Swift Business Forum, Helsinki - live blog

Swift Business Forum, Helsinki - live blog

Welcome to Finextra's live coverage of the Swift Business Forum Nordics 2018 in Helsinki. This event will focus on important issues affecting the financial industry in the Nordics, particularly on how both innovation and collaboration are key in the transformation of financial services.

17.05: Thank you very much for following the Finextra live blog from the Swift Business Forum Nordics.

17.00: Vejlø closes on the point that humans being human is still an important skill. Never stand still, keep updating and upgrading your product, your business, and your situation.

16.57: Users today can learn anywhere, can work anywhere, and have self-taught skills. They expect you to understand that products and services should be user centric. That means how their mind works and to understand their lives, says Vejlø. They don't need to learn the provider's language, the providers need to understand them.

16.54: Users are important because they can help you with your product, and they can distribute your product, Vejlø says. Even if someone is saying something that you don't want to hear, it is important to listen to them. Users can paint you a picture of what is happening outside of your business that may be extremely relevant. Question your traditions too.

16.50: Innovations can have a purpose, but they are not always used for this purpose. While Neil Armstrong went to the moon, he only took 5 photos, but a teenager going to the bathroom might take 37 photos. Vejlø describes this as techno appropriation. Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do, doesn't mean it is useless.

16.44: Anything can collect data if you attach a sensor to it. With great data comes great responsibility, Vejlø says. It is essential that the right people are handling data.

16.40: The Internet of Things also means that almost everything around us is wired, from smart door locks, your home thermostat, to connected home assistants. All of these connections create a vast amount of data - Vejlø says that the amount of data created in the past year is more than in the previous 5000 years.

16.32: The applications of virtual reality are looked at by Vejlø, from its use in education, to therapy. Augmented reality is mentioned too, where you have a layer of virtual reality placed in a real world environment. This can be used from something as simple as seeing food you could order at a restaurant, to teaching medical students by bringing subjects to life. She mentions Facebook's interest in VR as the next social media. Vejlø says VR and AR are important because they are a way to engage people, by showing not telling.

16.28: People don't want 'backstage access', Vejlø says - people want to see the band play, not see how the speakers are wired. For technology as a whole, customers don't want to see how a product works, they just want to know if it is a good and useful product for them.

16.25: "Technology is a word to describe something that doesn't work yet" - Vejlø uses this Douglas Adams to kick off the presentation, and she highlights that the time we most notice technology when it doesn't work. On the flip side, when it does work it can almost seem like magic.

16.15: The final plenary session from a packed day here at the Swift Business Forum Nordics is a presentation from Christiane Vejlø, CEO and senior digital trends analyst with Elektronista Media ApS. The presentation is titled 'The Digital Human', and promises to explore how our continued, and increased, dependency on technology will impact how we do business, engage as a society, and deliver social mobility in the years to come.

15.45: The demo wraps up the session on Swift gpi. We have now have a short break, and will return at 16.15 with the final plenary presentation on the digital human.

15.44: McAuliffe then gives the audience a demo for the Tracker on the big screen. The dashboard includes charts providing a high level view on outbound payments, inbound payments, and payments in progress at the bank. Clicking on a specific pie chart allows you to drill down into more specific information about individual payment with reference information. You can click on a specific payment to see the progress bar of the payment, including the bank data, BIC, time, sender's reference and sender's deducts. The cover message is also updated in every stage, as is the stop and recall option if required.

15.41: Alongside the Swift gpi, the Customer Security Programme (CSP) is an initiative from Swift that targets cyber security for the financial services community. The organisation says that, as of the end of 2017, 89% of customers self-attested their compliance to the 16 mandatory controls for this programme. Swift notes that the CSP has received positive feedback as it sets a security baseline for the global financial community, and increased transparency on cyber security. This has a risk management application.

15.35: There is also a gpi corporate pilot that Swift is undertaking, as corporates have been requesting the ability to create the UETR. This pilot includes gpi payment initiation and automation, a multi-bank tracking status and beneficiary services. This is to give the corporate a constant stream of information to the corporate regarding the status of the payment. 10 corporates and 11 banks are taking part in the pilot, and McAuliffe says it is hoped that the results and possibilities for this application of gpi will be ready for Sibos 2018.

15.31: Swift's standards release updates for the gpi has increased the payments tracking in 2017 to include non-gpi banks, and this year will track payments by all banks following the SR 2018 release planned for November this year.

15.26: Phase 2 of gpi involves new services that are coming online in 2018. These include stop and recall, cover payments, and extended tracking. Swift is also exploring how gpi ISO 20022-based service would operate in tandem with Swift's ISO 20022 migration study. McAuliffe says they are also looking at how the MT 202 service can bring similar benefits for financial institutional transfers. There will also be a standardisation of bank-to-corporate tracking information, beginning with a pilot for SWIFT-connected corporates.

15.22: The Swift gpi Directory shows operational information on gpi members, including BICs, currencies and cut-off times. This can be used to calculate the best gpi payment route.

15.20: The Observer element of the gpi is a business intelligence dashboard showing bank compliance with gpi SLA. This is designed to ensure control, monitoring and enforcement of the SLA, which has a knock-on effect for service quality. Observer Insights is already available, and McAuliffe says that Observer Analytics will be available in Q3 2018.

15.14: A key element is the introduction of a unique end-to-end tracking number, which is in the header of the MT103 and passed from bank to bank in a transaction. It provides transparency of deductions from each bank and confirmation that the payment was credited. Banks are using APIs to integrate the Tracker into customer channels, McAuliffe notes. If a payment gets rejected somewhere down the chain, for example, the bank could alert their customer before the end beneficiary finds out, so there is a customer service element.

15.10: The gpi guarantees faster same-day use of funds, transparency of fees, end-to-end payments tracking, and remittance information transferred unaltered. All of these points touch on some of the themes that came up in the previous session, targeting the customer experience of cross-border payments, says McAuliffe. This is all part of phase 1 of the gpi.

15.05: Swift gpi has been live since January 2017. Over 150 leading transaction banks already signed up in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Americas totalling over 8 million payments since going live. Core transaction banks sign up to the SLA rulebook to be part of Swift gpi. Swift has developed a value-added product suite, featuring the Tracker, the Directory and the Observer. Over 12 million gpi payments have been sent since it went live.

15.00: On the subject of Swift gpi, our speakers are Ryan McAuliffe, SWIFTgpi specialist for UK, Ireland & Nordics at Swift, and Imran Mirza a Swift solutions architect.

14.45: That concludes the cross-border payments session, but some themes will roll on to the next session that is coming up at 15.00 on the Swift gpi.

14.42:What of the Apples and Googles of this world, will they replace banks for corporate cross-border payments? Green is sceptical about this prospect when it was raised. Poutiainen says it is interesting to see how the authorities are monitoring this. If you offer banking services, you tend to be called a bank, he notes.

14.39: Where there's a bigger need for trust and knowing your counterparties, blockchain may be relevant, says Poutiainen. However, he notes that it is too inefficient in a mass payment concept. Albert agrees that payments is not the main area of attraction for blockchain in financial services. Haugaard notes there are some use cases popping up with blockchain in financial services, but it is not necessarily the only way forward.

14.37: Regulation comes up in the conversation, and particularly how this can impact on cross-border payments outside of Europe. Banks have to know their counterparties and be responsible for how they interact with them. Albert brings up PSD2 as a leading example of successful payments regulation, and that this type of thinking spreading around the world would be beneficial to both banks and their customers.

14.33: There is a level of hype to the discussion that things will change right now and that banks are dying, says Poutiainen. This is not necessarily the reality of the situation. Haugaard highlights that fintechs are really important in the conversation, and that collaboration in a sandbox environment can help all parties thrive.

14.29: What are the key drivers for change in cross-border payments? An audience poll gives options of regulation, cyber threats, technology, and customer demands. For this audience, customer demands top the list with 55%, ahead of technology (26%). Albert says he wishes it had been that for the past few years, rather than "regulation, regulation, regulation." Green notes that fintechs have listened to customer demand and are active in this already. Poutiainen says that cyber polled low as delegates could only choose one option, but that it is very important.

14.23: How can banks use innovation to offer attractive services to their customers? Albert says that the information required varies from customer to customer. Haugaard brings up the concept of the commoditisation of payments, and whether corporates would pay for a complete gift-wrapped payments service from banks. Poutiainen says it is vital that banks can offer value to corporates in order to make that business case.

14.19: Green points to global standards as an issue with cross-border payments. While XML exists and is used, it isn't used for everything or everywhere. Poutiainen says that the standard can just be a frame, but what is the content within this frame? There are national differences from country to country.

14.14: Albert notes that speed still is an issue for the information that comes with the payment - are you getting the reconciliation information fast enough? Poutiainen adds that attitudes towards this can change depending on where you are geographically due to different cultural norms.

14.10: Poutiainen says that within a few years time, the issue of speed won't be a problem for payments at all. More of an issue is certainty. Albert agrees, saying that while speed of payment may have been an issue that providers were keen to flag up, corporates have always been more concerned with transparency.

14.05: Haugaard says that payments represents 20% of a financial institutions' income, so it is no wonder that this space is popular with fintechs. He then moves to a poll to get the session started, asking which are the biggest customer pain points in cross-border payments - lack of transparency, lack of speed or high costs? Lack of transparency won the day with 42%, followed by high costs at 30%. Green agrees that this is a particular challenge in reconciliation.

14.00: For the future of cross-border payments session, our moderator is Søren Haugaard, global head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at Danske Bank. He is joined by Terje Albert, senior business developer at DNB, Thomas Green, IT manager and Treasury and Cash Management with Metso Corporation, and Erkki Poutiainen, strategy manager with Nordea.

13.12: We'll take a short break for lunch, and be back with a panel discussion on the future of cross-border payments shortly.

13.10: There are different liquidity models and different ambitions among the variety of instant payment systems that exist across Europe. There are also a variety of methods to execute pan-European payments. Swift is putting a system in place to offer connectivity between participants and the instant payments provider. SWIFTNet Instant is a new system, based on the functionality seen in Australia's NPP payments system. Banks can connect using Alliance Messaging Hub Instant, or a third party instant payment application. These then connect to SWIFTNet Instant via Alliance Gateway Instant. While this introduces a new instant messaging protocol, it also reuses the existing SWIFTNet connectivity and security infrastructure, and the SWIFTNet FileAct and WebAccess.

13.07: From the first months of operation, Kulk says that they have also learned how they might be able to include added value. Additional liquidity management functions are in the pipeline for Q2 2018. For Q4 2018, they are planning SWIFTNet instant as a third connectivity option in addition to CNET and EBICS. There will also be TIPS instructing party functionality, and closed user group set-ups for no amount limit and shorter cut-off.

12.59: RT1 has had very stable live operations since it went live in November 2017. There are around 10,000 payments a day going through the platform today. Over 95% of the transactions are processed in less than 3 seconds, Kulk says. In terms of countries live in RT1, there are 10 countries with reachable PSPs, and 20 participants in total. There are 581 addressable PSPs in total, out of 590 BICs adhering to the SCT Inst scheme.

12.55: Erwin Kulk, head of Service Development and Management at EBA Clearing takes to the stage to deliver an insight on the first three months of RT1 live operations. RT1 is EBA Clearing's real-time payments platform.

12.51: The instant payments session starts with a quick summary of what defines an instant payment: they are 24 x 7 with no downtime allowed for instant payment systems, they are instantaneous, they are irrevocable, and there is certainty - payments sent to a beneficiary bank are individually explicitly confirmed to the payer and payee - or rejected.

12.35: That concludes the securities session. Coming up in around 10 minutes is a lunchtime session looking at the latest in instant payments.

12.34: The securities session closes on a conversation about how the legislative environment may hold up technological innovation in the securities industry. Dyrdal says that the regulator is a big cost driver for industry, something that is also an issue for payments, notes Fors. Augustsson makes the point that technology itself should not be a target for regulation due to its fast pace of growth - she highlights how much technology had evolved during the time it took PSD2 to be developed. Rather, industries and processes should be regulated and technology can operate within those boundaries.

12.31: What are the key success factors to get the Nordic region back on top with technology in securities? Augustsson points to the success of iPhone being related to the open nature of apps, and that this collaborative open environment is necessary for success. McKenny agrees, saying that having something that works well domestically is good, but being able to scale this for the community as a whole is even more powerful.

12.28: Fors asks how the infrastructures are holding up to cyber crime. McKenny says that, at a board level, this is one of the top risks in the industry. Collaboration on cyber security is critical to ensure the community stays at a secure level. Augustsson agrees, saying that the variety of threats mean that CSDs need an understanding of what happens on a system by system level if they get hacked. It is also important to be aware of what hackers want to ensure you are protecting the right thing.

12.25: New market players could passport in to challenge in certain areas of the securities business. Dyrdal says he really wants to see more collaboration between the CSDs in the Nordics to address the core and interest investors from around the world. He says that the Nordic CSDs should be a lighthouse, but this cannot be built on the current systems.

12.21: Is collaboration important to drive innovation forward? Yes collaboration between banks, fintechs and infrastructures is critical, according to 86% of the audience. But how to move forward with this, Fors asks. Augustsson points out that you are less likely to respond to threats rather than opportunities. If you can see an opportunity in the future, taking a new path can require a huge investment so you need to establish who the best partners are for you on that journey.

12.19: Will there be a PSD2 equivalent for securities? Dyrdal says things are moving in the direction of 'open securities' and that the industry needs to be ready for this. McKenny notes that the EU regulator is consulting the industry quite thoroughly on this, which is a big step in region-wide thinking on this issue.

12.15: Sandboxes are incredibly important for innovation from fintechs in order to make sure that innovative solutions are providing answers to real questions in the industry, says McKenny. Augustsson says that it is important to make sure that the industry is attracting the fintechs and welcoming them in. Fintechs are really challenging the culture of CSDs, says Dyrdal.

12.11: Blockchain comes up in discussion, and Fors asks if the hype around this has gone away now. Augustsson says that the blockchain is in the research phase, that we need the knowledge around it in order to make it functional. Dyrdal says he sees how it could come into the ancillary areas of securities, but that it faces challenges to be relevant to the core.

12.07: Being modular not only helps in a change today, but it sets you up to be able to change and update in the future, says Augustsson. Dyrdal says that CSDs also need to approach the way they work in order to be agile.

12.03: How should CSDs replace structures? McKenny cautions that, while it works it shouldn't be changed, the danger comes from putting more pressure on a structure that isn't suited to it. Dyrdal says that replacing on old monolithic structure is a challenging undertaking. He says that an approach that focuses on being modulised, messaging and APIs is one approach. The core structure needs to be much thinner than it is today.

12.00: In institutional terms, Dyrdal says that real-time is more of a challenge due to market practices and too many participants in the value chain. McKenny notes that around the world there are developments to move to T+2, citing countries from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. While this is not T+0, it is an improvement from, in some cases, T+5. However, she notes there was some reluctance to move to T+0 as there were some infrastructure challenges with this.

11.57: AI is a game changer in this space as companies can develop it itself, says Augustsson. This is a little different from areas where more industry collaboration is required, such as around DLT. She also says she would like a collateral highway, somewhere to constantly trade and be active wherever she is in real-time.

11.54: The security services post-trade space is one area where technology is driving change, says McKenny. AI is very important here. She notes that there are challenges in proxy voting and AML/KYC where technology solutions can offer solutions and efficiencies in the near future.

11.50: Fors begins by noting that the Nordics had a grand tradition of being leaders in bringing technology into the securities market successfully, going all the way back to the 1980s. However, he says that maybe this isn't the case today. This session will be looking at how this has happened and how the region can return to a position of leadership in this area.

11.45: For the session on technology and the securities market, our moderator is Göran Fors, deputy head of Investor Services at SEB. The speakers include Cinnober's Augustsson from this morning's plenary panel, Sveinung Dyrdal, executive vice president at VPS, and Julia McKenny, head, Market Advocacy, Securities Services with Standard Chartered Bank.

11.30: That concludes the session on digital cash. Coming up in 15 minutes we will be covering a session on technology evolution and its potential impact on the securities market.

11.29: Will the introduction of digital cash change the payments system? Polling the audience, 39% think it is too early to say, but a not insignificant 37% think that it will in the future.

Claussen says that when the report was launched, the Riksbank invited technology companies to submit proposals for the project, and they have narrowed down the replies to a selection that they are most interested in.

11.27: What is the biggest risk in the project? Claussen says this is entering into a completely new territory, and it is a big project for the central bank. There are challenges everywhere.

11.23: The objectives of phase two includes creating a concrete concept for the e-krona, enable the executive board to make a decision, and look at proposals for amendments to legislation to enable the e-krona, says Claussen. Right now the Riksbank is carrying out analysis of issues identified in the action plan. The decision of whether to move forward with the e-krona will finally be made at the end of 2019.

11.20: Dialogues with external partners has happened since the publication of the report. Claussen said that these external partners all seemed to believe that Riksbank had gone further than it had. Most people said the concept seemed ok, said Claussen, and in Sweden there is a broad understanding that it is something that has to be looked at. He added that payments services providers showed great interest in the idea. For banks, as the definition of the e-krona is currently quite vague they couldn't really say how it would affect their business.

11.17: There are some issues with e-krona. It could lead to a deterioration in the banks' liquidity and funding situation. Demand for e-kronas can increase rapidly in times of financial unease as well, says Claussen. In terms of effects on the payments market, it assumes that the e-krona will bear its own costs.

11.12: The digital cash project by the Swedish central bank is to understand whether an e-krona can solve some of the issues arising from the decline of cash. The report on the subject was published in September 2017. It found that continuing investigations are worthwhile and necessary. It includes a first concept on e-krona - it is meant for small payments, mainly be register-based, it will pay no interest for legal reasons but there should be functionality for that in the systems should the laws change. The Riksbank would become the central infrastructure for the system, and it should be an anonymous system.

11.06: Claussen takes to the stage to describe the Sveriges Riksbank e-krona project. He opens by saying that today most Swedes are used to paying electronically rather than with cash. This has seen some retailers go cash free, which then becomes a reinforcing element for consumers to stop using cash. The issue with the decline in cash is meaning that some people can't pay as they are used to. Access to central bank money as a risk-free asset also ceases. Anonymity is another issue.

11.03: Do you use cash today and do you see a need for digital cash? This question was posed to the session audience, and 'I don't use cash but see the need' narrowly won the poll (32%).

10.59: The discussion on digital cash is important due to the decline in physical cash, says Friberg. While we are not looking at a cash free world just yet, the decline has made this conversation relevant. She refers back to a comment from Silva in the plenary panel discussion - what are we trying to solve? It is important to understand the role that digital cash could fill.

10.54: The driver behind this discussion is the approach that the Swedish central bank has taken to addressing digital cash. Friberg says that, while no decisions have been taken, the Swedish report on the topic is quite positive. By contrast, a report by the Danish central bank is significantly cooler on the topic.

10.45: The subject of the next session is 'Digital cash: Is it needed, what, when and how?' Tackling this subject is Christina Friberg, head of Payment Practice Nordics at Virtusa, and Carl Andreas Claussen, senior advisor at Sveriges Riksbank.

10.27: That is it for the plenary panel. Following a short break, we will be back with a session exploring digital cash.

10.25: Our final poll question asks how banks can best collaborate with fintechs to transform the financial services landscape. Collaborate scores 30% of the audience vote, while compete gets 2% and acquire has 4%. The big winner, perhaps unsurprisingly, is 'all of the above' with 64%. The message from the stage is that participants don't need to be afraid to compete, it is a valid element of the debate as well. There is a balance between collaborating to move the industry forward and then competing for business.

10.20: Turning to the cyber threat, trust is crucial, says Zingmark. People want to know where their data is and where their money is. Banks need to think creatively to ensure that they are keeping up with cyber threat developments. Augustsson says that collaboration is vital, nobody thinks that you can solve physical crime on your own so why would you think this on cyber crime? Facing cyber crime as an industry is essential, and the community needs to talk about it in the open to move forward.

10.16: The second audience poll asks which technology shift do they think will have the largest impact on financial services in the next 3-5 years? Almost half (49%) say APIs and data. This is followed by AI at 32%. DLT (11%) and cryptocurrencies (8%) trailed behind. Augustsson says that APIs and data are critical for the industry, allowing banks to distinguish themselves through their services.

10.11: In our first poll of the day, the question asks do you believe that innovation is already improving business and customer experience in financial services? 70% of the audience say that there has been good progress but that there is still a long way to go. Silva says that the industry needs to continue to further explore possibilities.

10.09: Kjaer says that open banking is a big success for the industry and the consumers who should benefit most from it. She hopes that it is a change of mindset for the industry, opening up a marketplace in the financial services industry.

10.06: PSD2 is absolutely needed, says Zingmark, but he is concerned about other regulations that don't completely tally with it, such as AML, for example. Everyone wants to do the right thing, but if you can't do so for all elements, it is a problem. He hopes that the community and regulators with keep discussing these elements so that competition is fair for both the smaller players and incumbents.

10.02: Technology is a driver for change, but it is nothing without a problem to solve, says Augustsson. One customer her company is working with is the B3 clearing house in Brazil. The solution delivered real-time processing and clearing, thanks to a more modern way of examining risk and the real-time nature of the solution. She notes that, as software is intangible, people don't think you can just start from scratch as you would do with a possession such as a car. This is not necessarily the case, and should be one option you can examine through analysis.

9.59: Kjaer notes that Klarna is a fintech gone banking, having received its banking licence in the past year. She describes that Klarna enters partnerships with companies that share a similar culture to them. That is critical to a successful collaboration. In the past, potential partners saw them as a rival, but this has become easier more recently. Having the same approach to product development and customer servicing creates a good partnership. You also have to build the personal relationships to achieve a successful partnership.

9.55: Silva says that we tend to think innovation is about technology, but innovating the way we work is just as important. Financial institutions have been well used to control everything, but she notes that as banks open up they need to understand how to work without controlling everything. Institutions and corporates both need to learn how to embrace this culture.

9.50: Next up we have the opening plenary panel discussion on innovation. The moderator is Javier Pérez-Tasso, chief executive, Americas & UK Region at Swift. The panellists are Veronica Augustsson, CEO of Cinnober, Paula da Silva, head of Transaction Services with SEB, Tanya Juul Kjaer, senior manager payments, Global Partnerships at Klarna, and Nordea's Zingmark.

9.47: Nordics are in the top three in the world in terms of innovation, says Zingmark, but it lacks the scale of some other markets with only 27 million people. This is a scale of impact, not just a scale of cost. P27 is mentioned as a step to try to bring scale and impact, a collaborative effort in the region to bring real-time account to account payments to the region.

9.44: Almost a year ago, Nordea opened up its system. Today it has around 14,000 developers operating in its sandbox. Zingmark says that this development has greatly helped the bank develop through collaboration.

9.42: Nordea chose to replace numerous systems with a single account system, payments system and data hub. As well as the investment in technological infrastructure, Zingmark noted that cultural transformation is another critical element for banks to stay relevant. Most industries create one or two components themselves and then purchase other components to bundle into their product. This hasn't been the case for banks, says Zingmark, but this type of partnership is becoming increasingly important. Find what is non-core to you, and then the partners who have this as their core business.

9.38: Tackling the phrase 'people need banking but not banks', Zingmark says that it should be updated to people need banking but not only from banks. Banks hold certain 'hygiene factors' such as financial strength, compliance and trust that keep them relevant, particularly at the more complex corporate banking level. But they need to change, particularly on the technology side where complicated legacy systems need to be updated to modern banking platforms. But of course this takes time and is costly.

9.33: Choosing late is about being strategic, to develop capabilities to deliver what you need when you realise what you need. Agility and speed are key. The answer in what you need to do usually comes from the customer, so time to market is very important, notes Zingmark.

9.30: After hearing about the range of collaborative projects that Finance Finland is involved with, Erik Zingmark, co-head of Transaction Banking at Nordea takes to the stage to talk about what is needed to seize the collaborative opportunity. Zingmark says that we are living in very volatile and uncertain times. As prediction becomes much harder, he says it is vital to secure the ability to 'choose late'.

9.26: A new data project highlighted is the International Human Account Network. Kauppi explains that this is a human account, rather than a bank account. It allows people to manage their digital identities, and is very timely with the onset of GDPR. This project is a collaboration between Finance Finland and a think tank.

9.22: Another project is eCompany. This began with housing associations, collecting all of their information to one single register. It is a national apartment register, including mortgage information and more. Kauppi says that this system will enable all mortgage credit information in the country to be digitised.

9.20: The 'system of finance' is open to everyone, Kauppi notes, not just the traditional financial institutions but also fintechs and start-ups. Suomi.fi is mentioned as an example of a collaborative digital implementation. It is a single port of call for all public service needs of Finns, including e-authentification. The next step is also to open it up to the private sector as well, expanding the use possibilities for all users.

9.14: Following some housekeeping points, Ahman invites Piia-Noora Kauppi, managing director of Finance Finland to the stage. Kauppi says that collaboration is powerful, particularly in a country like Finland. DigiVision is a programme that Finance Finland has played a part in. They wanted to see how digital transformation can help to create wellbeing for the Finnish people and the system of finance by 2027.

9.09: Inspiration is critical to drive innovation. To get to the future financial services world, Ahman says that the industry is at the proof of concept stage. While developments, such as Swift gpi, are taking strides forward, legacy systems still hold the community back.

9.04: Ahman notes that innovation is not optional in the Nordics. There is a sense of urgency, and there needs to be a transformation of the financial services industry. Ahman describes the four stages of innovation: prospecting, proof of concept, procurement, and implementation.

9.00: Delegates are welcomed to the event by Erica Ahman, head of Nordics at SWIFT. The theme for the event is 'Seizing The Opportunity'.

08.40: Good morning and welcome to Finextra's live blog from the Swift Business Forum Nordics 2018. We are here in snow-covered and sunny Helsinki, and will be bringing you live coverage throughout today's event.

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