The panel was comprised of a number of key figures in the payments industry:
Thomas Halpin, U.S. Dollar Clearing Executive at JPMorgan Chase; Eileen Dignen, Head of Global Payments-Banks at Citigroup; Bob Virgilio, senior manager in Banking Industry division at SWIFT; Kurt Vandenberg, partner at Capco; Colin Day, director of products and strategy at SunGard STeP; and Gerard Hammarlund, global head of sales at Cable & Wireless. Throughout the seminar they discussed the drivers for real-time cash reporting as a growing requirement in the industry, the challenges they have faced in adapting processes and systems to make the best use of real-time information, and the benefits they anticipate as a result of leveraging the new paradigm.
The consensus among panel participants was that banks offering real-time information to correspondents and corporate clients are able to help improve customer service levels, reduce risk for their clients and their own organizations, and help comply with increasing regulatory requirements.
Thomas Halpin, U.S. Dollar Clearing Executive at JPMorgan Chase, said, "Information is knowledge. Understanding the ebbs and flows of data through the organization, and managing positions better, helps us to achieve increased efficiency within our institution and, helps us to offer that improved efficiency to our clients. Banks are continually challenged to produce new products and services. Real-time cash reporting, and the eventual extension of that to securities, is a growing requirement among clients searching for a service provider."
Eileen Dignen, head of global payments at Citigroup, commented, "The uptake of real-time information requires discipline. The impetus to move to real-time for accurate and timely data is the easy part. To make the most of real-time information, systems and processes must be engineered to do something with the information that is made available."
Panelists also agreed that real-time information is not just confined to Nostro accounts. "Too narrow a view on the importance of real-time information is also a potential obstacle. Real-time information is valuable across all parts of the organization, for trades, for corporates, for exceptions and investigations," commented Mr. Halpin.