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Connecting to global scalability in payments: How we can benefit from and contribute to the nexus

Summary by Grace Chong, Head of Financial Regulatory, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP  

5 June 2024 -  This Roundtable was held as part of the Japan FinTech Festival 2024 held in Tokyo. Moderated by Ivan Mortimer-Schutts (Advisor, Dataswyft), the session brought together 10 key policymakers, officials, academics and industry participants from the World Bank, Bank of Thailand, Ant International, SMBC, Metaco,, as well as other financial institutions and private organisations.  

Globalisation’s swift march and technological progress have spurred the need for streamlined, transparent, and inclusive cross-border payment systems, with multilateral platforms emerging as a promising remedy. Recognising the importance of enhancing international payment systems and the rapid pace of technology and business innovation, the G20 and the Financial Stability Board published a Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-Border Payments 1 back in 2020. This sets out 19 interrelated building blocks requiring far-reaching coordination and leadership from both authorities and private sector parties. 

The pace of change and array of developments and challenges has accelerated in recent years. Concrete initiatives, including the BIS Innovation Hub’s Project Nexus, for connecting multiple national payment systems into a cross-border network, have progressed. Foundational infrastructure to enhance data frameworks has advanced. New systems and private sector firms, employing distributed ledger, stablecoin and future CBDC architectures have become more concrete. But in many markets, basic consumer and business payment services still fail to keep up with changing demand, notably the growth in real sector e-commerce and trade digitisation. The market context continues to evolve, challenging us to keep overarching programmes up to date and aligned with not only economic but also intersecting political and regulatory changes outside of payments and finance. 

Participants advocated for continued collaboration between public and private sectors to define common standards, guidelines and principles for cross-border payments, addressing aspects such as risk-based activity categorisation, data sharing, and compliance requirements. The importance of adoption of consistent standards such as ISO 20022 was also emphasised, with the need for larger banks to lead the way to provide support and lessons learnt to guide smaller institutions facing investment challenges. There is also strong potential for the growth of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for more efficient liquidity and FX markets. 

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