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Sibos 2020 kicks off – bringing the financial community together online

Sibos 2020 kicks off – bringing the financial community together online

5 October 2020 | 5 min read

SWIFT Board Chair Yawar Shah and CEO Javier Pérez-Tasso kick off Sibos 2020 with a look at our evolving strategy and the road ahead with our community.

As the financial community continues to adapt to the challenges brought on by the global pandemic, it is also accelerating a journey towards greater digitisation that began well before the current crisis. The digital drive to improve processes, reduce costs and enhance customer experience is by now well underway. What the current climate has shown us, however, is that we must continue to adapt, we must go faster, and we must work together.

Bringing the financial community together is also central to the Sibos spirit, and this year is no different. Completely digital for the first time, Sibos kicked off today under the banner of “Driving the evolution of smart finance.” This theme and related subthemes – from delivering digital value and responsible innovation to banking for humanity and the future of finance – will run throughout the four day event, which is free to attend for the SWIFT community.

New SWIFT strategy aligned to your evolving needs

In the opening SWIFT plenary,  SWIFT Board Chair Yawar Shah and CEO Javier Pérez-Tasso explained in detail how SWIFT is evolving to meet our community’s needs.

“As you would expect, this strategy represents a combination of SWIFT leaning forward with new technology and innovation, and very deliberately and in a structured way getting feedback from the entire global community – from the global transaction banks to the 11,000+ customers we serve from more than 200 countries,” said Shah. 

The strategy, which was unanimously approved by the SWIFT Board in September, sets out our vision to deliver instant and frictionless end-to-end transactions from one account to another anywhere in the world for payments and securities. 

“We are certainly now in a period of adaptation across all major economies,” said Pérez-Tasso, “and I’m very conscious of the intense challenges that the pandemic has brought so far to our industry and will continue to bring. Even in this challenging context, I believe we can look ahead with optimism about what we can solve and achieve together. And that is exactly what SWIFT’s new strategy is all about.”

Innovating responsibly

Over the next two years and beyond, SWIFT will transform its platform to orchestrate interactions between financial institutions and other participants to minimise friction, optimise speed and provide end-to-end transparency and predictability. Our new platform will also be backward compatible, so that every one of our customers can adopt at their own pace and benefit from the new capabilities with minimal disruption.

“What really mattered to me in developing this new strategy is that it’s based responsible innovation,” said Pérez-Tasso. “That’s in our character as an industry owned cooperative, with a trusted global network. First and foremost, you can trust the quality of transactions over SWIFT. With end-to-end data integrity, immutable transactions with no possibility for data truncation. And of course our mandate as a cooperative is to maintain the highest level of security, resilience and availability of services, backed by strong governance and oversight.  

Echoing this, Shah said: “As you know, SWIFT takes its responsibility on risk, control, oversight and regulation with the utmost seriousness. It is core to who we are and what we do on your behalf. 

“As SWIFT accelerates to meet the needs of our community, we will place an even stronger focus on all elements of risk and control and further develop these capabilities. SWIFT will continue to raise the bar on its services and keep the focus high on security, reliability and resiliency.” 

Collaboration with and for our entire community

As an industry cooperative, we are evolving to meet the needs of all our members, regardless of size, geography or type of activity. For payments providers, our new strategy will enable you to strengthen your core B2B cross-border business as well as extend your capabilities to SME and consumer payments. For securities players, we will help you work more efficiently, transparently and with less complexity, while supporting diverse asset types.

“I have met with many leaders in the industry (virtually) over the last few months, and I am delighted to see banks, corporates and even fintechs coming on the journey with us,” said Pérez-Tasso. “We have had great conversations as we define the future and a roadmap that will provide the underlying infrastructure for the industry’s future.” 

“In our industry,” said Shah, “transformation is never one giant leap. But it can be so powerful if we work together.”

While it won’t be in person this year, Sibos remains the ideal venue for the financial industry to come together to collaborate and connect, and shape the future together. 

Learn more about our strategy for payments and securities

Find out more about our new strategy and the benefits for you. Join our Sibos strategy session for payments on 6 October at 10:30 CET and for capital markets on 7 October at 19:30 CET.