BIAN at Sibos: Real Standards For Banking Transformation!

Microsoft Perspectives on Payments and Core Banking in Financial Services

by Colin Kerr, Worldwide Industry Solutions Manager at Microsoft

Today I’d like to introduce you to another of our stand partners. As many of you will have seen from my previous posts, Microsoft is a founding member of BIAN (Banking Industry Architecture Network) — a not-for-profit organization focused on collaborating to improve banking system integration. To provide some more insight to latest BIAN developments, to what that means for the industry, and BIAN’s Sibos presence, I thought I’d invite Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director to share some thoughts.

Hans, thank you for taking some time to discuss BIAN and the role of standards in the banking and payments industry.

Colin, it’s my pleasure.

In case some readers haven’t come across BIAN first hand, how would you describe the BIAN value proposition for banks and technology vendors?

As we all know, times they have been changing. In our industry we need to look closely at our IT spending. In the old days that was not an issue, today it is. We all want to get the most value for each dollar or euro spent. As of today we see a lot of spending at integrating off the shelf products into our existing IT landscape. If we want to reduce these costs the industry should be provided with an open reference model that includes generic service definitions. If both the banks and the vendors comply with that standard, a huge financial and technical issue will be solved. BIAN wants to achieve that.

SWIFT Sibos is an event almost synonymous with standards. How do BIAN standards relate to the work being done at SWIFT for payment standards?

As you mentioned in your introduction Microsoft is a founding member of BIAN and so is SWIFT. When SWIFT joined they donated the ISO20022 meta-model and the underlying tooling to our association. As you all know ISO 20022 is focusing on B2B. We extended that meta-model to the A2A space, so the BIAN Meta-model is fully aligned with ISO200022 on which the payment standard is based.

There are many other organizations that have put forth standards in banking. I see you write and talk about ‘Real Standards’ — what do you mean by that?

The success of a standard determined by a combination of factors. Progress and adoption are the most dominant ones. You need to publish at short and regular intervals improvements and enhancements of the standard so the industry knows that the organization is still active and vibrant. Standards that are not applied, does not serve a purpose, is standards for the sake of standards. So usage of the standards by the industry, as is done with the BIAN Standard, makes it a real standard.

Other than visiting the Microsoft stand (D108), how can people who may not be at Sibos also contact you to find out more about BIAN and the benefits of membership?

I would like to encourage everybody to visit and take a look at the available material. All the published material can be downloaded for free! Since our release last February our deliverables are available for non-members in HTML and for our members in UML. This allows interested parties to browse all material, drill down and so on. At our home page one can also find our members testimonials and webinars.

Can people make an appointment to meet you at Sibos?

Of course, everybody who would like to meet me our any of the BIAN representatives at SIBOS just drop me an email at and I’ll set up such a meeting at our stand D108 or any other place that you will prefer.

Hans, many thanks for your time today, and I look forward to seeing you in Dubai!

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