In a Twitter poll conducted in September 2020, more than half (58 per cent) of the respondents confirmed that the most effective way to bridge the gap between the promise and reality of digital innovation is to focus on more action and less talk.

digital innovation

The poll, conducted by Standard Chartered in partnership with Bloomberg leading up to Sibos, attracted around 80,000 responses globally and is the third in a series of audience polls we are conducting to get a pulse check on the industry sentiment around digitisation.

Anurag Bajaj

Anurag Bajaj, Global Head of Fintech Sales and Correspondent Banking, Standard Chartered, said:

“We have been discussing issues in real-time payments and related inefficiencies in the payment chain for decades. These very issues continue to be prominently discussed during SIBOS each year. Progress has been made, but unless we move beyond bi-lateral conversations, bring together a wide cross-section of the industry and agree on concrete actions, we will not be able to move the needle.”

In an effort to bring different perspectives to the table and overcome ‘group think’, we recently hosted a series of virtual co-creation workshops that were focused on driving practical business outcomes. One such session focused on digital payments and attracted representatives from card associations, neo banks and banks, fintechs, eCommerce platforms and wallets. The group explored practical solutions to the remaining operational inefficiencies especially in cross-border payments, ranging from lack of visibility into when payments are received to having access to the right data for reconciliation.

The other focused on securities services and brought together asset owners, asset managers, market infrastructure providers, broker/dealers and custodians, tackling the issue of trade fails resulting from poor inter-connectivity and reducing the intermediation lag in the custody chain.

Ryan Cuthbertson, Managing Director of Product Management, Securities Services, Standard Chartered, said:

“It’s the first time such a diverse group of industry participants, representing the full ecosystem, has come together in such a forum to have a multi-lateral conversation. We all have become accustomed to remote working and virtual collaboration, which certainly made it easier to get such senior and well-respected representatives into the same virtual room for a candid and enriching conversation.”

Philip Panaino

Philip Panaino, Global Head, Cash Management, Standard Chartered, who participated in the digital payments think tank, said:

“The debate resulting from such diverse industry voices was refreshing and very results orientated.”

Standard Chartered sees co-creation and innovation as a crucial aspect of providing value to clients and is committed to continue this momentum of ‘more action, less talk’ by bringing the industry together. Most recently, we jointly led a workgroup of 12 other banks to create and conduct a digital Trade Finance Registry proof of concept to enhance trade transparency. It is also one of the founding members and investor of Contour, a blockchain based open industry platform focused on digitising trade finance, and completed the first cross-bank Letter of Credit transaction between Vietnam and Thailand over blockchain on the platform in September.