Features


Treasury, FinCEN Seek Balance between Doing Business and Compliance (Nov. 11, 2014)

The U.S. Treasury and FinCen are addressing the importance of money services businesses (MSBs) to the financial system in the wake of reports that banks are refusing to do business with categories of companies, such as remittance companies and check cashers, because of the perceived risk of doing business with them following government agencies’ aggressive efforts in fighting money laundering.

Hollywood Sharia Law controversy rekindles Islamic finance debate

Controversy over Sharia Law reached Hollywood recently as protesters boycotted the glamorous Beverly Hills Hotel over a tough new code introduced by the hotel’s owner, the Sheikh of Brunei. More prosaically, bankers remain divided over how best to respond to demand for Sharia-compliant banking.

The death of the branch? Or is mobile over-hyped?

Do banks still need branches, or does the smartphone make a physical presence obsolete? Panellists disagreed during a spirited debate hosted by ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf in Istanbul last week.

Building a transformation vision

This year marks the tenth anniversary of World Payments Report. In this extract from the report, which was launched at Sibos this week, the impact of innovation on payments is examined.

What’s not to like?

The rise of Facebook has been one of the most striking cultural phenomena of the past decade. In January 2007 the site had around 25 million users. But by July 2014, Facebook had reached 2.2 billion users; a number equivalent to one out of every three people on this planet. Meanwhile, Twitter had emerged as the platform of business and news, with 500 million posts ‘tweeted’ daily by its 271 million active users.

Limiting collateral damage

A lack of available collateral to meet demand has become a global problem, with various models being deployed to ensure financial institutions meet the changing regulatory requirements.

Alternative realities

The debut of SAP’s Financial Services Network at Sibos last year led many to see it as a threat to Swift’s plans for corporate connectivity.

A call to pragmatic action

In a recently published white paper on intraday liquidity reporting*, Swift urges financial institutions to initiate programs now to address serious challenges with regard to data availability, centralisation, aggregation and interpretation in meeting Basel Committee guidelines. Greater industry collaboration will also help to accelerate moves towards cost effective and sustainable models and solutions.

Power to the people

The growth of peer to peer lending demonstrates that there is an alternative to the traditional lending model of banks. But can crowd funders ever replace the incumbents and do they enjoy long-run advantages or face being co-opted?

The shifting sands of commerce

Changing trade patterns and attempts to ‘de-dollarise’ international commerce are changing the landscape of trade finance, as new partnerships emerge.

A guiding light

Building a single regional market is a goal for many groups of nations; however Europe’s development of a single settlement platform is the only effort to come to fruition.

Next out of the block

Forget Bitcoin, cryptographic payments networks will be the real game-changer, according to many people working in the payments world.

The high cost of failure

Data in all its forms and access to it in real time is becoming ever more critical as financial institutions seek to manage myriad risks.

The long arm of the law

Crypto and virtual currencies have garnered plenty of headlines in the past couple of years. Now financial regulators around the world are turning the spotlight on these instruments and attempting to bring them into the legal fold.

Changing the world

Change is a theme at this year’s Sibos. But what type of change? A cross-section of delegates discuss what they think will be the main disruptive forces in their part of the business.

A city that commands attention

One of the most attractive cities in the US, Boston is also steeped in history: get your walking shoes on and explore the many historical and culinary delights of the Sibos 2014 host city.

Access all new areas

While mobile commerce and payments have been slow to take off in Western countries, the developing world has been stealing a march with innovative services and products.

Silver linings

In early September, cloud computing stories finally became interesting as an apparent hacking attack on Apple’s iCloud released hundreds of photos of ‘celebrities’ in the nude. It was a perfect story for the mainstream media, combining celebrities with nudity and a bit of unintelligible (to them at least) technology thrown in for good measure. Among […]

Swift’s Chris Church: making plans for Sibos

As delegates finalise their plans to attend Sibos in Boston this month, Chris Church, chief executive Americas and global head of securities at Swift, discusses what they can expect

Unlocking the potential of Africa

From Senegal to the Seychelles, and Botswana to Uganda, new demands and new opportunities are emerging in Africa, but there are still challenges

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