Sibos 2021 Highlights

SIBOS is the world’s premier financial services event hold by SWIFT where the global financial community comes together each year to hold annually to identify the trends in the payments industry, to visualize the future of cross-border payments and to keep up with the most recent innovative solutions such as AI and ML for compliance and fraud prevention. In 2020, SIBOS was run as a digital event as a result of the global pandemic. In 2021, the digital journey of SIBOS has evolved further and SIBOS 2021 was held completely digitally.

Highlights from SIBOS 2021

One of the important topics highlighted in SIBOS 2021 was the integration of SMEs into financial system and reducing the cost for this inclusion. Big corporates and organizations need to re-construct or re-develop the production and operation systems in line with the requirements of the future such as carbon neutrality.

Sustainable financing was another issue discussed within the framework of OCBC Bank. It is a certification process that started in the mature financial environment of the west; however, the Asia is catching up as well. For 2025, there are 25 billion investments for going green targeted in OCBC.

As the demands in the financial ecosystem change, the trends in the payment services have been re-shaped and varied. Consumers require pace and therefore the ability to move their money very quickly. In conclusion, stable coin introduction, digital wallets (instead of cash and credit cards) and interoperability of payments systems are among the most popular and demanded services.

Other topics covered in SIBOS 2021 are cloud based and API enabled payments hubs in which services such as sanctions screening and AML checks are included. CDBC crypto space was presented as an alternative payment channel. Finally, in removing friction cross-border payments, case resolution and standard APIs are highlighted as important sources.

Day 1:

  1. ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) and Covid are playing a vital role in restructuring trade flows. ESG transformation can be smoother with a more detailed supply-chain management
  2. Banks will carry on their intermediary role in a CBDC world. The main responsibilities of the commercial banks will remain when these become widespread; however, they cannot be totally self-sustained.

Day 2:

  1. SWIFT Transaction Manager is essential for a prominent and efficient ISO 20022 migration. Smaller costs and faster processes are possible with the richer data provided by ISO 20022
  2. Both SWIFT Go and the access provided thanks to the determination of the corresponding banking network enabled low-value payments to achieve end-to-end transparency
  3. Despite that AI and machine learning require a ceaseless sense checking, the compensation is substantial. There is a vast area of valuable uses of AI and ML such as cross-border payments, document recognition around trade finance and neurolinguistic programming in bank operations

Day 3: 

  1. Digitalization in trade is finally and actually happening. Trade Information Network took the part as the good enabler and thanks to the UNCITRAL Model Law for Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR), the legal handicaps are solved.
  2. Adoption of ISO 20022 in the payments industry is making a successful progression; however, it is hard to say the same for the securities market.
  3. The CEO of Euroclear, Lieve Mostrey, comments from the management level of view: “Market infrastructures can help issues and investors with sustainable finance choices.”

Day 4:

  1. According to HM Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, the problems in financial inclusion needs more attention, there are still more to be done.
  2. As a natural result of the lockdowns during the global pandemic, consumer behaviour leaned towards more into digital banking. 36 million people in Brazil, which equals to 17% of the unbanked population of South Africa, have become a customer of the banking system with a government emergency aid programme. Access to banking services and credits were made possible for those people for the first time. (reference)
  3. Although friction is still a valid issue in cross-border payments, the increase in the domestic real-time payments paves the way for achieving more effective cross-border payments.

SIBOS 2021 has proven that it is possible to transcend the time zones and create a more interactive and customized experience with the digital event formats such as live sessions and educational red thread content journeys. Just as in all the rest of the industries, the financial industry is also facing a transformative disruption and a successful adaptation to it is a must for survival. Therefore, the main focus and debated topics of SIBOS 2021 were gathered under the umbrella of “Recharging Global Finance”. The sub-themes were categorized under four interconnected topics which are digital acceleration, managing risk, transformative technology and banking on change, all of which devoted to understand how to improve the financial ecosystem so that the client, regulatory and societal demands of the changing world can be met.