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Sibos Exclusive Interview: Sean Sarginson, Global Head of Innovation at SWIFT

Ahead of Sibos 2019 – taking place in London from 23 to 26 September – TFT CEO Katia Lang caught up with Sean Sarginson, Global Head of Innovation at SWIFT, to talk about how technology is changing the financial sector and what’s in store at Sibos.

Katia Lang

Katia: As we look forward to another Sibos, tell us what’s driving change in the industry? 

Sean: It is easy to forget that not that long ago, the payments space was a quiet backwater of the financial industry. In just a few short years, with increased adoption of technologies, such as APIs and cloud-based solutions, as well as rising competition in the sector, it is changing rapidly. 

And there is no sign that the pace is slowing as businesses adapt to new regulatory realities, technological advances, accelerating international commerce, and evolving customer demands for speed, transparency, and traceability. 

“the adoption of APIs is having a big impact on productivity and customer experience in financial services.”

Katia: What technology is having the biggest impact? 

Sean: I would say that the adoption of APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, is having a big impact on productivity and customer experience in financial services. From transport to hospitality, we have witnessed how APIs transform whole industries, and the technology is now seeing widespread adoption across the financial industry. 

SWIFT is taking a leading role by bringing the industry together to deliver common standards for APIs. Throughout our history, we have been at the centre of efforts to avoid fragmentation in financial services, and we are using that expertise to ensure the industry moves forward together when adopting APIs, and to reduce the complexities that threaten to frustrate progress. 

Katia: What’s different about Sibos this year? 

Sean: We will host over a hundred fintech companies at Sibos 2019, providing a unique opportunity to learn more about the new technologies and business models that are driving change.  

Innotribe will take people on a journey into the future with an incredible line up of speakers, from Professor Brian Cox and Kaliya Young, to Brett King and Dave Birch. 

The Discover Stage will be our bridge between the future and the present adding context and making the big ideas tangible. The people and companies living through this change right now will address critical questions on trust and open banking; the dramatic impacts of new technologies in Asia; the future of tokenisation and cryptoassets; and much more.  

Sibos Discover will also be the home for a first-of-its-kind hackathon to explore the potential of APIs in financial services and unleash the creativity of developers.

“We will host over a hundred fintech companies at Sibos 2019, providing a unique opportunity to learn more about the new technologies and business models that are driving change.” 

Katia: What will the Sibos hackathon look like?

Sean: Sibos is hosting the hackathon, and SWIFT is participating alongside a number of other companies. We’re providing access to our developer portal and we’ll be part of a multidisciplinary team working together to come up with some great new ideas. 

Towards the end of each day, the hackathon teams will give an update at the Innotribe stage on their ideas and progress. On Thursday, the last day, the audience will have the opportunity to vote for its favourite project. 

We hope you can join us there!

Take a look at www.sibos.com for more details about the exciting programme that is lined up and information on how to register.

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