Russia & Iran to switch to SWIFT-free banking system(Source RT) Russia and Iran will transfer payments using an alternative system to the internationally recognized SWIFT money transfer network, the governor of the Iranian central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, announced. Instead of SWIFT, a system that facilitates cross-border payments between 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries worldwide, the two countries will use their own domestically developed financial messaging systems – Iran’s SEPAM and Russia’s SPFS. Using this system for trade and business exchanges between EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) member states can help develop and expand trade exchanges between the member states as well,” Abdolnaser Hemmati said. Tehran is set to officially join the Russia-led free-trade zone, the EAEU, next month. The document on Iran’s participation was ratified in June by the nation’s parliament and President Hassan Rouhani has already ordered that the free trade zone agreement be implemented. Earlier this month, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Tehran and Moscow are developing an alternative to SWIFT. Russia began development of SPFS in 2014 amid Washington’s threats to disconnect the country from SWIFT. The first transaction on the SPFS network involving a non-bank enterprise was made in December 2017. Around 500 participants, including major Russian financial institutions and companies, have already joined the payment channel, while some foreign banks have shown interest in joining.