Sibos 2015 Day One Highlights: Blockchain Discussion Room Overpacked

Prosper MarketplaceEmail Marketing Manager

SWIFT’s Sibos, one of the biggest events in financial services industry is back. This year, Sibos 2015 is roaring from the Lion City, Singapore. The last time Singapore met Sibos was in 2003. As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence, it welcomed Sibos 2015 with the largest setting ever in the Asia-Pacific region. Sibos 2015 is going to be a four-day long event from October 12 to October 15, 2015. Even though Let’s Talk Payments couldn’t make it for Sibos 2015, we have tried to put a summary of the day one at Sibos 2015 from various resources, live tweets, live coverage and Sibos’ website.

Four days of the conference will have four different themes. The first day of the conference was themed as “What Platforms Want,” which meant discussions around platform economics and business models around it. One consistent theme of Sibos 2015, irrespective of the day was “Millennials and Power Women in FinTech.”

Day 1 of Sibos 2015 attracted 8,038 registered delegates from around 143 nationalities. The opening plenary was delivered by Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group, who discussed the emerging payments industry in Asia and how China is leading the world in electronic KYCs. He also shared his views on the importance of sharing economy and big data. Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of SWIFT, and Yawar Shah, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SWIFT, also spoke at the opening plenary.

The seventh year of Innotribe gained a lot of buzz at Sibos 2015. Innotribe is SWIFT’s FinTech innovation initiative that brings together highly qualified financial services experts, angel investors, venture capitalist, and global FinTech and financial decision-makers. Through the Startup Challenge, Innotribe also introduces them to today’s brightest startups. Innotribe Sibos 2015 had power panel discussions on cryptocurrencies, blockchain, bitcoin and China’s emerging financial industry. Sources revealed that the panel discussion “New Kids on the Block(chain) Platform” invited around 1000 people to a room that could accommodate only 200-300 people. To accommodate the surplus crowd, the blockchain panel discussion was streamed live in an adjacent room. Innotribe’s other panel discussion “The Future of Money: A Burning Platform?” explored various themes like distributed ledger technologies, the disaggregation and uberization of banking services, the automation of credit, and the automated and biometric KYC onboarding. It also featured a debate on “FinTech startups vs. banks.”

During the panel discussion “Platform Disruption: The Business of APIs,” companies like Fidor Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and BNY Mellon presented some interesting examples on open API platforms as a new product offering to their clients. In August 2015, Let’s Talk Payments had interviewed the COO of Silicon Valley Bank in this context when SVB acqui-hired Standard Treasury, an API banking startup. The panel also discussed the partnerships between banks and FinTech startups.

Apart from Innotribe, panel discussions from other sections of the conference like Technology Forum, Standards Forum, Market Infrastructures Forum and SWIFTLabs were going on simultaneously. Many big banks and financial institutions like Wells Fargo and IBM were present on the first day of Sibos 2015 and a few of them made some big announcements. IBM announced that it is working together with the financial services industry to further enhance efforts to increase collaboration and worldwide sharing of cyberthreat intelligence across industries and organizations. McKinsey also launched its new financial insights and financial data app called “Panorama” this year at Sibos.

After looking at the live tweets, live coverage and blogs by industry watchers, it seems that Sibos 2015 day one went well as it was expected to. Day one attracted great speakers, big and small FinTech companies, banks, consulting giants, FinTech startups and industry influencers at one place. We look forward to day two, which is themed “What Society Wants.”

Aboli Gangreddiwar

Prosper MarketplaceEmail Marketing Manager

Aboli is a marketing specialist and a FinTech analyst based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her FinTech articles bring together her research skills and industry knowledge. Having been an observer of the technology space and the start-up ecosystem in the Silicon Valley for more than a year, she likes to analyze and write about exciting and innovative companies in the payments and commerce industry.

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