UAE’s SWIFT User Group reviews strategies to better payment performance in Emirates

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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UAE SWIFT User Group
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UAE’s SWIFT User Group Steering Committee and National Member Group (SUGSCNMC) have discussed the latest SWIFT updates relevant to the UAE banking sector, during the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held virtually.

Mr. Jamal Saleh, Chairman of the UAE’s SWIFT User Group and Director General of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), presided over the meeting.

The attendees also discussed the assessed progress of SUGSCNMC’s action plan for 2021 and explored collective actions and strategies to improve payment performance and promote a robust, efficient, and secure banking system in the UAE.

Furthermore, they discussed the participation of member banks in the upcoming Sibos 2021 the annual conference organized by SWIFT for the global financial industry which is scheduled to take place as a digital-only event in October 2021 before returning to a physical event for the 2022 edition to be held in Amsterdam.

Members of the SUGSCNMC approved the minutes of their most recent meeting, held on June 14, 2020, reviewed activities and outcomes in 2020, and approved the budget for 2021, as well as the audited financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2020.

SWIFT’s new Training Center in the UAE, which is meant to improve operational excellence in the financial industry by providing customized training programs to SWIFT User Group member bankers, was a major subject of discussion during the AGM. The training programs will cover the most up-to-date and in-depth information on all SWIFT-related goods and services.

The meeting also discussed the Steering Committee’s enhanced agenda and expanded mandate following its decision last year to establish a “National Member Group”, whereunder the SUGSC formally changed its name to become “SWIFT User Group Steering Committee and National Member Group – SUGCNMG”. By inviting external stakeholders and experts to future SUGCNMG meetings, the goal is to increase participation in decision-making.

Members also agreed to organize monthly meetings, workshops, training, and events in collaboration with the SWIFT Dubai Office. UBF and SWIFT co-hosted a virtual webinar last month on “Adoption of ISO 20022 for Cross-Border Payments.”

Mr. Saleh added that “the AGM discussed the ways in which various stakeholders can work together and pool expertise and resources to advance key policy and strategic issues, under the guidance of UBF. Banks in the UAE are today faced with the challenge of keeping pace with technological innovation while having to constantly upgrade their security architecture to protect against cyber threats. Coordinating views and formulating a common policy by sharing information regularly has therefore become vital to the continued development of the banking and financial community, and above all, enhancing the customer experience.”

Related: HSBC unveils Global Money Account feature for UAE mobile banking users