The SUMMIT speaker spotlight: Kalyani Bhatia, SWIFT

Published: May 19, 2021

As we gear up for the start of The SUMMIT, Canada’s premier payments conference on May 31, Kalyani Bhatia shares her thoughts on why the ISO 20022 messaging standard will be a game-changer for the payments ecosystem. 

Kalyani Bhatia is the Head of Business Innovation for the Americas & UKI Region at SWIFT. She is responsible for supporting regional business product programs, including gpi, ISO 20022, MyStandards and instant payments. 

We’re looking forward to hearing you present at The SUMMIT on June 2. Could you give us a sneak peek into what we’ll hear?

At The SUMMIT we will discuss key trends and developments impacting the Canadian and global communities. The session will explore the vital role ISO 20022 plays in enabling richer structured data, to SWIFT’s strategy and enhanced platform that will enable instant and frictionless transactions, to risk management, to the adoption of new technologies, and much more. 

Customers today want their payments to be fast, predictable and low cost, in addition to a great user experience. This new paradigm has prompted changes that require careful, responsible innovation and flexibility. 

ISO 20022 plays a central role in achieving this vision and will allow the payments community to reap the benefits of rich data. ISO 20022 is an open international standard being adopted around the world for domestic payments systems and for cross-border payments and reporting.

We will share how our platform will enable an end-to-end instant and frictionless experience, from any account to any account anywhere in the world, ensuring that everyone has upfront transparency and the status of transactions all along the way. 

The challenges of adoption should not be underestimated and will require community planning. We hope you can join our session ISO 20022: standard of the future on Wednesday, June 2 at 1:05 p.m. You’ll be able to hear how we are working with the community to help them prepare for adoption, starting in November 2022.

Tell us a little about how ISO 20022 will impact Canadian businesses - nationally and internationally? 

Payments market infrastructures worldwide have taken the lead on ISO 20022. A standard within global transaction banking is crucial to allow any correspondent in the network to be able to exchange data with others and execute payments securely and efficiently. 

Standards play an important role in the development and facilitation of business in Canada. The move to ISO 20022 not only aligns domestic payment systems and addresses the needs of Canadian financial institutions and businesses, it also expands the interoperability of the Canadian payments marketplace with the rest of the world.

By bringing together data and common services, the Canadian market can further improve end-to-end efficiency and unlock new opportunities. The migration to ISO 20022 can also support banks with compliance. Compliance requirements are only increasing and mainly impact cross-border payments -- yet, as we know, users expect the same service levels for all their payments, whether domestic or cross-border. 

The move to ISO 20022 is also a great opportunity for institutions to review their data strategy, reassess where they get their reference data from and make the necessary changes to optimise end-to-end processes.
Moving to better quality data brings significant benefits: increased automation, faster processing, more effective reconciliation, improved mitigation of financial crime risk, and better data-driven insights on the purpose and context of payments. Better data is also a platform for innovation, enabling banks and third parties to offer new, value-added services. 
Aside from consumers shifting towards a digital-first mindset, what other payments innovation trends are you seeing in your current role?

SWIFT is embracing digitisation to address customer demands for rich capabilities, simplicity and increased predictability, all while navigating the challenges posed by cost pressures, regulatory changes and legacy technology. 

The world is changing fast and developments such as in AI, machine learning and digital currencies are all set to have a major impact on financial services. SWIFT plays a role in assessing emerging technologies. We’re working with the global financial community to harness these for innovative solutions that can solve industry challenges, operate at scale in payments and transform the services that our community offers its customers.

The platform we are developing provides an example. SWIFT is combining new and current technologies with a change in the approach for end-to-end processing of financial transactions – all to further improve the end customer experience. 

What role does The SUMMIT play in driving these conversations forward?

Canada is undergoing a massive transformation in its payments ecosystem and there is no better place to learn about the challenges and opportunities that are impacting the industry. The SUMMIT offers a platform for members of the financial ecosystem to come together to exchange ideas and drive collaboration. We value our relationship with Payments Canada and the opportunity to continue to advance the dialogue in the Canadian community and beyond. 

Hear more from Kalyani Bhatia and register for The SUMMIT today!

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