Presenting the next generation of collaborative innovation at Sibos 2018

Chantal Van Es
Head of Sibos

Open banking is gaining momentum, with financial institutions reconsidering their service offering and relationships with FinTechs and other third parties. It’s become a global trend as we settle into 2018. 

Driving competition is now a matter of policy in many markets. The EU’s PSD2 and the UK’s Open Banking Initiative both require banks to expose access to customer accounts and banking services to third parties using open APIs.

By enabling third-party access to key banking services, APIs provide the foundation for innovative new services from both banks and FinTechs – as we’ll see in the Discover Zone at Sibos 2018 Sydney. More to come on that later this year! 

Providing a platform for new solutions

Open banking will be one of the core topics at this year’s Sibos (22-25 October), as the industry comes together at ICC Sydney to discuss the associated opportunities - and challenges.

With a government review underway in Australia, open banking is high up the agenda for our host country. Australian banks are preparing to introduce secure data sharing to foster competition and support a growing local FinTech community.

This brings us neatly to the 2018 SWIFT Institute Student Challenge. 

Launched in 2016, the Challenge asks students to address a real-world challenge faced by the banking industry. It’s become an important part of Sibos as we seek to present a diverse range of perspectives on industry issues.

This year, the Challenge calls on Australian-based students to devise new ways of protecting personal information in an open banking environment. 

A showcase at Sibos 

Entrants are asked to submit a report detailing their solutions, which will be judged by financial leaders. Those interested can enter up until 30 June, so please alert any Australia-based students you know and help us to spread the word!

The top eight applicants will be announced in July, with the final presentations taking place on 24 October during Sibos week. Applicants will be judged on both the innovative attributes of their solutions, and their practical application to the banking sector and its customers.

The competition fits very well within the Sibos theme for 2018 – Enabling the digital economy. You can read more about this year’s theme on

To quote Dr Leila Fourie, CEO, Australian Payments Network, who is supporting the Challenge: “Security is a key concern. The use of open APIs in payments must be accompanied by a robust governance framework as well as appropriately strong authentication to ensure that only approved parties have access to data. As an industry, it is crucially important that we maintain the right balance between security, privacy and commercial incentives to ensure that customers continue to benefit from the burgeoning data economy.” 

“We encourage entrants in the Challenge to think about enabling the benefits of open data while at the same time helping consumers maintain privacy.”

The SWIFT Institute will work with each of the eight finalists, providing presentation coaching ahead of the final showcase at Sibos. As regular Sibos attendees will know, audience interactivity is important to us and so we will be calling on delegates to help pick the winner, who will receive a grand prize of AUD 30,000 and exposure to the global financial community.

These presentations will sit alongside other SWIFT Institute sessions, which will feature top academics from around the world to help us increase awareness and understanding of developing industry issues. You’ll find more information about these initiatives when the full conference programme is released in the coming months.

I’ll leave you with the news that registration for Sibos 2018 Sydney has just opened – and you can register on I hope you can join us!