Building block 17: Considering the feasibility of new multilateral platforms and arrangements for cross-border payments

A multilateral platform is a payment system for cross-border payments that is multi-jurisdictional by design. Some platforms have been developed in the context of public sector initiatives to promote regional financial integration. Multilateral platforms may mitigate certain cross-border payment frictions, including long transaction chains, legacy technology platforms, fragmented and truncated data formats, and, depending on the platform design, funding costs.


Increasing the role of multilateral platforms in cross-border payments can be based on two approaches - the growth approach and the greenfield approach. The growth approach involves expanding existing multilateral platforms to additional jurisdictions, currencies and participants (including by extending access to foreign participants and interlinking with domestic systems and other platforms). This option could be based on existing institutional arrangements but may nevertheless require greater public-private sector involvement and coordination. The greenfield approach involves building a new, potentially global infrastructure for cross-border payments. This option would entail complex international governance discussions and cooperative oversight arrangements, as well as careful balancing of the roles of public and private sector stakeholders.


  • The CPMI, the IMF and the World Bank led a stocktake of existing and potential multilateral platforms in 2021.
  • The CPMI, in collaboration with the BIS Innovation Hub, IMF and World Bank, identified and analysed existing multilateral platforms and described possible approaches for enhancing existing multilateral platforms or establishing new ones in a joint report.