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Are you ready

It's the end of the first day.  The key message I have heard throughout the day has been around raising our ambitions and transforming the industry. Heady stuff.

But the real question is are we really ready to take up the challenges facing our industry across all sections. 

I have been involved with SWIFT and the payments industry for just over 10 years now and seen lots of changes.  But I believe we have challenges ahead that will demand a greater pace of change.

Dr David Morgan, CEO of Westpac gave a clear articulation of how crucial payments are to the economic success of a country.  How we need to maintain good communications with regulators, customers and the community - themes that echoed the earlier afternoon session on Payments Trnasformation.  The key in good communication is to listen, listen, listen. If we really listen to our customers, and to the regulators (who tend to represnt the retail end of the market), we will see some clear messages around transparency and the need to think about the demands of a technological savvy generation.  This means we will have to recognise the full business capabilties of the technologies available to us today.

 Which leads me to the other key theme - the need to collaborate more at industry level so we can deliver compete on products and solutions at individual bank level. We are seeing increasing numbers of examples of where the industry has worked hard to identify areas of collaboration - perhaps the TSU was the first to articulate this need.  But I believe we can do more globally, regionally and nationally.  The work being undertaken in the BRIC countries evidences a willingness to co-operate which is often lacking in the more mature markets.

Yawar Shah told us that the SWIFT Board has an appettie to be bolder.  We in the community must accept this challenge and work together to take advantage of the new technical capabilities, standards harmonisation and desire of our customers to work with us. We can meet his challenge to be bold - and SWIFT is undoubtedly ready to help us.


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