This year the time had actually come. While in previous years Toronto, Osaka and Sydney were very attractive cities that hosted the annual SIBOS, these were too time-consuming and costly for a short business trip. London, on the other hand, is practically around the corner ….. this at least reduces the time required. So off to London!
In the run-up I was of course very curious what would expect me at Sibos. I always heard something about the annual class reunion of the industry; in memory of my own class reunions, however, I set off in the hope of not only telling and being told stories from the past, but rather to see ideas for the development of banking and especially payment transactions presented and discussed and thus to gain impetus for my own work.
Yes, the banks and therefore also the financial sector are undergoing massive upheaval and there will be no “business as usual”, but what lessons do we learn from this and what ideas do we need to develop? So once again: off to London!
The motto of this year’s SIBOS gave us courage at this point. In addition to the SWIFT exhibition and the updates on upcoming developments
(SWIFT GPI, SWIFT Migration…), the agenda also included topics dealing with the banking of the future. Open Banking, Customer Experience, Crypto, Identity and Security were topics that promised an exciting examination of the industry with the challenges of the future, whereby the future has already begun. In addition, there was again the separate Innotribe stream, in which “modern topics” were on the agenda, this year focusing primarily on identity and security.
Arriving in London and leaving the now familiar security apparatus behind, visitors were able to get a picture of the two “exhibition halls” in which banks and providers were represented and exhibited. The exhibition stands of the banks did not show that the banks in general and especially in Germany are in rocky waters. On the provider side, the usual international players were represented, but also local specialists and new (niche) providers.All in all very informative, but, understandable, also very business-oriented.
In addition to SWIFT presentations for true enthusiasts, the SIBOS program also offered presentations, speeches, panels and key notes on topics of interest to the SWIFT community and the other attendees and gave me some ideas for the coming months. Apart from the Center Stages and the product presentations, there were also presentations on the Innotribe stage, especially on topics that at first glance were not related to payment, but which sharpened the overall view and also made it clear that the industry likes to celebrate, but should not take itself too seriously. Brian Cox, a physicist popular in the UK, impressively demonstrated how small our industry is in relation to the cosmos.
The SIBOS trade fair and programme were really good and offered some ideas about how our industry can develop. However, as expected, the real magic of SIBOS lay in the fact that this event (like so many industry meetings) was the occasion to meet up with one’s network, expand the network, deepen exciting topics in conversation and tackle new issues. A coffee date chases the next one, former colleagues wait for a joint sandwich, the SIBOS app constantly broadcasts “time to catch-up?” from people you haven’t met for a while and there is even a meeting of the current project.
All in all, a visit to SIBOS in London was worthwhile in many ways; so off to Boston 2020? Mmmmhhh… The SIBOS and Boston are an attractive combination, but this also means effort in several dimensions. It can also be assumed that the special intensity of meetings with the company’s own network described above was also due to the SIBOS location in 2019. Will the density of companies and people that are relevant and interesting for me also be present in North America?