As the financial sector's keenest minds came together in Geneva for Sibos, there were a few trends that grabbed the spotlight. Anna Milne comments
Blockchain hype has died down somewhat, or rather the camps have become distinctly more polarised. There are those who are happy to dismiss it outright and those who proclaim its profundity in shaping the future. Although it must be said, there is a little more understanding around the different types of blockchain, permission/permissionless, mutable/immutable (thanks to Accenture’s curveball release last week), etc.
IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty said, “This will have profound impact on hoe the world works. Efficiency will be improved [to the tune of] over $100bn. Blockchain will do for transactions what the internet did for information.”
She was referring to IBM’s work on and with the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger, for which IBM has contributed significant amounts of code, open source, so that anyone can work with it. To summarise it differently, “IBM puts 38% of its revenue ($31bn) into helping clients become digital, Rometty added.
Standards, standards, standards
If one word echoed around the conference hall, it was standards. Everybody is in agreement re the need to agree on a common standard in payments, so it is just a matter of time.
Segmentation of banks
Banks need to figure out what they’re best at and based on this, decide who to partner with.
CBW Bank is coming to Europe, and have had a “great week” drumming up business at Sibos. Watch this space.
IBM Ginni: very few will be able to keep up with our cloud development- the amount we invest. Banks need to make strategic decisions about partnership, for those segments they decide they will not and should not specialise in, and then focus on what they are good at.
SWIFT’s gpi vs. Ripple’s global payments steering group
Despite fierce gossip to the contrary, Ripple hasn’t been throwing down the gauntlet quite as aggressively as it might have seemed. They were only too keen to point out there will be a point in time, if it is not already here, where Ripple would be only too delighted to join forces with SWIFT, and possibly vice versa. They have market share and scalability respectively to be play for.
IBM calls it Cognitive Business: digital today, cognitive tomorrow. “It is more than machine learning,” said Rometty. Augmented intelligence, or, as futurologist Gerd Leonhard, speaking at the Innotribe arena, referred to it (in a human evolutionary way), exponential humanism.
Leonhard: “There will be a shift of value from selling commodities to creating experience. Airbnb doesn’t own property; Uber doesn’t own cars. The future of the financial industry is creating experiences- value trust and relationships, and having tech support it.”