The stage is set – well, 12 of them actually – for Sibos ’23, bringing 8,500 payments professionals together in dynamic Toronto. But don’t worry if you aren’t Canada-bound, we have you covered with all of the must-have insights from this essential conference.
Here at Sibos I'm most excited about the growth opportunities that we are seeing with our clients. It's fantastic to sit down with clients from all over the world and hear how much they appreciate our business and our partnership. We talk a lot about our innovation agenda, the new products and services that we are launching, and how we also grow geographically and make sure that we can serve our clients even more than before. A big topic is definitely service - clients emphasize how much they value the service that we offer to them, and how much it sets us apart from so many other providers where they feel they're really listened to and understood, and that we take their concern seriously.
J.P. Morgan Payments is about innovation, but it's also about reliability, stability, and controlled growth that we can offer to our clients. I love Sibos. Everyone is here. You can see so many clients and have so many exciting conversations just within a few days.
Sibos never really stops and there were no signs of slowing down on day four in Toronto. Deep dives on agenda stalwarts for 2023 continued, with sessions focused on instant payments, financial crime and ISO 20022.
Our interest was drawn to the morning’s Swift industry session, ‘Sailing towards interoperability: The digital transformation in global trade’, featuring J.P. Morgan, Citi and Banco Santander. The goal of seamless interoperability was a big one here, considering DLT-based payment and asset networks from the Swift perspective, as well as debating how to advance a connected world of new value networks.
Nelli Zaltsman, from J.P. Morgan’s Onyx, touched on the different uses where JPM is seeing real value in blockchain today, including cross-border payments - in the context of commercial transactions and treasury - as well as blockchain and settlement of digital asset transactions, and the future of programmability. She also took a wider view: “As an industry we need to have a mindset shift – it’s important to look at the technology neutrally and not get distracted by the history of crypto.” Citing an analogy from an earlier panel, “Blockchain is going through a similar evolution of legitimacy as other technologies. For example, music streaming, if you consider its history, started with non-mainstream uses, but now we can’t imagine a world without streaming. Blockchain will be the same”.
Continuing on the future-forward theme, the razor-sharp minds of Atefeh Mashatan (Toronto Metropolitan University) and Marco Pistoia (J.P. Morgan) discussed qubits, the building blocks of quantum computers. Not for the faint of heart, this was a PhD-worthy session that looked at breakthroughs in hardware, software, and how to prepare for the quantum future.
Marco is moving at speed: “We cannot wait for quantum computing to be capable of breaking cryptography – we need to become crypto-agile now. JPMorgan Chase has identified a dual strategy that combines both Post Quantum Cryptography at the application layer and Quantum Key Distribution at the network layer, for added security. When it comes to the benefits of quantum computing to financial use cases, we want JPMorgan Chase to have a portfolio of quantum algorithms ready for production when quantum computers are ready.”
In Marco’s own words, quantum is a new technology and gives us a new start.
EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT:
There is no doubt that ISO 20022 has moved squarely to center stage this year. A session featuring J.P. Morgan’s Mike Tagai explored the potential for innovation brought about by the standard, and considered what the future could hold, post-adoption.
Mike set the scene: “ISO 20022 is not just the format you see but it is a method. It’s a method to get the community of users to come together and agree what kind of data they want to exchange amongst each other, and what they want to make as background processes. Therefore, it’s a method of getting well-defined data into the right structure, and automate it so that you can solve for real-life problems. If you start to see it this way, there’s so many possibilities beyond the Swift payments and trade finance messages that you see today.”
The panel also discussed ISO in the context of standardizing processes related to digital securities and CBDCs but agreed that, while blockchain settlement could be instantaneous, identification and automation of related processes, need to be worked out and it could be a few more years before it will be fully realized.
The ISO marathon
It’s not often you get a former comedian introducing your presentation but the ISO experts that took to the Spotlight stage were in for a treat with a high energy start to this hot topic. J.P. Morgan’s Ciaran Byrne explained how the new standard has elevated from something that was required, to a game changer. “If data is the new oil, then ISO 20022 is going to be the kerosene that ignites it”, he said, in the most quotable moment of the day.
Alongside the benefits of removing false positives, structuring data correctly to make payments faster and more transparent, there are also opportunities for product enhancements, according to Ciaran. Reviewing the adoption phases, he started with crawl (build out and deployment, technical programs and getting senior level buy-in)to walk (becoming business as usual, and educating all of your teams) to run (building new solutions, trends mapping and value added services that can be co-created with clients).
The future is ISO, and the future is bright.
Earlier in the day we heard some visionary advice on mentorships, burnout, and leadership ambitions. J.P. Morgan’s Renata Vilanova Lobo, alongside Women in Payments’ Kristy Duncan and Anita Booth, had this career advice for attendees:
A very timely reminder amidst the professional agenda of Sibos to also consider where you are going.
EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT:
Day two, and we’re ready for a debate. The Big Issue Debate, in fact, which gathered a stellar line up to discuss, ‘Are the G20 Targets Enough to Revolutionize Cross Border Payments?’
It's the biggest event of the day, and Swift’s Thierry Chilosi reminded the audience of the critical importance of payments, from both a social and political perspective. Setting the scene for the debate, he positioned the four G20 goals – speed, cost, access and transparency – as targets that both the private and public sector can get behind.
It’s a mantle that BIS’ Thomas Lammer picks up, keen to delve into these four pillars and the targets attached to each. “There’s four years to go, and a whole lot to do”, he admits.
J.P. Morgan’s Global Head of Payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, is cautiously optimistic about achieving the G20 goals. “The goals of speed and compliance aren’t conflicting – consider what has already been done in real time payments in just a few years: we now have the ability to do peer-to-peer in less than 15 seconds1, which proves we can have speed and quality. We have done it at scale in country after country, and move $10 trillion a day - despite constraints”.
Victoria Cleland of the Bank of England agreed that progress can be made, citing ISO standards as a model of cross-border consensus. This issue of consistency arose again and again throughout the debate, unsurprisingly, due to the fragmentation of payment rails and their potential barrier to meeting the G20 targets. Sanjay Sethi of First Abu Dhabi Bank also raised legacy platforms and technology as a roadblock for some regional players.
Harmonization is key, said Takis, in lowering the barrier to entry. “I’ve seen the trajectory over the past few years – it can be done. We have seen individual countries move in the right direction, and as long as there is the will to harmonize, there are no goals that cannot be met”.
Process, platform, people
Indeed, if day two had an overarching theme, then it is surely that of cross-border. Earlier in the day at a BNP Paribas panel, ‘All for T+1, and T+1 for all?’, settlement experts took center stage to ponder international investors. While so much attention has been focused on the domestic cohort, the debate swung the spotlight to the international investors and the markets trying to attract them. Sonia Paston-Bedingfeld, UBS, emphasized that organization will need to focus on three Ps: process, platform, people, while noting that adapting platforms and processes could bring more cost in the short term as the transition occurs but should achieve long-term efficiency.
J.P. Morgan’s Emma Johnson cautioned that some investors may want to purchase in one market and sell in another, but if settlement cycles become misaligned it may challenge this strategy and create added costs for investors. “In the European Union's consideration of T+1, it will need to evaluate the risk of cash penalties under CSDR's cash penalty regime. So, if the purchase of securities is in T+2 market, and the delivery in an EU CSD on a T+1 basis, then a penalty will be incurred by the seller. Both scenarios suggesting the need for harmonization across all markets.”
Harmony was also a key message as the panel considered who will be first to introduce T+1 in Europe. While most agreed that the UK was a front runner in readiness and potential appetite, Emma ended on a unifying note: “Post-Brexit, the UK is eager to do the right thing by its own market in a similar way to the US, but I would like to see the EU and U.K. move in tandem. After all, it’s not a race at the end of the day, it has to be the right thing for all - and at the right time for the market, and its investors.”
Not if, but when
Of course, you can’t talk cross-border without CBDCs these days, and the standing-room only session was high on the list for attendees. ‘CBDCs: Forging a path to global interoperability’ brought together the great minds from Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank, ANZ Bank and Swift to discuss Central Bank Digital Currencies for cross-border transactions.
Adeline Bachellerie, Banque de France, explained that most central banks are exploring CBDC for retail and wholesale purposes. “The question is not if, but when, we will integrate CBDCs and how they will introduce them for better efficiencies in payments. Few have formally launched but we are moving rapidly towards that day”.
AI black box to AI glass box
“Lately, everyone has learned how to spell AI, but the truth is, it’s been around for decades”. There’s no mistaking theintelligence in this session, as the brightest minds at the forefront of technology discuss ‘AI on the frontline of cybersecurity’.
JF Legault, J.P. Morgan; Kris Lovejoy, Kyndryl; Martin Kyle, Payments Canada; Reggie Townsend, SAS and moderator Alex Singla, McKinsey, each shared their perspectives on the areas of AI that is their focal point. Thereafter followed a fascinating peek into the values and risk of the hottest topic in payments and beyond these days, starting with what it is and how it’s used to the idea that, “a world where we turn over everything to automated decisioning is not a world we would enjoy occupying”. Reggie has clearly been at the forefront for some time.
As for JF, he “sleeps just fine” he happily tells the audience. His concern covers three areas for J.P. Morgan: how can bad guys use AI when targeting banks, how to use AI to simplify cybersecurity work and, critically, how to secure AI and machine learning so that adversaries cant abuse models for their goals.
There is risk and defense, but also value, the panel agrees. And while governance remains key, this is a team sport. Get to know your team, and play safe.
EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT:
Toronto was awake and ready for anything, kicking off with the J.P. Morgan’s Womens Breakfast today – the very first official get together of Sibos ’23. The early hour ignited the conversation, if anything, with an esteemed panel that included Kirsty Duncan of Women in Payments, Cheri McGuire from Swift, Andi Sabada of Scotiabank and our own Renata Villanova Lobo who moderated this inspiring session.
The discussion focused on the perpetual question of how to increase female representation across financial industries, with all in agreement that there is still much to do to achieve true gender equality. While newer generations receive kudos for demanding the change needed, Cheri asserted that the only way to accelerate is hiring women into senior leadership roles. All of the solutions are hard work, and take time, Kristy Duncan said. But we need to start with a strategy, and it needs to come from the top.
Breakfast has never been so inspirational.
Making ESG easy
The opening session, ‘How to weave ESG into your organization’s strategy’, centered the agenda around “the most important topic”. Walid Hejazi, University of Toronto, reminded the audience of promises of global goals to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and then contrasted that with a sobering slideshow of multiple, yet recent, ‘once in a lifetime’ climate events in Canada, Hawaii and Greece. Despite this, all is not lost. Hejazi came armed with a myth-busting approach to building a strategy that can incorporate real change into a business strategy. Referencing the BlackRock statement that puts climate policies and profitability side by side, he believes that finance leaders shouldn’t feel it’s an either/or. The audience were engaged too: questions from the floor even made the session run over time, with questions on sustainability reporting, greenwashing and financial incentives to encourage people to get behind ESG policies.
The mission to connect the world
Speaking of an engaged audience, when is the last time you saw people so determined to see a session that they sat on the floor? ‘What’s next for low-value cross border payments?’ had them packed to the rafters, and the hype didn’t disappoint. The stellar line up of Gayathri Vasudev, J.P. Morgan, Jean-Francois Mazure, Societe Generale, Petra Plompen, EBA Clearing and Simon Ong, DBS was worth squeezing in for. Ably moderated by Swift’s Kevin Tay, the panel began by asserting that the industry is at a crossroads. Low-value cross border payments have the capacity to attract volumes, and operational efficiencies will be a key indicator of success.
Gayathri Vasudev: “Traditionally, cross-border was focused on global trade and workers remittances – but this has rapidly changed. There are many more ecommerce and gig economy payments now; and when we consider SMEs, they may not have the sophisticated capabilities required to send and receive payments, and so are looking for providers to give them that seamless payment experience. It’s a large market that has been underserved until recently and Swift Go makes this process, cheaper, faster, and better. J.P. Morgan was one of the first banks to adopt Swift Go, offering low cost and settling in a timely manner, but we have even gone one step further and rolled out Xpedite remit network, with ‘last mile capabilities’ built out”.
Mostly, states Gayathri, low-value payments can be solved with three things: partnerships, governance and technology. “Technology will be the game changer - improved APIs to get a seamless experience for clients, to share digital wallets, to develop AI and machine learning… all of this will enable transactions to go seamlessly through the network, Its and reduce the risk for fraud or cyber security. It’s the way forward”.
The faster, the better
Everything, everywhere, all at once… a simple ask, right? Well, the question of instant treasury was never going to be one tat could be solved in a 30 minute session, but these panelists sure gave it a go. The smartest minds at Amazon, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Societe Generale and BCG, sat down to lay out the challenges, potential solutions and even consider if everyone even needs ‘instant’. Mostly, they spoke with one voice in calling for the development of a framework that works for everyone.
The bottom line: it doesn’t matter if the bank is fully digital, if the client is only manual. While a lot has happened in industry over the past few years – APIs, instant payments, Swift GPI, account pre-validation - having the right information at the right time to make decision, is still key. And ultimately, all of the ecosystem needs to move at the same pace if we want to switch to a true real time environment.
Amazon’s Carolina Caballero said it best: over the last few years there is much more real time everything. Corporates are multi-bank and multi payment rails, so need to have full transparency into real time payment – making solutions critical.
Additionally, there is the need to change operating models. After all, if you do everything in real time, then all the traditional treasury tasks become intertwined. While this may require significant changes in how you operate - in a positive way – it needs to be fit for purpose. Simple, right?
EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT:
Every payment collects data that can transform how your institution operates. Watch our video to see how J.P. Morgan Payments can help you use enriched data to deliver better experiences for your customers.
Cross-border payments bring people together and strengthen important connections.
And every payment made and received collects data that can transform how your institution operates.
You can learn a lot from big data. and while data analysis may not be easy, it's necessary in order to keep up in an increasingly evolving financial world, J.P. Morgan Payments can help.
We cover more than 160 countries across the globe, reaching our global network of more than 4,000 correspondent banking relationships to make those payments happen. We leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to create actionable insights, allowing J.P. Morgan Payments to provide fast, efficient, and cost-effective payments experiences.
We are market leaders with the ISO 20022 adoption, representing a significant percentage of MX traffic where enriched data will become the norm, unlocking numerous possibilities in the payments lifecycle to deliver better experiences for your underlying customers.
Our ability to leverage big data for clients like you has been recognized as one of the best in the industry, solidifying our commitment to helping you offer your customers the best possible payments insights.
Translating big data is a key component for delivering the future of global payments today.
Rethink what payments and big data can do for your business with J.P. Morgan Payments.
At J.P. Morgan, we’re thinking differently about the power of payments. Sign up for THE MONTH IN Payments to stay informed on the latest insights on digital payments innovation, industry trends and more.
Liink by J.P. Morgan: Unleash the power of the world’s first bank-led, peer-to-peer network for secure, privacy-preserving information exchange.
Confirm by Liink: Grow your revenue and differentiate your payments business by offering your clients a global account validation service
Deposits held in non-U.S. branches are not FDIC insured. All rights reserved. The statements herein are confidential and proprietary and not intended to be legally binding. Not all products and services are available in all geographical areas. Visit jpmorgan.com/paymentsdisclosure for further disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.