Planning the Sibos conference: an industry-wide effort

Chantal Van Es
Head of Sibos

We are busy putting the finishing touches to a comprehensive conference programme for Sibos 2018 Sydney.


This year’s theme is “Enabling the digital economy”, which reflects the far-reaching transformation of banks and other financial service providers as they adjust to the realities of a digital world. All conference sessions will be built under the theme.

With my old hat on, I’m happy to report we will feature a lot on payments in the Banking stream. How must payments banks adjust their business strategies in light of the fast-evolving, and increasingly real-time, needs and demands of wholesale and retail customers? Initiatives from Australia's NPP to SWIFT's gpi are changing the face of domestic and international payment services, but what does this mean for the existing payment strategies of incumbent payment players and which strategies are best suited to the changing environment? We’ll also take a look at how technology is changing the payments landscape.

And from there, the Technology stream will take a look at how blockchain, cloud, APIs and AI offer transformative opportunities across the financial markets. Is their promise being turned into reality on the ground?

The Compliance stream builds on this and will explore tech-led innovation in the fight against financial crime. AI and robotics hold great potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of banks' financial crime compliance and prevention efforts, while enhanced data analytics and information-sharing techniques can support public-private partnerships and improve the quality of suspicious activity reports.

Regulatory reform and technology innovation are challenging the business models of securities market participants and their expectations of service providers and market infrastructure operators. But are we truly moving to a safer and more transparent environment with better outcomes for end-users, or is regulation just adding to cost and complexity? The Securities stream will examine how the sector can grasp opportunities thrown up by this period of flux to deliver value in the long term.

We have published a selection of sessions for the main conference programme - which is just one part of a busy agenda. They are available for you to preview on

The full conference programme will be available in late June, along with details about the great speakers that will help bring Sibos 2018 to life.

Collaboration and co-creation

Putting together the Sibos conference programme is like co-creating a gigantic content jigsaw puzzle – with themes, topics, tracks and speakers that will meet the expectations of the diverse Sibos audience.

What’s so unique about Sibos is that it reaches out to its audience to help shape this puzzle. The main themes evolve in line with the expectations and input of our community, and the community plays an active role in building the programme by staging sessions, providing hiqh-quality speakers and ideas for new content approaches.

Alongside the main conference sessions, there will be a number of dedicated community sessions, created by stakeholders from across the financial ecosystem to address their specific pain points as they look to network with peers to find solutions.

The discussion will also spread to the exhibition floor in the Open Theatre sessions, where exhibitors will give short presentations on their latest case studies or reports relevant to the industry.

Discover the future of banking

The Discover Zone at Sibos will provide the ultimate platform for collaborative innovation between banks and FinTechs.

Innotribe will be housed in the Discover Zone, with a series of sessions that will highlight the latest innovation trends. They will be joined by a selection of Oceania’s brightest FinTech stars, bank innovation labs and cutting-edge FinTech companies from around the world, who will have the opportunity to present on the Discover Stage.

Solving industry challenges

The SWIFTHub will host a series of sessions looking at how SWIFT is working hand-in-hand with the community to solve industry challenges. Delegates will be able to take a closer look at SWIFT’s industry-driven initiatives and R&D activities at the demo sessions at SWIFTLab.

The SWIFT Institute is inviting top professors from the academic world and gives an educational angle to the programme at Sibos. “Lunch and learn” sessions will focus on different topics such as cryptocurrencies, AI and data mining and quantum computing.The final of the 2018 SWIFT Institute Student Challenge also takes place during Sibos.

The right time to discuss the right standard

Standards offer a viable way to work together to meet pressing industry challenges collectively, reduce costs, accelerate innovation and unlock new value. The Standards Forum will be on hand at ICC Sydney, running interactive sessions with delegates to help highlight the benefits that standards can bring to their organisations

SWIFT has recently launched a community consultation that sets out the vision for ISO 20022 migration. The aim is to gain industry feedback on how, and when, the migration should take place

The consultation will run until June, with results analysed over the following months and a final report before the end of 2018. The report will draw on the feedback from the consultation to propose a detailed roadmap for migration. This will, of course, be a big topic at Sibos.

The biggest names

Last, but by no means least, there will also be the plenary sessions and the Big Issue Debates, which will feature some of the industry’s most prominent names - as well as leading thinkers from outside the industry who can bring fresh perspectives and ideas.

For a taster, check out last year’s first Big Issue Debate, which took a deep dive into cybersecurity and digitisation.

Admiral Michelle Howard began the session by explaining how the US military has studied, adopted and mastered the use of technology. She was then joined by J.P. Morgan CISO Rohan Amin, and technologist and hacker Pablos Holman, for a debate on employee education, creating a culture of security, and how the industry can best move forward.


Look out in the coming weeks for updates on the opening and closing speakers and the topics for the four Big Issue Debates that will run during Sibos week.

We’re excited about presenting the full programme shortly and look forward to welcoming you to Sydney in October for the 40th edition of Sibos.