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Sibos 2020: Our new vision for payments

Sibos 2020: Our new vision for payments

19 October 2020 | 4 min read

An expert panel of speakers discuss our new strategy for payments, including the market dynamics driving it, as well as how our ambition for frictionless, instant end-to-end transactions will unlock bold new opportunities for our community. 

Mark Buitenhek, Head of Transaction Services at ING, set the scene for our new payments strategy (launched last month) at this year’s Sibos, in a session featuring an expert panel of speakers from across the Swift community. “These are exciting times to be on the board of Swift as we embark on this exciting new chapter. The ultimate beneficiaries will be our clients, because with these moves, we as financial institutions will be able to provide them with more and better payment services,” he said. 

David Watson, Swift’s Chief Strategy Officer, followed by laying out the drivers for the new strategy. “We see an incredible amount of disintermediation in the world of transactions,” said Watson. New competition from upstream and downstream players, as well as new business models powered by innovative new technologies, are driving great change in the payments space, he added.

Swift strategy overview: Payments
57 min view

Swift strategy overview: Payments

Our strategy responds

This competition, however, gives Swift and our community a great opportunity to take the next step forward, said Watson. Not only in terms of how financial institutions service their customers today, but also to build out new services in the future. 

Our new strategy aims to do just that. “By building on the solid foundation that we have today, and using our unrivalled security standards and compliance expertise, we’ll innovate rapidly at scale, with the right levels of risk and control,” said Watson.

Our future
2 min view

Our future

In payments, the new strategy will enhance the B2B payment capabilities for financial institutions, guaranteeing predictability of price and time, to enable an instant and frictionless end-to-end payment environment. And in the future this will also serve payments in the consumer and SME space too, said Watson.

Our strategy will continue to place financial institutions front and centre, whilst our platform will deliver the infrastructure to help financial institutions adapt thrive and grow. This means our customers and their partners can focus on their own innovations quickly and safely as well.”

David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer, Swift

Enabling change with our new platform

To make this happen, over the next few years our platform will evolve, moving from purely messaging to transaction management, explained Harry Newman, Head of Payments Strategy. 

Shifting to end-to-end transaction management and richer data will enable us to offer mutualised services, such as pre-validation of essential data, fraud detection, data analytics and transaction tracking. All of this will help us facilitate our clients and their customers to drive forward in the next evolution of international transactions. 

“But above all, it's about enhanced customer experience. It's about allowing financial institutions with better data, lower friction, lower cost and much faster payments to provide a better service to their clients, which is what it's all about,” said Newman.

Swift GPI: Driving a payments revolution

View from the community

The session rounded off with an engaging panel discussion, moderated by Swift’s Saskia Devolder, Managing Director, Business Development, Europe North. The discussion looked at some of the emerging trends in the payments space, how cross-border payments are evolving to meet customer demands, as well as how the new strategy will help financial institutions unlock new capabilities. Below are some key highlights from the speakers. 

Melissa Tuozzolo, ICG Clearing FI Payments, Market Management and Industry Head, Citi

“When we think about the future and what we want to aspire to for cross-border payments, I think we have the model right in front of us [with the domestic payments user experience]. It's now how do we make this work for all payments.”

Shirish Wadivkar, Global Head of Correspondent Banking Products, Standard Chartered

“My vision of payments is context aware payments, payments that are smart, self-routing. Payments that fuel the speed of commerce, not slow it down. Payments being affected, machine to machine, automatically based on contract execution. I would look towards a future when payments go beyond being seamless and become invisible.”

Bruno Mellado, Global Head of Payments, BNP Paribas

“Treasures and business units are working more and more together to find the best payment method to foster more business relationships. They’re thinking more about how to embed the payment into the business event, so that you don't think about the payment, you think about the business event. And then the payment is just a consequence.”

Saskia Devolder, Managing Director, Business Development, Europe North

“I think that is the best call for action, to deliver 100% seamless, 100% instant, 100% frictionless payments that actually fuel the business and not delay the business. We have to be bold and execute all together, both banks, Swift and the rest of the community, in order to make this happen.”