-SWIFT Financial Messaging Service". Financial Tribune. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  8. ^ Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy (14 November 2019). "India-Russia-China explore alternative to SWIFT payment mechanism". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  9. ^ Доля сообщений через российский аналог SWIFT выросла в 1,8 раза — Экономика и бизнес — ТАСС
  10. ^ "Россия и Китай смогут обмениваться платежами без SWIFT | Bigasia.ru". bigasia.ru. 16 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  11. ^ "СМИ: Россия и Индия обсуждают внедрение альтернативной системы транзакций". tass.ru. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  12. ^ "Russia central bank will not name banks linked to SWIFT alternative". Reuters. 2022-04-19. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  13. ^ "Four more countries connect to Russian Central Bank's Financial Messaging System". Interfax. 2024-01-16. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  14. ^ Davis, Stuart (2023). Sanctions as War: Anti-Imperialist Perspectives on American Geo-Economic Strategy. Haymarket Books. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-64259-812-4. OCLC 1345216431.