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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication - SWIFT - solved big problems with international financial transfers, but is now facing its greatest challenge.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication - SWIFT - solved some big problems with international financial transfers, making them more secure and reliable than ever before. However, as Tim Harford explains, the global political climate means it might now be facing its greatest challenge.

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10 minutes

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Mon 18 Nov 2019 04:50GMT

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Illustration of financial transfers (Credit: Suriyapong Thongsawang/Getty Images)

Sources

Susan Scott and Markos Zachariadis, The Society for Worldwoide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Abingdon: Routledge 2014

Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson 1998

Patrice A. Carré 'From the telegraph to the telex: a history of technology, early networks and issues in France in the 19th and 20th centures' FLUX Cahiers Scientifiques Internationaux Réseaux et Territoires, 1993

'New SWIFT network gives banks an instant linkup - worldwide' Banking 1977

Lily Hay Newman 'A New Breed of ATM Hackers Gets in Through a Bank's Network' Wired 9 April 2019

Iain Thomson 'Banking system SWIFT was anything but on security, ex-boss claims' The Register 18 August 2016

Eric Lichtblau and James Risen 'Bank Data Is Sifted By US In Secret To Block terror' The New York Times 23 June 2006

Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman 'Weaponised Interdependence' forthcoming, International Security, Summer 2019

Nicholas Lambert, Planning Armageddon, London: Harvard University Press 2012

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