Sibos 2015 is almost here and as Singapore beckons, Accenture is preparing for an eventful week.

Key themes we expect to dominate Sibos are real-time, or immediate payments, PSD2 for the European banks and distributed consensus ledgers, with Ripple and its cross-border payments solution making waves.

Immediate payments are a big theme in Europe and the USA, with Australia in the middle of a programme, run by SWIFT to introduce them in 2017 and Singapore now live with the FAST system for 18 months. It is becoming clear that immediate payments will become pervasive and will dominate mass retail and corporate payments everywhere; the race is on for banks to transform their IT and operations to enable immediate payments and to develop new payments and payment account propositions for their customers.

PSD2 is European regulation, with immediate implications for European banks, but its effect is likely to be felt globally. Not just because regulators around the world tend to feed off each other with new regulations, but also because it will catalyse the development of a new payments ecosystem for the digital economy. In particular, it will enable new types of payment providers, allowing third parties access to account information and the right to initiate payments, requiring banks to expose their payment systems through APIs. This has major security and liability implications that banks need to address, compounded by other PSD2 requirements to enhance the security of online payments. The PSD2 has additional requirements to improve the original PSD, as well as the interchange caps for cards transactions. With the PSD2, European banks face both a compliance challenge and an opportunity to reinvent themselves for the digital economy that will dominate their payment plans and investments for the next three years at least.

Sibos 2014 in Boston was the point when the banking community started to accept that there is more to distributed consensus ledgers than Bitcoin, and that the technology has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of financial markets, taking out layers of intermediaries and gatekeepers. Since then, there has been considerable investment in the technology, by both banks and VCs.  The technology remains immature, and the industry is still in a discovery phase, but expect in Singapore to hear a lot more on how it is being developed for industrial use in capital markets and in payments. In particular, we expect Ripple, an Accenture alliance partner to receive a lot of attention for its cross-border, international payments solution.

Again this year, Accenture has a booth (I38) at Sibos. We will have on hand over twenty senior executives from across our global Financial Services business to meet with you and discuss your needs, including payments-as-a-service solutions, immediate payments, PSD2, corporate payments and distributed ledgers. On Tuesday 13th October at 12.15 pm we are holding an Open Theatre presentation on “Placing real-time payments at the heart of the digital economy” and will continue the theme at our lunch time panel on Wednesday 14th October with industry experts discussing how to architect real-time payment business and technology models for business value. At the booth we will have demos of our distributed commerce platform for mobile payments, of distributed ledger solutions running on our private blockchain, and of the Ripple solution for correspondent banking together with our alliance partner, Ripple.  If you’d like to meet with me or one of my Accenture colleagues while you are here, please let me know.

See you in Singapore!

P.S.  If you are not attending Sibos but are interested in participating in our lunch panel on real-time payments, you can register to watch a live broadcast of the discussion and get involved in the conversation via Twitter using #SibosLive

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