Embracing far reaching industry changes took centre-stage at the SWIFT Middle East Regional Conference 2018
editor's pickWednesday 31, October 2018
Over 400 delegates from 25 countries came together in Dubai in late September for4 the SWIFT Middle East Regional Conference 2018. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre, the event sought to examine the evolution of the financial services sector and the role that technology is playing in driving that change. “Banks are embracing these changes,” said Onur Ozan, Head of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey for SWIFT. “Harnessing technology and developing new and innovative payment schemes to develop more secure, efficient and transparent payments for their customers.”
The keynote speaker for the conference was Ian Khan, a technology futurist, who focused on how technology has become increasingly embedded in our lives coupled with the increasing speed with which technology has advanced. Monitoring the developments in the technology space will be essential, stressed Khan, as they will fundamentally impact our shared future. “Technology can be misunderstood and misused,” said Khan. “It is our responsibility to understand new technologies, the changes they bring, and what they can and can’t do.”
SWIFT encouraged industry leaders, regulators and financial experts to embrace disruptive technology on the traditional business model of banks to better serve their customers. The firm also provided an innovation hub to showcase what banks and fintechs across the region are doing to develop a new, more innovative and dynamic offering. Alain Raes, SWIFT’s Chief Executive, EMEA & APAC, said that SWIFT is at the centre of banking and payment innovation, creating collaborative solutions for the banking community.
“This will be an endless race. We need to stay ahead of the game. The environment is changing at a pace never seen before and we need to collaborate, as a community and as an industry,” said Raes. “SWIFT is the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services with many DIFC clients relying on this platform,” added Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authority