Cryptocurrency fans like to poke fun at the two or three-days required for a bank to complete a cross border payment. Given their sluggishness, incumbents like Western Union and SWIFT seem destined to be toppled by speedy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Not only are these clunky legacy systems still around, but they have been improving. This October, SWIFT demonstrated how a bank payment from China to Australia could be competed in 19 seconds. SWIFT is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, a communications network that links the world’s banks together.