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Microsoft has tied up a new major Azure partner in the form of financial messaging service SWIFT. Today, the company announced the collaboration that will see Microsoft Azure become the cloud platform for SWIFT’s cloud-based messaging.

SWIFT is a global leader in financial messaging and will leverage Azure to create secure and more efficient operations. Microsoft detailed the partnership in a blog today, following an official unveiling at Sibos 2018.

The companies say they have already worked through a proof-of-concept. That functional test included hosting SWIFT infrastructure and payment authorization through Azure.

“This is a big step forward in demonstrating the potential of the cloud in improving back-office operational efficiency. SWIFT continually seeks to reduce and remove friction and eliminate operational inefficiencies within the financial services payment ecosystem,” said Arnaud Boulnois, head of customer platforms at SWIFT.

“Cloud adoption continues to increase within the financial services industry, and we are thrilled to partner with Microsoft to bring the benefits of the cloud to SWIFT customers and ecosystem partners via Microsoft Azure.”

SWIFT is by more than 11,000 financial institutions. Those organizations use the service to send payments through a secure network. By using Azure, customers will have enhanced security and intelligence capabilities.

Microsoft Using Proof-of-Concept

To highlight the functionality, Microsoft says its own treasury division will use the solution. The company’s treasury is a massive operation that supports more than $400 billion in payments through SWIFT each year.

“The joint deep engineering engagement between SWIFT and Microsoft has delivered a more secure and compliant cloud services that will benefit the industry as a whole,” said Ulrich Homann, distinguished Architect at Microsoft.

“In the future ecosystem of open banking and instant payments, we believe this partnership with SWIFT will enable our combined corporate customers to benefit from the agility, performance and high availability features only made possible by the Azure cloud.”