Live: Swift Latin American Regional Conference - day one

Live: Swift Latin American Regional Conference - day one

Welcome to Finextra's live coverage of the Swift Latin American Regional Conference 2018, in Miami. This event will focus on important issues affecting the financial industry in the region, and how the financial community can seize the opportunities that are emerging.

17.56: That concludes today's live blog from Swift's Latin American Regional Conference. Join us again tomorrow for coverage of day two.

17.54: Swift's Martinez returns to the stage and notes that the partnership between the private and public sector has been a key theme of the day. The synergies here should enable the development of the region. Financial inclusion is linked to the stability that financial services would like to provide, and infrastructure needs to be in place to support this as well. Technology enables us to make progress in these areas, he says. Competition is good as it leads to improvement and new alliances.

17.50: What will be the major issue this time next year? Lopez says it will be how much progress has been made in the area of digital banking. Herrera thinks cross-border payments need to be in focus due to their slow speed and cost. For Das, it is crypto currencies, whereas for Arts it is compliance and cyber security.

17.48: There is an issue of cyber security with cryptocurrencies, and it is an issue for central banks to take on, Herrera says. In order to promote development instead of stifling it, regulation is important. She says that central banks should work in partnership with other participants in the market, so that regulators can act as a facilitator.

17.41: Lopez notes the financial inclusion law that was recently signed in El Salvador, as a step towards improving the number in the community that are banked. She adds that banks are working to improve the speed and security of the payments network for both domestic and foreign trade. By supporting the development of digital banking in the country, Lopez says that banks are helping to boost domestic GDP as well as financial inclusion.

17.37: What is the future of money, poses Das. If the future is crypto, how will payments systems have to adapt to deal with this?

17.35: The beginning of the value chain is where the customer logs in. Biometrics can be used now so that customers don't need a token for every bank they want to log in to, says Das. How about how a payment gets processed? There are jurisdictions around the world that allow for real-time payments domestically, but in cross-border payments this has yet to be seen. However, Das says he sees a role for blockchain to play a role here. He mentions Swift gpi as a solution to get to near real-time cross-border payments, complete with payment tracking. Das says that there is not one technology changing things, there are a variety of technologies affecting different parts of the payments value chain.

17.31: Arts says that fintechs are an integral part of how his bank does business today. They create open and closed communities with other banks and non-bank parties. The landscape is changing rapidly. Das agrees that collaboration is key, working together with fintechs to make things better.

17.26: What about the role of the regulators? Herrera says that regulators want to ensure that everyone has access to banking services in the new world. She adds that new players in the market need regulating, but that these will not be exactly the same regulations as the traditional banks, as what they are offering is different, as is their model. The role of the regulator is to level the playing field for all. Technologies such as blockchain are looking for a use, says Herrera, but it is not the regulators job to make everyone use blockchain.

17.21: The topic of APIs is brought up by Arts, who references PSD2 in Europe. This means giving access of bank systems to others. In turn this throws up certain compliance and security concerns. At the same time, it raises the prospect of fintechs and banks have to understand how they want to work with these new entrants. Das says that banks need to be aware of the business model of their clients. Banks are one part of the new digital economy.

17.19: Lopez says that digitisation is a very big change in the industry. She notes that her organisation has a considerable percentage of elderly customer, so simply switching to being a purely digital bank would not work. It has to be a smart integration.

17.14: All banks have to adapt to the new digital reality, says Arts. It is about transformation. To be considered truly digital, banks need to offer all services in a way that doesn't require the customer to enter a branch. Arts explains how Santander has created a new digital bank, Open Bank, that runs in parallel to Santander. Digital banks are the Netflix of banking, says Days, noting that they are banking on demand.

17.12: Talking about digital banks is a lot more than just digitising existing processes and channels, says Herrera. True digital banks transform the whole model. The customer experience is key.

17.10: Do you consider yourself a digital bank, asks an audience poll to start things off. In an incredibly close finish, Yes just edges it with 51%. Lopez notes that physical contact between customer and bank becomes reduced with a digital bank. It is important to look at the digital framework that these banks develop in this regard. Herrera adds that digital banks are positive as they are more easily accessed by the current unbanked. However, she highlights that the regulatory framework and security aspects of digital need to be extremely robust.

17.02: The closing panel discussion for day one is being moderated by Kevin Gray, deputy editor at LatinFinance. Gray is joined onstage by Nora Mercedes Miranda de López, president of Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador; Antoine Arts, managing director of Global Transaction Banking at Santander; Arunav Das, regional product head, Global Liquidity & Cash Management LATAM for HSBC; and Fabiola Herrera, deputy manager of Systems and Innovation with the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic.

16.29: Time now for a final coffee break of the day. Following that, there will be a panel session exploring what the banking ecosystem of the future may look like.

16.27: Klasa asks what the biggest technological worry is for Collins. He says that future of work is one, and cyber is another. Defending clients and customer information is critical and is a tremendous focus. As for what he is most excited about, he says this is taking the development community such as NGOs, etc, and delivering them applied technology. Developing these partnerships will help to crush the denominator and solve most challenges of the unbanked. He says the power of integrated technologies is the most exciting thing.

16.23: Data is the new oil and it is pulled from any digital device. Appropriately used, you can create data that is extraordinarily powerful, says Collins. Data is more important than the payment it is associated with. With mobile wallets you can connect the unbanked and take information from a small farmer and connect them to where and how they are buying their seeds, the meteorological changes and forecasts that affect them, and so on.

16.19: There are technological solutions to help with this challenge, particularly in the education technology space, Collins says. Methodologies that can push technology and STEM to all. In addition, there are work streams to address government policy and craft what these policies will do in each of the industry sectors.

16.16: The future of work is vital to consider. If you are optimistic about the new jobs to be created from the fourth industrial revolution, there is a problem with the distribution and sequencing of these jobs, says Collins. Robotics can be applied to the low end of the job pyramid. You need to backwards implement and educate to employ, he says, and you have to address the safety net for those who lose their jobs as a result.

16.12: Klasa brings up mobile wallets and the role of incumbents. Collins says you need to think of all of these things like ecosystems. Scale is critical - with mobile wallets you can have governments that will make their payment through this, for example. If ecosystems can't build scale, they will fail. Distributed models are the future.

16.09: With the convergence of AI, blockchain, smart contracts and more, the opportunity exists for companies at the edge to combine these technologies. APIs are a game changer for what the small innovator on the edge can do, Collins says. 

16.07: Many schemes need to be piloted before they are funded to scale. Collins talks about how organisations such as the World Economic Forum are crucial to supporting the development of the ecosystems required for this.

16.04: Collins cites an MIT competition to develop technologies and solutions, where successful projects will be funded to scale. Open innovation models are crucial to bringing ideas like this to scale for development.

16.01: Collins begins by saying that the private sector is needed to partner with governments in order to successfully meet the financial challenges to tackle development of the emerging economies. The aggressive deployment of frontier technology is also critical.

15.49: Next up is a fireside chat on technology for development. This will see Adrienne Klasa, development finance editor at The Banker speaking to Jay Collins, vice chairman, Corporate and Investment Banking with Citi.

15.46: Cyber risk is a key challenge that Fernandez cites as a priority. Talent and personnel is another challenge that financial institutions face. On that note, the compliance panel draws to a close.

15.43: Thinking about compliance and risk management as they relate to payments, Mold asks which topics are at the top of the list. Wojciechowicz says fraud is at the top of the list. If payments are going East, it is likely the market there will be closed and it isn't a problem to contact them before their next day starts to stop the payment being made. The issue comes if the payment is moving West to a market that is still open. Oliviera says the need to know your customer is the most important issue for him. The changing regulatory environment also requires focus.

15.37: The new US rule on beneficial ownership and controlled persons is brought up by Mold. Wojciechowicz says it is good that the government sent out its own form on what information is required. Fernandez says this rule has levelled the playing field and introduced minimum standards, which is a positive step. For Oliviera, the best part of the rule is that it is clear in itself, although it becomes far less clear when you look at the exceptions.

15.33: The evolution in sanctions are more than a speedbump for real-time payments, Fernandez says. The OFAC sanction updates email lands in inboxes every day or so, he says, highlighting how the picture is complex and constantly changing.

15.29: Fernandez says that sanctions compliance is the number one risk for global banks today. There is not a technology solution that banks can rely on completely to solve this. He brings it back again to the knowledge of your customer. If the customer is a sophisticated exporter, the compliance workload for global banks is high. Global sanctions programmes are no longer working side by side, Mold adds. This is a further complication.

15.27: Wojciechowicz notes the challenges that ISO 20022 can bring up due to its perceived strength - transparency. When it comes to data security across different jurisdictions, this can be a challenge.

15.25: There are unintended consequences to this, Fernandez adds. Multinational banks want a global compliance centre, but different local privacy regulations prevent this from being realistic. Oliviera adds that if you don't have the information, it is hard to trust.

15.22: With new privacy regulations - initially in Europe but heading to Latin America shortly - the compliance workload on the client data side is rising, says Oliviera. He poses the question how responsible his bank is for the customers of other banks that they do clearing for. It will be a big issue over the next year and will impact how banks do payments. On the compliance side it will be a big issue, as it requires new controls.

15.17: Compliance is the biggest challenge with faster payments, Fernandez says, with sanctions specifically at the top of this list. He says that over the past 8 years OFAC has evolved quite dramatically, looking at specific countries, specific industry areas or specific regions within a country. This is far more complicated than before, and requires an in-depth knowledge of your customers. Significant fines and reputational damage await any banks that don't get this right.

15.14: In order for the network to be functional, there is a high need for trust. Oliveira says that trust has always been crucial, banks are trying to better understand their clients and use technology to aid this. With faster payments, there is less time to analyse the client payments behaviour. He says it is business as usual, but it has to be highly consistent.

15.11: How are banks adapting to the increased speed of payments? Wojciechowicz says that in the US, working with The Clearing House, his bank wanted to reassure the regulators that they would be doing everything to be compliant while the speed of payments increases. In the end, The Clearing House decided not to allow cross-border payments to be part of its real-time payments network, which took the pressure off the screening for terrorist payments. He also cautioned against regulatory scope creep.

15.04: The session kicks off with some audience polling, the first question asking what the top compliance concern is. Fraud tops the poll on 31%, closely followed by correspondent relationships (27%), with OFAC and sanctions the third main concern (23%). A second poll question asks how the institution of the voters addresses compliance concerns. Half of respondents (50%) use a mixture on implementing new technologies, engage external consultants, and increase staffing.

14.58: Time for the post-lunch programme of content to begin here at Swift's Latin American Regional Conference in Miami. The breakout session we are following is called 'Managing risk and compliance when payments move in seconds', and the moderator for this topic is Julia A. Mold, regional senior compliance - Turkey, Russia, Africa & Middle East & International Americas for Wells Fargo Bank. Mold is joined by Andres Fernandez, partner at Holland & Knight; Roberto Xavier Oliveira, regional compliance officer North America for Banco do Brasil; and Stephen Wojciechowicz, director, head of Product Governance and Risk, Americas, with Deutsche Bank.

13.35: Time for lunch now. Following lunch, we will be picking up a breakout session that is focussed on compliance and risk management in a faster payments world. See you in around one hour fifteen minutes for that.

13.30: Integration can bring new business opportunities. Payments are not numbers any more, they are rich data, Pacheco says. AI will play an even bigger role here, helping to discover new business opportunities. Combine these technological innovations with standardisation, and banks have the opportunity to provide much better services to their clients. Pacheco says that Swift is important here too because of its security standards.

13.26: Finally, Pacheco takes to the stage to look at how cross-border payments may evolve. He says everyone is talking about payments, because there are many business possibilities in this area. ISO 20022 brings standardisation to cross-border and local payments, which could drive integration between banks and other service providers. He uses Itau's partnership with Apple to bring Apple Pay to its clients as one example of this.

13.23: Swift gpi is available now, Sani Jr notes, and it is a fast process that is controlled and regulated. The technology is here, but the ecosystem has to be there too, he says. Swift gpi tracks payments and provides the name and location of each bank along the payment path.

13.20: Next up on stage is Sani Jr. He starts by asking what the market wants when it comes to cross-border payments. Usually the question being asked is 'where is my payment?' and 'what is the cost?'. He adds that the market wants predictability, so what technology is available to bridge this gap? The digitisation of central bank money is happening in some countries, as is the digitisation of global bank money. He notes some initiatives such as Utility Settlement Coin, Swift DLT nostro reconciliation, and resiliency projects as new technologies that are still in early stages.

13.14: Diaz says that corporates want faster payments, bank fee transparency, end-to-end tracking, and payment transformation. He adds that a payment going to Brazil needs different data to that going to China, and it is important to understand the remittance information required for each destination.

13.10: Diaz is the next speaker on stage. He starts by noting that traceability of cross-border payments is a key priority. Remittance information is crucial for treasury to provide to the issuing bank. Diaz says that the intermediary bank(s) can be a grey area in the world of cross-border payments, both in time and cost. He says that sometimes the fees from the intermediary banks can be as high as the capital being transferred in the first place, which he notes is absurd.

13.05: The Mexican fintech law is a very inclusive piece of regulation, Barrios says. There is a lot of investment by banks to speed up the payments system in Mexico as well, but this also heightens the cyber threat, he notes, as a fraudulent payment could be initiated and gone within five seconds.

13.00: Barrios says that banks have to invest a lot in cyber security, while still pursuing all of their business and innovation goals. Therefore banks need to be agile to be fast enough to service all of these challenges. Partnership with fintechs is one way to achieve this.

12.58: Following the API discussion, it is now time for a session exploring the evolution of cross-border payments. This session will be moderated by Ignacio Blanco, Swift's deputy head of Latin America & the Caribbean. The speakers joining Blanco - one at a time in a Ted-talk style - are Martin Barrios, managing director, Global Transactional Services Head, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Mexico; Luis Eduardo Diaz, Corporate Treasury Director, KUO; Ricardo Pacheco, superintendent of Operations, Head of Payments at Itau; and Dino Sani Jr, managing director from BNYMellon Treasury Services.

12.50: Security is key to gain trust and have customers want to adopt using APIs, says Schuurman. He cites India's closed-loop system as an example, where tokenised data means that customer information does not get exposed to every part of the transaction journey. End-to-end audit control is critical here. You need to apply the right controls and security measures in order to build up the level of trust with customers.

12.46: Partnering with all types of newcomers is a good strategy, says Di Lelle. Telcos are one example of this. On top of all this, banks are developing their own fintechs as well, he notes.

12.44: Swift is a two sided platform, customers that are offering content and customers that are consuming content, says Martinez. He cites Swift gpi as an example of what the organisation is pursuing in the API environment. Swift as a utility can offer support for customers that can allow them to focus on the content of their offerings, rather than the plumbing.

12.41: APIs can be used to support innovation, Di Lelle says. Collaboration with fintechs would have much longer timeframes without them. He says that the industry needs to sit down together to set the standards. Yes organisations are competing, but they need to work together to create the standards, rather than creating their own proprietary offering that cannot connect with anyone else.

12.39: APIs are turning the world upside down. Most innovation is happening in Asia, Schuurman says, citing 60% of transactions in China going through mobile wallets and the associated APIs. Europe is following, and there is more of an institutional approach there. In Latin America, the development is more on a local basis, he says. Markets are learning from each other, and Schuurman cites what US faster payments appears to have learnt from India as an example of this.

12.36: A polling question asks the audience what applications their APIs are enabling. Internal technology took 25% of the vote, while third party integration netted 18%, and business flows 8%. Almost half of the audience (49%) said 'all of the above'. Schuurman notes that customers want bank agnostic APIs. He says a realistic time frame of 18 months to 2 years is what the industry should need to create a standard for APIs. He adds that this shouldn't stop people using APIs, but to bear in mind that they may not be open APIs just yet.

12.30: In certain markets there is a heavy regulatory hand in opening up markets, Sheehan notes, such as in the UK and Europe. Martinez adds that these regulations are forcing banks to open up their back ends to developers, but he notes that these need to be standardised, otherwise there is the risk of a 'spaghetti' of APIs. He says that Swift is working to provide the standardisation to this, as well as on the security side here. Data protection is a critical element as APIs sit between the various front and back ends.

12.25: The journey from the first idea to deploying an API can vary in time, says Di Lelle, but you need to start with a strategy. 30% of the development budget can be saved by banks if they deploy APIs efficiently, he notes, highlighting the importance of getting the strategy correct at the start. He gives an example of a robo-advisor that his institution launched last year, which was released within 32 days. The secret behind this timeframe was that they worked with a fintech and used APIs.

12.20: Schuurman comments that he started the API journey at Citi around three years ago. The bank had big dreams, but speaking to their customers they realised they needed to understand why their customers were initiating contact with the bank. There were simple questions and simple responses, but these didn't use to be automated. APIs solve this, so automatically displaying account balance information within the treasury app, for example. This can be applied to FX rates, account management, and so on. He notes that the key is to start with the small simple things.

12.16: Di Lelle says that the education within the organisation of the importance of APIs to the future of the business is important to ensure they are given an appropriate priority. APIs are all about consuming structured data in a way where you don't need to be an expert in this area, Martinez adds, likening it to a weather app you can get on your phone. You don't need to be a meteorological expert to understand the weather forecast that the app is giving you, and the same should be the case for APIs in financial services.

12.13: Following introductions to the panellists, Sheehan introduces a couple of polling questions for the audience. The first asks if the audience's organisation is using APIs. This answer is split 70/30 in favour of Yes over No, which Sheehan says he is a little surprised by. What are the barriers to API adoption within your organisation? The top two reasons given to this by the audience are the business case (38%), and prioritisation (30%). Strategy and Resources both score 12%, while funding is only an issue for 6%.

12.05: With everyone fully caffeinated and ready to go again, it is time for the panel discussion on APIs. The moderator for this panel is Conrad Sheehan, managing director of Accenture. Sheehan is joined by Gabriel Eduardo Di Lelle, vice-president of Innovation and Digital Transformation at Bancolombia; Juan Martinez, Swift's managing director for Latin America & the Caribbean; and Rene Schuurman, global product manager for Channel Services with Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions.

11.20: That concludes the first panel session. After a short break, we will be back with a session exploring the world of APIs and how they can help create efficiencies in financial services.

11.18: A poll question asks the audience which technologies will have the biggest impact on financial services. AI comes out on top with 53%, ahead of blockchain (35%), Big Data (9%), and the Internet of Things (4%). AI can help banks offer far better tailored services to customers, Zetina notes.

11.14: The important thing as a financial institution is to be aware of the opportunities and to have the structure to be able to take advantage of digital transformation, either directly or through partnership, says Puig. Efficiency is very important.

11.10: Is it better to have a relatively small market when it comes to transformation? This question is posed to Puig. He recalls a conversation he had with a multinational about the transformation in China, and notes that anywhere there are opportunities there will be innovations by banks and non-bank providers. If banks don't take the opportunities here, you can guarantee that fintechs will. Puig notes that even though the Dominican Republic may be a small market, only around 40% of the population is banked, so there is still a major opportunity here with growing those who have accounts, and in areas such as remittances as well.

11.06: Regulatory convergence will enable small and mid-size businesses in one country in Latin America to receive funding from another country, Herrera says, all based on the Mexican fintech law. Swift has the opportunity to be the clearing house for Latin America in this regard, he comments.

11.04: Banks looked upon Cumplo as competition, says Acuña, but APIs offer a way for fintechs to get on the banking system. He says that in the final analysis, everyone is part of the same ecosystem. Zetina says institutions need to ask what they are doing to help develop partnerships. Technology companies originated to develop solutions for everyone. Banking infrastructures can be complicated due to M&A processes over years, she says, so this is something to overcome. But it can be overcome. There also needs to be a change in mindset across an organisation - those innovators in the bank need to change hearts and minds of the board in order to get support for change from the top down, she notes.

10.59: Acuña says that entrepreneurs found life hard at the start of the decade in Chile. But now, the chance for partnerships between fintechs and banks is huge. He says that Cumplo is like a gate for small and mid-size companies. These companies are able to develop from investment from Cumplo, usually enough to access better rates from banks. This gives them more negotiating power when speaking to banks that they may have had before. All of this is through partnerships, he says.

10.51: Herrera is asked about research from his organisation. He says that fintech transformation is a phenomenon. There are 703 Latin American regional fintechs, around a quarter of which rely on crowdfunding. Around a half of the fintechs focus on digital payments transformation. In the crowdfunding vertical, the fintechs have raised around US$342m, which Herrera says could be doubled in the next year. There is a financial gap of US$2.3 trillion in the fintech world in the region though, he says. The crowdfunding has covered some of this, but there is still work to do.

10.45: Zetina says that three years ago it was extremely difficult to collaborate with a fintech. It took 53 weeks to come up with a proof of concept back then. But today, transformation through collaboration has come a long way. Having a regulatory sandbox has been a big benefit in this regard. She notes that transformation cannot be done alone.

10.41: Herrera is asked if he can see real collaboration in the region. He says that his institution has taken a lead in this regard, bringing together everyone from regulators to fintechs, banks and Swift, so that everyone is on the same page for collaboration. Fintechs are the disruptors, but there is also innovation coming from 'traditional' banks as well.

10.38: Acuña says that his fintech is always on the look out for collaborative opportunities. He says that this approach is one that can benefit the community and the region beyond that. Puig says that his institution has started the process of digital transformation. He provides collaboration examples from the bank's history, and says that this is the approach they are taking forward.

10.34: The first poll question for the audience asks if delegates think their institutions is doing something challenging in terms of innovation and disruption. Yes, we are leaders in our market leads on 48%, innovations like the rest comes in second, with the 'not very innovative' options trailing behind. This is clearly a room where people are confident in the steps that their institutions are taking in this regard.

10.30: Time now for the first panel discussion of the conference, which is exploring the theme of transformation through collaboration. The moderator of this panel is Jorge Ortiz, founding president of FinTech México. The speakers joining him are Diego Herrera, senior specialist in the Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division at Inter-American Development Bank; Steven Puig, CEO of Banco BHD Leon; Marcela Zetina, head of Open Innovation with BBVA Bancomer; and Guillermo Acuña, Co-Founder & CEO of Mexico at Cumplo.

10.26: In the region, new technologies are being applied, but everyone needs to change their mindset to be ready for the fourth industrial revolution, Barillas notes. The region needs to do a lot more to adopt the new technologies and to apply them in a smart way. Everyone in the community needs to be part of the change, she says in closing.

10.24: Cyber security is key. Some people use old mobile phones that do not have secure connections to the financial world, Barillas says. These weak links in the system need to be targetted to protect the ecosystem. The legal and regulatory framework also needs to be addressed, as they can struggle to keep up with the exponential developments of technologies, she says.

10.21: Technology is ready to help Latin America take the next step to success, says Barillas. Financial institutions are looking to new technologies to expand financial inclusion. Technology such as AI can help banks in this regard, bringing new companies into the financial system and allowing banks to monetise the data they can capture.

10.19: Barillas says that policies to retain and support talent within companies can actually have a benefit on the external side by helping to bring in new customers, such as millennials. This change in mindset, looking to the long-term now and acknowledging the environmental and sustainable concerns to address can position companies to succeed.

10.16: IP regulations should be among the top efforts for integration, particularly if companies want to expand in the region, Barillas says. In the face of the fourth industrial revolution, companies are changing their structures and business models in order to show competitiveness. New entrants are also benefiting the market, as disruptive technologies are helping to tackle issues such as how small farmers can compete in the market, for example.

10.12: Latin American job markets are facing challenges due to technological disruption and new business models. The region is stagnated due to low educational performance, Barillas says. This needs to be tackled in an innovative manner, to ensure that workers and those in education are given the tools to help grow their careers.

10.08: Barillas talks about the three key pillars for Latin America that were drawn up at a recent World Economic Forum meeting. These are 1) promote responsible leadership and agile governance, 2) guarantee economic progress for all, and 3) make the most of the fourth industrial revolution.

10.04: How can technology be a key driver of the Latin American economies? Protectionism has an impact on the region, but alliances such as that between Brazil and Mexico show the path forward, Barillas says. The fight against corruption is also demonstrating tangible results, she says.

10.00: Time now for the opening keynote, which is being given by Marisol Argueta de Barillas, Head of Regional Strategies - Latin America at the World Economic Forum. Latin America is in a flux and we are in a decisive time for the region, she states, citing the upcoming elections in a number of countries in the region.

9.55: Technologies are a tool for providing more and better services for customers, Martinez says. Real-time payments, open APIs and the rise of fintechs are happening in Latin America, and around the world also. Most importantly, cyber security is a key issue for all in the community. What can we do? Investment in cyber security should be a top priority for banks.

9.52: Martinez leads the whole audience in taking a selfies to post on Twitter with the #LARC2018 tag. So if you fancy checking out who is at the conference today, check it out.

9.49: Following an introductory video, the conference is opened by Juan Martinez, managing director, Latin America & the Caribbean at SWIFT. He says that the conference will discuss how financial institutions can work in a way that is beneficial for the whole community in the face of the challenge of new market entrants.

9.20: Good morning from Miami and welcome to Finextra's live coverage from day one of Swift's Latin American Regional Conference, or LARC for short. We have two packed days of content ahead of us, exploring the variety of transformations that the Latin American and Caribbean financial services are going through. We are now around 10 minutes away from the start of the event.

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