September 28, 2016

Tony Brady: It's about the Experience, not the Platform

Sibos

Tony Brady, Head of Global Product Management for Treasury Services at BNY Mellon, participated in the session, "Towards a Single Platform for All Payments" at Sibos on September 28. Commenting on the feasibility of a single, multi-functional payments platform, Brady calls for a banking industry focus not so much on creating a single global platform, but rather on enhancing clients' experience with global payments.

Recalling a recent business trip to the Middle East during which he had no difficulty modifying his cell phone service to include calls to anywhere in the globe from the region, Brady contrasts the ease with which the global mobile phone industry accommodated his need for additional access to the banking industry's struggle to make significant, global enhancements to cross-border payment services.

"We're seeing a great deal of innovation in the payments space, tokenized and real-time payments, to cite just two examples. But we need to recognize what's driving these changes:  client expectations for payments experiences more in line with what we've all come to expect from ecommerce transactions and real-time, instant access to information via our mobile phones," says Brady.

"We need to make payment services easier, faster, more cost-effective, more secure and reliable, and more transparent in terms of pricing, settlement and the management of payment-related information. If we don't meet the challenge of aligning our service with client expectations, we risk allowing non-bank providers to become an even larger presence in the banking space."

Reviewing the major payment innovation programs underway, Brady says that the ISO 20022 messaging compatibility being engineered into SWIFTgpi, The Clearing House's Real Time Payments system, and other current initiatives could provide a basis for eventual integration. But what has to bring that result about is not in the first instance a technology challenge.  What is most important is a determination on the part of the banking industry to deliver the benefits that will flow from better payment experiences for consumers and institutions alike. 

"We're coming together at the perfect time in Geneva to address this challenge," adds Brady.  "The long dormancy period in payment innovations has ended. And thanks to FinTech-banking interactions like the Innotribe sessions at Sibos, the future's coming into much clearer focus.  The question for us as an industry is whether we're prepared to make the strategic investments and achieve the level of collaboration that will be required to position banking for the future that's coming."