Patricia Hines’ three key takeaways from Sibos 2016 from a corporate banking perspective.

The fall conference season is a business time for us in the industry research business. I’ve finally recovered from a hectic week in Geneva, where I met with over 40 banks, technology companies and consulting firms to discuss what’s happening in global transaction banking. This year’s Sibos theme was ‘Transforming the Landscape’, organised around four themes:

  • banking
  • compliance
  • culture
  • securities.

A selection of Sibos session recordings is available on the Sibos website. With my research focus of corporate banking, my discussions focused on three key topics.

Swift’s global payments innovation (gpi) initiative. Swift announced that it had successfully completed the first phase of the gpi pilot, surprising some bankers with its ability to meet the first milestone so quickly. The initial objective of gpi is to improve the speed of cross-border payments (starting with same-day) and improve transparency with new end-to-end payment tracking. Swift staffers roamed the exhibition hall with iPads demonstrating the gpi’s new payment tracker. It remains for banks to integrate the new payment type into their corporate digital channels and to determine product pricing.

Swift gpi concept. Image: Swift

PSD2 and UK open banking. Technology providers, especially those that offer core banking systems along with payments technology, are working closely with regulators and industry groups to enhance their product offerings to accommodate the third-party account information access and payment initiation provisions of PSD2, along with the UK’s Open Banking API Framework. Looking beyond mere compliance, providers and banks are developing value-added services to capitalise on the significant disruption arising from opening traditional banking capabilities to third-parties.

Blockchain in corporate banking. After publishing a Celent report on use cases for blockchain in corporate banking earlier this year, I was heartened to hear “real world” blockchain announcements from the big tech companies, touting their banking collaborations. Swiss bank UBS is working with IBM on a project to replicate the entire life cycle of an international trade transaction. The FX settlement service, CLS, is building a payments netting service that will enable cash trades on IBM’s Fabric blockchain. Bank of America and Microsoft announced their intent to build and test blockchain applications for trade finance.

Although much progress is being made by blockchain consortia, banks and technology providers, most people I talked to believe that significant adoption of blockchain for corporate banking use cases is still a few years in the future.

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– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Main photo: fuyu liu, Shutterstock.com

About the author

Patricia Hines

Patricia Hines is a senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice. Her areas of research include global transaction services and wholesale banking, with emphasis on treasury and cash management, corporate banking delivery channels, and trade and supply chain finance, along with commercial and small business lending.

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