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A few takeaways from Sibos 2020

Paul Jennekens

Manager Marketing

9 October 2020

A few takeaways from Sibos 2020

Sibos 2020 is over and it will not surprise anyone that it was a remarkable edition. In the first place because of its virtual appearance, but also because COVID-19 left its mark on the conversations between experts from the payments and finance world. Since it is impossible to catch all the sessions and impressions, we have listed a number of takeaways that were mentioned in the past few days.


“Innovation is usually linked to digitization, but digitization is not a destination, it is only a means to achieve our greater goal.”
Claire Calmejane, Chief Innovation Officer at Société Générale, believes that companies look at digitization in the wrong way.

“We need to be leading the change, rather than being shaped by it.”
Matt Comyn, CEO at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, sees how the banks acted with a sense of urgency at the beginning of the pandemic. The same reaction is needed in light of digital and technological disruption.

“A number of competitors enter the room and access our data. At the same time, they can use their own data that they receive from customers. We are strongly in favour of a level playing field. I think regulators also see the need for an equal amount of protection for customers, regardless of who uses their data.”
Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING, pleads for a level playing field between banks and other (tech) companies.

“The job we have in the banking industry is not to decide what is green and not green, it is to make sure what is not green starts to become greener.”
Jean Lemierre, BNP Paribas Chairman, sees this crisis as an opportunity to tackle climate change.

“We build technology so that institutions at Sibos can build more technology. After all, you have your own software capabilities and we want to be an enabler of that. Our core identity has not changed.”
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, about his company’s role in working with financial institutions.

“When AI is just a toy for the CTO and the data scientists, AI strategies are unlikely to succeed.”
Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Board and Head of Business at Sber, says that AI can strongly increase customer satisfaction, but in order to succeed, banks must have the courage to invest and the management must give AI the right attention.

“We are a big believer that there should be one common environment even if it runs on multiple clouds. Most breaches are conducted by someone checking the thousands of windows to see if one is open.”
Addressing developments in the use of the cloud, Jim Whitehurst, President at IBM, noted that all parties need to be doing more to protect the client.

“As we move forward, I firmly believe that innovation cannot succeed in isolation. It is a full contact engagement process of banks, financial market infrastructures, overseers and regulators, fintechs and major technology companies along with other consortiums. Please watch this space with us. We will do more. With all of you. Together.”
Yawar Shah, SWIFT Board Chair, about the power of working together.

“Over the past decade, the share of online shopping has grown from about 4 percent to about 12 percent. In the first quarter of this year, we saw that rise to about 16 percent. Statistics are already available to support the theory that the crisis is accelerating our online shopping habits.”
Paul Stoddart, president of New Payment Platforms at Mastercard, on the impact of the crisis on e-commerce.

“For the banks, it was really good that we could all start working from home and that we could all continue to serve our clients. Many of you know this, but April, May, June, July and August were the most active months we have ever had, in all of our business.”
Jamie Dimon, Chairman of the Board at JPMorgan Chase, found it shocking to see that business just went on when everyone was working from home.

“Normally I walk around and hardly have time to attend sessions, but this is the first time I have been able to watch the sessions.”
Finally, the last word is for Chantal van Es, Head of Sibos. The personal advantage of having a virtual event for her was that she could actually attend sessions herself, this year. She emphasizes that there were challenges regarding the organization of the event, such as time zones and people’s digital attention span, but the reactions to the digital edition are ‘heart-warming’.