Building the Bank of the Future — with Standards!

by Colin Kerr, Worldwide Industry Solutions Manager at Microsoft

With Sibos fast approaching, it is about time I introduced you to another of our stand partners. This time though, our partner interview is a little different than with traditional software 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.

With Sibos being in Japan, how should the BIAN message resonate with banks across the Asia Pacific region? Is this an opportunity to think about banking systems in a new way?

I’m very proud that we recently welcomed the Bank of Bangkok as our first Asian Bank member. I’m confident that others will follow. We also established working relationship with the Singapore Management University to collaborate on a hands-on integration of solution of different software providers. Our two organizations are very excited about this partnership.

The new way of banking will consist of independent building blocks provided by an eco-system of suppliers that can be assembled to the needs of each individual bank. Or as I phrased it at one of my blogs; the banks can put their own play list together based on the available tracks they purchased out of a “Banking Apps Store”.

Other than visiting the Microsoft stand (ID03), 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! 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 ID03 or any other place that you will prefer.

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