Hyperconnectivity is the theme of the conference at Sibos this year, they even have fancy new entry cards with a push button to swap contact information via email in an instant.

Asides from the hyperconnected emails, there’s a slew of seminars, sessions, stage talks, exhibitor presentations and booth conversations throughout the day all focused on connectivity.

APIs and Partnership

APIs were the real winner of the day. It was almost impossible to go anywhere on the compliance track without hearing Open Banking and APIs being used frequently. The appetite for partnership is clearly rampant throughout banking, mainly due to the real fear that GAFA (the big four tech companies) and Chinese equivalents could overtake banks with relative ease at the current rate of API adoption.

There were several calls to action for global standardisation of APIs (our API is great for that). It’s a move that holds a great deal of practical wisdom and it was a decision that proved vital in the mobile phone industry. Otherwise Apple would have assumed total control of that sector, it seems banks are trying to use standardisation of APIs to the same effect.

But while there was a call for it, there’s no consensus on who would lead such standardisation or if that would even be possible in the long-term.

So Much Data

Data, as ever, was another major topic. Mainly the sheer volume of the stuff. It’s a wonder that anyone manages to get any work done while slogging through all the new types of structured and unstructured data out there that can inform businesses.

Especially when that means getting to grips with machine learning, natural language processing and all sorts of other new technologies. But as Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit put it, “It’s all just math” a succinct take on complex work, but he isn’t wrong.

And that more than anything should be a strong indicator as to why knowing how these technologies work is immaterial. It’s more important that they work and that you know they’re reliable. Because why would you want to spend all your time learning math when you need to be making money?

Being Hyperconnected

Connectivity seems to mean partnership – and the cornerstone of any good partnership is trust. Chiefly, the trust that your partner can do their job without issue so you can focus on getting the job of serving your customer done. That’s the key to taking on GAFA, Ali Baba, Ant Financial and any other major technology company.

It’s become increasingly apparent to experts in the industry that GAFA et al are better than anyone at serving customer needs and that FS companies need to drastically improve that part of the process.

That means partnerships, it means connected relationships and connected products, and it demands taking active steps to move away from stagnation by becoming customer-focused. Businesses that enter into partnerships should be looking at how their partnerships let them focus on what matters most.

For a day that started with a 178-year-old company going into liquidation (something that would be referenced in more than one talk) there is a great deal of hope at Sibos 2019. Hope that by working together, the industry will be able to overcome the challenges of the 21st Century set by customer-focused products that are now encroaching into finance.

The conference is only just getting started and there’s a lot of connections to be made. We’ll be here to keep you informed of what’s going on at Sibos, what’s being talked about and how it can be used.

And if you’re at Sibos, come and meet the team at Stand 32C by the Innotribe Stage.

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