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Sibos descends on Geneva

Those of you unfamiliar with the annual jamboree which is the wonderful SIbos – the world’s largest financial conference/exhibition – will possibly be oblivious to the scale and intensity of the event, and its impact and influence in the short-term trade, FI and fintech community.

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Comments (2)

  • Jonathan Bell
    Jonathan Bell, TXF 6 October 2016

    Many thanks for your remarks and observations Whitman. I think we will gradually see a continuation of a variety of collaborative measures between the banks and between the banks and various fintech-type companies. And, it is interesting to see some banks actually taking stakes in such fintech companies, with Standard Chartered's stake in Ripple being just one such very recent example. I asked the COO of Ripple last week just how much actual activity Ripple was focusing on the trade finance sector, and he replied that so far it had been very little. Perhaps this will change with such partnerships with financial institutions now. I'm sure there will be much more to hear from them by the time we get around to Sibos Toronto in October 2017.

  • Whitman Knapp
    Whitman Knapp, GTBInsights LLC 5 October 2016

    Agreed, it was a great Sibos. It was particularly interesting as it brought to the front the dynamics of the SWIFT fintech relationship. One of the industries sources of information, Finextra, did the transaction banking community a significant service with its attention grabbing headline “Ripple rudely gatecrashes Sibos party” (https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/29512/ripple-rudely-gatecrashes-sibos-party?utm_medium=newsflash&utm_source=2016-9-28). This article brought to light a critical issue for transaction banking, and for SWIFT. Are the banks and their traditional partners going to compete or collaborate with the emerging fintech world? It is important to appreciate SWIFT’s lineage and the difficultly in shedding the long held banker‘s belief that “if it wasn’t invented here, built here and controlled here, it is not fit for purpose.” While one observes some change in this mind set, it is still widely held. It is particularly ironic that this view still appears to hold sway at SWIFT given that its own Innotribe group has taken a lead in pointing out to the members of the transaction banking community the need for new thinking, the need for open systems and the need for collaboration by all actors in the ecosystem. It seems counterproductive for SWIFT to invest significant time and money creating its admirably intentioned GPI initiative when the underlying technical capability is available right now from Ripple (www.ripple.com). SWIFT’s plan to create a payments dashboard also seems counterproductive when intix (www.intix.eu) has a credible offering today. Both of these important efforts would be advanced more rapidly through collaboration rather than competition. One hopes when Sibos meets next October in Toronto, not only will Ripple be invited, but demonstrable progress will have been made to collaborate on the transaction banking industry’s need for payments services which are secure, faster, cost effective and more transparent. Whitman E. Knapp Chairman GTBInsights LLC

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