From our bold new strategy to enable instant, frictionless transactions to ISO 20022 adoption, fighting fraud, CSDR, new technologies and more, we break down the top 10 takeaways from SWIFT at Sibos’ packed three-day programme.
The first ever digital SWIFT at Sibos is officially over, but the conversation continues. From 5-7 October we hosted 11 expert-led sessions covering a range of topics tailored to the needs of our community.
Thousands of customers attended the sessions live, but don’t worry if you missed something. Below are 10 key takeaways from the SWIFT at Sibos sessions, with links to watch the full recording of each on demand.
1. SWIFT’s new strategy will enable instant, frictionless transaction processing
Over the next two years and beyond, the SWIFT platform will evolve to enable end-to-end transaction management, resulting in instant, frictionless transactions and richer data that will allow us to offer mutualised services such as pre-validation of essential data, fraud detection, data analytics and transaction tracking. “Our strategy will continue to place financial institutions front and centre,” explained David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at SWIFT. “In short, our platform will deliver the infrastructure that will help financial institutions adapt, thrive and grow.”
2. Adopt the ISO 20022 standard as early as possible
SWIFT and Deutsche Bank experts discussed the benefits of the new ISO 20022 standard and everything you need to know ahead of the start of migration in November 2022. “ISO 20022 allows for the introduction of new data components meaning far richer information can be transmitted alongside the transaction in comparison to existing formats,” said Paula Roels, Head Market Infrastructure & Industry Initiatives at Deutsche Bank. “This in turn increases transparency of the payment and supports financial institutions with their task of guaranteeing secure payment processing and conforming to compliance regulations.”
3. Banks are leveraging SWIFT gpi to provide SMEs and consumers with a better payments experience
SWIFT has embarked on an exciting new initiative for low-value cross-border payments together with its community. The new service will provide predictable payments, with costs and processing times known upfront, in addition to real time tracking. What’s in it for SME and retail customers? “A predicable payment experience from the safety and security of their bank account that’s fast, simple, transparent, and cost effective,” said Joanne Strobel, Head of Technical Solutions and Network Management, Wells Fargo’s CIB Global Payment Service. “Many of us have already made an investment in gpi, and so being able to further leverage that investment to drive more value for our business, more value for our customers, with only incremental investment, is a very powerful proposition.”
4. There’s no time to waste in preparation for CSDR
The deadline to comply with CSDR’s (Central Securities Depositories Regulation) settlement discipline regime has been extended until 2022. However, there is still much work to be done. Market participants should make the most of this extension, says Pardeep Cassells, Head of Financial Products at Access Fintech: “This is not a time to slow down. If the regulation had gone live as intended in February 2021, very few organisations would have been ready with solutions... Use this time to collaborate with peers, counterparts, service providers to actually understand what is driving mismatched fields and work to reduce those.”
5. Universal Confirmations improve customer experience and reduce operational costs
Starting 22 November 2020, financial institutions must confirm the outcome of their customer payments to the SWIFT Tracker. “Universal Confirmations allows us to give customers the confidence that their payment has reached its final destination,” said Tash Toothill, Director, Payments Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group. There are various tools and channels available to help you track and confirm payments, including the free Basic Tracker. “The Basic Tracker has really become the go to tool for our team,” said Christine Bruneau, Leader Wire Operations at ATB Financial. “It can provide us an almost real time indication of the status and the wire location. This enables us to improve the customer experience with the ability to give that almost real time response without further action.”
6. Collaboration matters when it comes to fighting financial crime
When it comes to fighting fraud in financial services, collaboration is key. “How do we cooperate directly with our clients? Can we execute effectively in crisis mode? This can only be shown in simulation exercises. What we do prior to the attack, during the attack, what we do to aid each other in recovery from an attack. I think these are very important exercises that the financial services industry need to conduct with each other as well as some of their large customers to provide a lot more resilience,” said Michael Knorr, Head of Payments & Liquidity Management – Global Payments at Wells Fargo.
7. The Customer Security Programme (CSP) is a cyber-hygiene game-changer
“The Customer Security Programme (CSP) is a multi-year, multi-facetted initiative, which aims to ‘raise the bar’ of cybersecurity hygiene for customers, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and minimising the impact of fraudulent transactions,” said Brett Lancaster, Managing Director, Global Head of Customer Security at SWIFT. Although a significant investment, cyberattacks are here to stay and CSP endeavours to mitigate threats and minimise their impact. The Programme offers guidance to the community as a whole, requiring collaboration through intelligence sharing and pan-industry engagement.
8. Technology alone is not enough in the digitisation of trade finance
There is an infamous paper burden in global trade. “When Covid struck, it became clear that lockdowns were preventing couriers from accessing certain jurisdictions, accelerating the need for trade digitisation,” said Louise Taylor-Digby, SWIFT’s Head of Trade Strategy. SWIFT has worked with leading banks to leverage existing infrastructure to digitise certain trade processes, however technology alone is not enough. “No matter how much technology we apply to this problem, whilst there is still a lack of legal harmonisation we will only ever get so far. Hence a key component of our trade strategy is exploring how we can collaborate across the ecosystem to help accelerate trade digitisation.”
9. SWIFT is supporting the industry’s shift to cloud with Alliance Cloud
Financial institutions across the globe are increasingly looking at cloud-based solutions as a means of delivering greater agility, greater speed, lower costs and a better end user experience. To support this, SWIFT has launched Alliance Cloud, a new cloud-based interface providing easy integration with back-end applications and access to the SWIFT network reaching over 11,000 counterparties. “SWIFT’s Alliance Cloud solution is very much responding to all of our requirements,” said Davron Isroyilov, Director of Foreign Economic Activity Department, Asia Alliance Bank discussing their participation in the Alliance Cloud pilot. “We were really amazed by the fact that it’s a mixture of a revolutionary and evolutionary software solution. It’s much easier to work with the workflows, much easier to understand everything. It’s very future proof.”
10. An open API economy is the future of global finance
APIs are a hot topic when it comes to innovation in financial services. While SWIFT continues to invest in APIs, full-scale adoption by the industry will take a sustained effort. There are many benefits. “API integrations allow clients to directly access their information at the proverbial click of a button,” says Rene Shuurman, Global Product Manager, Digital Channels, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions. “Historically there was a delay in providing information, so it’s all about visibility, transparency, the ability to directly transact and react to new information as well as doing this directly through their treasury applications, so it’s all about ease and convenience.”
Watch on demand
All SWIFT at Sibos sessions are available on demand via the programme page.