Partnerships and real time on the agenda at SIBOS

Nordea made the journey to Sydney for this year’s SIBOS (Swift International Banking Operations Seminar) which took place from 22- 25 October. Overall, more than 250 customer meetings and press interviews took place on the Nordea stand during the four days of the conference.

As well as the busy meeting schedule, members of the Nordea team were involved in 9 speaker slots discussing topics such as digital disruption, instant, real-time and cross border payments, the commercialisation of Open Banking and organising for innovation. Nordea also picked up awards from The Banker and Global Finance during the conference.

The annual SIBOS conference is organised by SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and brings leading figures together from banks, large corporates, fintechs and other financial institutions to network and discuss issues related to the area of transaction banking.

The overall theme for 2018 was ‘Enabling the digital economy’, which according to the conference organisers “reflects the far-reaching transformation of banks and other financial service providers as they adjust to the realities of a digital world.” This year, 7,655 delegates from around the globe attended the conference with a total of 166 exhibitors.

Gateway to the Nordics

Nordea’s theme for SIBOS 2018 was the ‘Gateway to the Nordics’ which presented the bank’s leading position in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway as the ideal choice for anyone looking for a partner in the Nordic region. The Nordea stand and accompanying marketing material showed the Nordic region as a place where openness, innovation and a willingness to trade has long been the way things are done.

Throughout the conference, partnerships, collaboration and joint approaches to problem solving were recurring discussion topics.

Erik Zingmark, Head of Transaction Banking, says: “My main value takeaway from SIBOS this year is that I feel that we have connected to banks very well where I see great opportunities for partnerships and together solve problems, develop solutions and find efficiencies, in between Nordea and those banks. There haven’t been so many new topics but rather mature discussions around topics we started to talk about already at SIBOS in Toronto last year and those topics are for example, obviously Open Banking, blockchain, compliance related things, correspondent banking – how to operate that in the future, where obviously SWIFT with GPI still plays an important role.”

Patrik Havander, Head of TxB Strategy & Commercial Excellence, reflected: “One thing that I feel has been in focus is partnerships, where the focus has been on bank partnerships and how they are expanding. We have examples around we.trade, we have also examples around P27 that has been very much in focus, where the Nordic banks come together.”

Digital Theme

Sophia Wikander, Head of Mobile, E-commerce & Innovation, notes: “I think some of the key discussions that I’ve had here at SIBOS are related to data. Both data security and the fraud that we are facing in the banking sector and beyond. But also, how to utilise the data and how we can become a better service provider of not only banking products but also other products through the data that we have about our customers and their customers. Another thing that has been high on the agenda is real time. Both real time payments but also real time data and how Treasurers and CFOs can utilise the real-time data that is a result of real-time payments.”

Claus Richter, Head of Transaction Banking Solutions at Nordea, comments: “We had a lot of discussions and it’s clear that everybody is getting to the business side of Open Banking, so everybody is thinking of the commercialisation and how we take that forward.”

Tino Kam, Head of Transaction Banking Payment and Liquidity Management Solutions at Nordea, says: “We discussed instant payments use cases during a round table discussion where we felt that instant payments, linked to open APIs, linked to cross border payments; that those three elements together create a really powerful base for innovation. A lot of use cases were discussed and I’m really excited about them.”

You can see more reflections from SIBOS from our on-stand interviews here:

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