Abu Dhabi: The SWIFT User Group Steering Committee and the National SWIFT Users Group in the UAE recently held a meeting to discuss the work plan and budget for 2024 at the headquarters of UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UAE Banks Federation and Chairman of the SWIFT User Group Steering Committee in the UAE, and attended by Ali Al-Balooshi, Head of Operations, Al Masraf Bank; Barid Neogi, Head of Group Operations, Emirates NBD; Viji Varghese, Head of Cash and Payments Operations, Mashreq; Amit Malhotra, SVP & Head of Loans and Cards, FAB; Imad El-Asmar, Swift/ATM/Projects PMO Manager, Arab Bank; and Soykan Demir, Head of Business Management, Wholesale Banking, ADIB.
Concluding the Committee’s activities for the year 2023, the meeting participants approved the minutes of the previous meeting held in March 2023 and reviewed the Group’s activities for the past year. The meeting also approved the appointment and fee of the financial auditors for 2024. Furthermore, the SWIFT User Group Steering Committee and the National SWIFT User Group discussed the plan for the year 2024 , which aims to enhance cooperation and initiatives to improve payment processes and benefit from digital transformation in light of the advancements witnessed by the banking and financial sector in the country and the rest of the world to meet customer needs through continuous development of secure, fast and user-friendly payment systems.
The meeting commended Central Bank of the UAE’s policies and strategies aimed at developing and improving payment processes and enhancing the efficiency and security of bank transfers to keep pace with the latest trends in the banking sector and payment systems. The participants noted the efforts and initiatives of the SWIFT Users Group Steering Committee, which have contributed to the remarkable progress achieved in improving payment performance, enhancing the efficiency and security of the bank transfer system, benefiting from the expertise of members of the global SWIFT network members, particularly in developing capabilities of the banking and financial sector employees in the country, organising workshops and training sessions, and broadening the base of participants in the group’s decision-making by involving experts from the member banks of UAE Banks Federation.
Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UAE Banks Federation and Chairman of the SWIFT Users Committee in the UAE, said: “The initiatives undertaken by the UAE SWIFT Users Steering Committee to develop the payment processes in the country under the direct supervision of Central Bank of the UAE and with the continuous support of the SWIFT Representative Office in Dubai are of great importance in consolidating the UAE’s position as a global financial hub, especially with regard to the digital transformation of payment systems and the efforts of the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with governance and transparency standards at local and global levels.”
He emphasised the importance of continuous development to achieve the goals of the National Payment Systems Strategy (NPSS), which the UAE initiated in 2019 to develop the necessary framework to keep pace with evolving changes in the global economy in order for payment systems play their role in improving global exchanges.
The Director General of UAE Banks Federation and Chairman of the SWIFT User Management Committee in the UAE added, “The new year 2024 will witness the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation, which will be held in Abu Dhabi next February. E-commerce represents one of the focus areas of the conference, which aims to develop a roadmap for building a modern, comprehensive and sustainable global trading system that benefits all countries. “We believe that the UAE’s experience in employing advanced technologies in payments while increasing reliance on e-commerce is an important factor in these international endeavours.”
The participants at the reviewed participation of members of UAE Banks Federation in the annual Sibos Conference organised by SWIFT, , held in Toronto, Canada on 18-21 October 2023, participated by over 9,300 decision-makers from the financial and banking sector, including executives from financial institutions and technology providers to the industry. The meeting discussed the key recommendations of the “SIBOS” conference, the world’s largest annual payments conference and exhibition, and its role in developing the systems in the face of the remarkable growth in payment solutions.
The meeting also called for further strengthening coordination between the member banks of the Federation for the next edition of the “SIBOS” conference and exhibition, which will be held in the Chinese capital, Beijing, from 21 to 24 October 2024.
Participants at the meeting discussed the plan for 2024 for developing capabilities and enhancing various payment systems, qualifying cadres, and continuously developing to ensure the security of payments. In this regard, the SWIFT User Training Centre, the first of its kind in the MENA region for SWIFT users and under the umbrella of UAE Banks Federation, organises training courses and certifies SWIFT users among the members of the Group and members of UAE Banks Federation.
The National SWIFT User Group in the UAE, established by the SWIFT User Group Steering Committee in 2021, is also the first of its kind in the MENA region. SWIFT enables more than 11,000 financial institutions in 209 countries to communicate and exchange financial information in a secure and reliable environment, enhancing financial and trade exchanges around the world.