Sibos 2017 Day 1 highlights: AI in the back office and managing changes in the payments industry

By Alara Basul | 17 October 2017

Panel discussion: Helping your clients manage changes in the payments industry

Moderator Edmund Esch, Managing Director and Head of Strategy at BNY Mellon, quizzed panellists on how global initiatives can modernize the payments industry. He kicked off the discussion by asking panellists Tomas Moberg from Nordea Bank, Shane Marsh from ANZ Banking Group and Barry Tooker from IBM whether doing nothing was still a safe bet for transaction banking. The message was instantly clear; panellists responded with a unanimous no.

The panel talk on payments revolved around the importance of innovation and not just keeping up with, but staying ahead of the market in order to retain customer satisfaction. Panellists agreed that over the next few years, financial services and banks wil need to re-think how they can make and receive payments.

Barry Tooker, Offering Manager at IBM said that “all banks do the same thing, but nobody does it the same way.” The customer is always right, even when the customer is wrong – although banks are service providers, they should also act as consultants as the customers hold the most value.

Marsh and Moberg discussed how there will be a greater shift towards ease of payments in the industry, from how we send instant payments to each other to removing the costly KYC experience. It was stated that this can only be done through co-operation and collaboration amongst larger players. The world is moving faster, and so are payments.

And banks need to understand the implications of this - because if they don’t, then someone is going to take their customer away.

Another key focus of the discussion was the implementation of blockchain technology – and how this would affect the financial services industry. Barry Tooker discussed that the technology needs extensive analysis – understanding how it could benefit the business and what the payments insights and analytics show about the technology. “It’s important to fully understand the impacts.”

Panel discussion: How can middle and back-offices make use of artificial intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is not new to the financial industry, but it’s developing fast. Some believe that AI will surpass human intelligence by 2019. In this panel discussion, Diane Nolan from Accenture moderated the discussion on how AI can replace routine and repetitive processes and make it more efficient and effective in middle and back-offices.

Kirsty North, Global Head of Operations at HSBC stated that HSBC has advanced its technology within the business, and that a good way to incorporate new systems is to try them out and see which ones work well. Louella San Juan, Global Head of Client Technology from Morgan Stanley agreed, and stated that it’s better to “try faster and fail faster”, so that you can make a decision on which technology works the best and implement it as soon as you can.

Louella also discussed that for financial services to go big with artificial intelligence, they have to smart small in order to make sure that everything is complying properly. It’s also important to look at the data and understand trends and analytic behaviours to move forward.

Sean Foley, CTO of Microsoft boldly stated that data is the heart of AI. “If you don’t have high quality data to begin with, then the decisions you make are going to be wrong.

“We started our AI journey about eight years ago, and created a huge AI capability within the company.”