bobsguide spoke to T. S. Shankar, Global Head of Clearing and Liquidity Products, Standard Chartered Bank, based in Singapore. Before his two sessions at Sibos this year, we spoke to him about his role at Standard Chartered, how payments have evolved and his involvement in SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation Initiative. Alongside this, he gave us some session spoilers for the event on intraday liquidity and the importance of real-time for banks and corporates.
What is your role at Standard Chartered Bank?
I head what we call the correspondent banking clearing and liquidity products team and what that means is that we build and design products that correspondent banks would use for treasury functions in the clearing business.
Being in the industry for so long, what major changes has Standard Chartered seen?
We have seen an evolution in this period, especially on the payments side of the business. In the old days, money was moved physically with people carrying cash around and then cheques were introduced and in turn, technologies like wire transfer. During all these stages, banks were still very relevant and involved in the process of finance and payments itself. Today, fintechs are improving banks and the processing industry so that it is better for other banks and clients; this is why fintechs and banks have to coexist.
Where are we currently in the payments evolution?
The introduction of real time payments has resulted in a big change in how we can expect the industry to evolve. People need their money faster and all the benefits that come with that. However, we need to be cautious about payments going real-time and the definition of real-time needs to considered. Does it mean that you get your money straight away, that very second? Or does it meant that you get it that same day?
What is the corporate industry’s attitude towards real-time payments?
Corporates are not looking at it in that way. Other challenges with real time payments are to do with having the ability to hold back a payment for any reason. For example, with the number of cases of fraud increasing, this might have something to do with the speed of payments now. If there was a way to hold back a payment to make another check, that payment could be stopped from becoming a fraudulent payment.
Fintech is a great way to improve on where we are currently and we’ve made lots of strides in the way that we deliver to our clients, but it also needs to be very carefully evaluated so the right clients are put in front of the right products, because not everyone needs instantaneous payments.
How does this tie into what you’ll be discussing at Sibos?
At one of the sessions, I will be speaking about the Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPII) which is how SWIFT ensures that payments are made quicker. The GPII are working on two very distinct and very important components: the finality of payment and the same day settlement of cross border payments.
My second session is around intraday liquidity and the importance of ensuring that is liquidity is available, but still being compliant with new regulations.