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SWIFT expands Innotribe programme to address market challenges

SWIFT expands Innotribe programme to address market challenges

7 December 2015

As part of SWIFT’s new five year strategy, Innotribe will evolve its Startup Challenge to support emerging FinTech ecosystems and launch a new initiative to help resolve common industry challenges with collaborative solutions.

Brussels, 7 December 2015 - SWIFT announces that Innotribe, its innovation arm since 2009, will expand its programme to support innovation in emerging FinTech ecosystems, such as Africa and Latin America. Innotribe will also launch a new initiative that challenges the SWIFT community to actively collaborate and develop utility-based solutions for the benefit of the global financial services industry.

Launched in 2009, Innotribe was created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry going forward. Bringing together innovators, bank representatives, and investors from leading financial institutions, Innotribe has adopted a proactive approach to innovation and FinTech. It provides a platform to understand the dynamics behind technology changes and focuses on the opportunities for transformation rather than the threats to current market practices.

"SWIFT is about bringing added-value to its customers in response to the fast changing landscape," says Christian Sarafidis, Chief Marketing Officer at SWIFT. "As an innovation incumbent, particularly in the areas of real-time payments, compliance and correspondent banking SWIFT has a leading role to play in driving innovation across the SWIFT ecosystem. By expanding the Innotribe programme, SWIFT is taking innovation to a new level, creating more opportunities for all of our customers to tap into the flourishing FinTech environment. These new Innotribe initiatives not only raise the innovation bar for SWIFT, but will help us all move forward together."

The Startup Challenge evolves to support innovation in emerging FinTech ecosystems

Launched in 2011, Innotribe Startup Challenge's mission was to bring visibility to activities at the edges of our ecosystem, highlighting the importance of these new emerging companies called startups and their revolutionary way to think and work. Over the years, the Startup Challenge has become one of the leading global startup competitions, connecting the financial services industry with more than 650 FinTech startups around the world and reaching over 4,000 audience members through global showcases and networking events.

In 2016, the Startup Challenge will focus on discovering and supporting emerging FinTech ecosystems. For the second consecutive year, Innotribe will partner with the SWIFT African Regional Conference (ARC) to tap into the high potential of African startups. For Latin America, Innotribe will also leverage a similar SWIFT regional event to harness the innovation happening on the ground in that market.

SWIFT launches new ‘Industry Challenge' initiative

The Industry Challenge programme is a new initiative where the Innotribe team will work closely with SWIFT member organisations to identify key business areas that could benefit from collaborative solutions. As a part of this programme, Innotribe will organise business-specific challenges and bring SWIFT member institutions and internal teams together with solution providers and a hand-picked group of FinTech startups. Together these teams will deeply explore potential opportunities for select business areas and work on Proof of Concepts that might turn into tangible solutions for the industry.

"The growth of Innotribe's scope and outreach over the last few years is impressive," says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.  As Innotribe grows deeper into SWIFT's core, it proves innovation is not an after-thought but a real component of business architecture. We need to worry less about disruption and recognise that innovation, in the meaning of adopting a new approach to an existing process or developing a new product, is positive for the industry."

Stimulating debate and discussion within our community

For the past seven years, Innotribe at Sibos has provided key insights on innovation trends while exploring thought-provoking content to challenge perceptions. In 2015, the stream moved from the side-lines to the main conference, which was an important milestone and a record-breaking year in terms of attendance. Proved to be a key player within the FinTech ecosystem, Innotribe will build on this success to develop its programme for Sibos 2016 in Geneva.

Innotribe will also continue to investigate a range of FinTech-related topics, connecting innovative, established and proven FinTech enterprises with academics and industry professionals through the publication of research papers and events.

Details of the different events organised around these Innotribe initiatives in 2016 will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, visit for more information.

About Innotribe

Launched in 2009, SWIFT Innotribe is about innovation and connecting people, networks and ideas. We bring together global innovators and investors, strategists, and influential decision-makers from leading financial institutions across the globe, providing them early insights into innovations that could disrupt current business models and create opportunities for new ones. Through the Startup Challenge competition, we bridge the gap between the startup ecosystem and the financial service community.

For more information, please visit  or follow us on Twitter: @innotribe and Linkedin: Innotribe.

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,800 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in over 200 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter: @swiftcommunity and LinkedIn: SWIFT

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