Our redoubtable Head of Operations, Khumo Motsisi, took the stage at FiNext, Dubai last week to accept our award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Finance. This was big news for us, coming just as we launch our SWIFT-extending solution to provide end-to-end transparency for international payments.
While KYC/AML and ATF processes have improved thanks to developed technologies, the means of communicating and sharing this information has failed to keep pace. This results in either repeated (and costly) diligence or decision-making based on incomplete information. And sometimes both.
SWIFT provides the high-security, universally adopted communication vehicle that connects financial organisations across the globe. But it was never designed to accommodate the depth of KYC required by today's compliance standards. The 140 characters available for payment instructions are inadequate for this vital purpose. SWIFT isn't to blame for this - the organisation has worked diligently to support greater detail with developments like ISO 20022, but none of this is effective unless financial organisations adopt new technologies - and that's a major challenge for banks that must, for their own protection and that of their customers, make every step with extreme caution.
Our aim has been to create a single source of immutable background information that can be accessed via SWIFT without banks needing to make any changes to their legacy systems. We've achieved it, and this award reflects early recognition of the innovation. Our technique embeds access to effectively unlimited information within the standard 4x35 characters of the SWIFT MT103 message. That wasn't straightforward, as we also had to handle access control, data expiry, right to be forgotten and many more considerations. It's now fully operational and rolling out to our clients.
Our award-winning solution is subject to a patent application, but we believe its positive impact on the speed, cost and security of international payments to be too important to be held as commercial advantage. We'll shortly be announcing our free licensing scheme to allow any organisation - our competitors included - to create the global transparency that we all need.