On Wednesday May the 24th, MEA Finance, in partnership with Swift, the global payments network and financial messaging service, held one of our signature roundtables at the JW Marriot Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

On this occasion, under the heading, The Journey Towards Frictionless Cross-Border Payments, the event was attended by more than thirty leading executives representing an array of local and international financial institutions.

The invited panelists enjoyed the honour and privilege of the participation of His Excellency, Ziad Al-Yousef, Deputy Governor for Development and Technology at SAMA, the Saudi Central Bank, who set the course of the debate with his opening address.

Ms. Kalyani Bhatia, Global Head of Payments and PMI Go to Market at Swift followed with a presentation on the main themes, before the discussion was opened to the assembled panel members and as is usual at MEA Finance’s roundtables, the discussion was incisive, informative, lively and enjoyable, continuing on to a networking lunch for all present during the morning’s activity.

Talking points included…

  • How banks improve efficiency in meeting customers’ expectations for their cross-border payments
  • Correspondent Banking Model vs Fintechs
  • To which extent the standardization of cross border payments helps to eliminate frictions
  • The role of PMIs in reducing friction in cross border payments
  • How the adoption of new technologies (APIs, DLT) is reshaping the present and future of the payment industry.
  • How is the G20 roadmap is taking forward cross border payments and leveraging ISO20022 while addressing the challenges of cost, speed, and transparency.
  • CBDCs as a potential game changer in the region

Attending the event were…

Saudi Central Bank – SAMA H.E. Ziad Al Yousef Deputy Governor for Development and Technology
Saudi Central Bank – SAMA Aiman Alrabiah Director, Payment Systems Business Department
Saudi Central Bank – SAMA Khalid H. Al Otaibi Division Manager, Payment Systems Operations
Saudi Central Bank – SAMA Rayan Altuwaijri Division Manager, Payment Systems Initiatives Realization
Saudi Central Bank – SAMA John O’ Donovan Payment Systems Business Department, Advisor
Alinma Bank Yagoub Yousef AlSulaiman Head of Transformation Management
Bank Albilad Ahmed Belal Manager Correspondent Banking
Bank Albilad Ahmed Fadl Digital Solutions Delivery Manager
Bank Albilad Ammar Awad Altawiel Manager of Digital Solutions Delivery
Bank Albilad Dr. Ahmed Darwish Al-Sayed Head of Digital Delivery
Banque Saudi Fransi Abdul Haye Ahmad Payments Programs Manager
Banque Saudi Fransi Khalid AlQassem Head of Product and Innovation
D360 Mohammed Ghaban Head of Operations
Gulf International Bank Sheikh Manzoor Sabir Head of Cash Products, Global Transaction Banking
JP Morgan Sandeep Dhawan Regional Head of Products, Payments
JP Morgan Chase Bank – Riyadh Branch Rasheed Alshaikh Head of Wholesale Payments
National Bank of Egypt Mohamed Mustafa Ishak NBE Representative, Country Manager
Public Investment Fund (PIF) Sara Alhakbani Head of Digital Payments
Riyad Bank Bader Nasser Al-Hussinan SVP, Head of Payments Section
Riyad Bank Amol Bahuguna SVP, Head of Corporate Technology, Innovation and Change Management
Riyad Bank Rida Al-Arnaout Head of Payment Services Unit
SAB Gulfan Shaikh Senior Payments Operations Manager
SAB Ganesh Venkatakrishna Product Manager- Fintech & Payments
SAB Haya Al Zamil Senior Digital Payments
SAB Esraa Diwali Senior Digital Payments
Saudi National Bank Afnan Mohammed Al Ghamdi EVP, Head, Payment Operation Shared Services Group
Vision Bank Ahmed Alhadeed Chief Treasury Officer
Vision Bank Nawaf Althukair Head of Fis –
Vision Bank Abdullah Almoslem Head of Money Markets and FX
Swift Onur Ozan Managing Director / Regional Head – Middle East, North Africa and Turkey
Swift Huny Garg Country Head – KSA & Bahrain
Swift Kalyani Bhatia Global Head of Payments & PMI Go to Market

and Andrew Cover from MEA Finance, as the discussion moderator.