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Swift takes on emerging fintech startups

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Innotribe, Swift’s innovation arm, will expand its programme to support innovation in emerging fintech ecosystems, such as Africa and Latin America.
Innotribe will also launch a new initiative that challenges the Swift community to actively collaborate and develop utility-based solutions for the benefit of the global financial services industry.
Launched in 2009, Innotribe was created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry going forward. Bringing together innovators, bank representatives, and investors from leading financial institutions, Innotribe has adopted a proactive approach to innovation and fintech. It provides a platform to understand the dynamics behind technology changes and focuses on the opportunities for transformation rather than the threats to current market practices.
“Swift is about bringing added-value to its customers in response to the fast changing landscape,” says Christian Sarafidis, chief marketing officer at Swift. “As an innovation incumbent, particularly in the areas of real-time payments, compliance and correspondent banking Swift has a leading role to play in driving innovation across the Swift ecosystem. By expanding the Innotribe programme, Swift is taking innovation to a new level, creating more opportunities for all of our customers to tap into the flourishing fintech environment. These new Innotribe initiatives not only raise the innovation bar for Swift, but will help us all move forward together.”
Launched in 2011, Innotribe Startup Challenge’s mission was to bring visibility to activities at the edges of our ecosystem, highlighting the importance of these new emerging companies called startups and their revolutionary way to think and work. Over the years, the Startup Challenge has become one of the leading global startup competitions, connecting the financial services industry with more than 650 fintech startups around the world and reaching over 4 000 audience members through global showcases and networking events.
In 2016, the Swift Startup Challenge will focus on supporting emerging fintech ecosystems, concentrating its efforts in Africa and Latin America. For the second consecutive year, Innotribe will partner with the SWIFT African Regional Conference (ARC) to tap into the high potential of African startups. For Latin America, Innotribe will also leverage a similar Swift regional event to harness the innovation happening on the ground in that market.
The Industry Challenge programme is a new initiative where the Innotribe team will work closely with Swift member organisations to identify key business areas that could benefit from collaborative solutions. As a part of this programme, Innotribe will organise business-specific challenges and bring Swift member institutions and internal teams together with solution providers and a hand-picked group of fintech startups. Together these teams will deeply explore potential opportunities for select business areas and work on proof of concepts that might turn into tangible solutions for the industry.
“The growth of Innotribe’s scope and outreach over the last few years is impressive,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities at Innotribe and the Swift Institute at Swift.  As Innotribe grows deeper into Swift’s core, it proves innovation is not an after-thought but a real component of business architecture. We need to worry less about disruption and recognise that innovation, in the meaning of adopting a new approach to an existing process or developing a new product, is positive for the industry.”