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Discussions on the future of payments are one of the most important debate topics today, considering the growing influence of digital currencies in the grand scheme of things.
Michael Miebach, the Chief Executive Officer of American multinational financial services corporation, Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) has teased a panel about the future of the SWIFT payment network at the World Economic Forum (WEF) event in Davos. As reported by Coindesk, Miebach had people hold their breath when asked if SWIFT, one of the dominant interbank messaging systems that facilitate cross-border payments will exist in five years’ time.
Despite acting unserious with some smiles while responding to the question, people took his answers seriously. The panel was hosted by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and featured discussions as it borders on what the future holds for cross-border payments and the roles Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) will have on the financial ecosystem.
“If you can get a payment with all the data attached that you need as a company […] the cost savings of that in addition to a payment cost that is lowered, and the overall productivity boost, we can expect if we do this well, that’s the real goal here,” Miebach said on the panel.
Discussions on the future of payments are one of the most important debate topics today, considering the growing influence of digital currencies in the grand scheme of things. With a series of events ongoing at Davos, the presence of top Executives in the cryptocurrency industry has made the whole topic to be more of a comparison between the current role of crypto, and the traditional financial industry as a whole.
What made Miebach’s ‘No’ answer stand out is the fact that other panelists including Jennifer Lassiter, executive director of the Digital Dollar Project, Yuval Rooz, the CEO of Digital Asset, David Treat, a director at Accenture and co-founder of the Digital Dollar Project, and Jon Frost, senior economist at the Bank of International Settlements all answered ‘Yes’ to the same question Miebach said No to.
Tracking Back on the Mastercard CEO’s SWIFT Comment
The intent behind the fact that Mastercard’s CEO said No to SWIFT existing in the next five years has been clarified by a Mastercard spokesperson in an email statement that reads:
“Let us clarify the intent of the on stage comment, as it’s not as simple as a yes or no answer. Michael was simply reinforcing what SWIFT has previously said – their operations continue to evolve. Its current form will not be the same in the future. They are adding more functionality and moving past just being a messaging system.”
While SWIFT still continues to hold a very important position in the payment ecosystem, Miebach believes it may not be the dominant avenue to transfer money across borders in the near future. Coindesk also reported that Lassiter and Rooz believe the messaging system may be displaced from the top spot, but do not think this will happen within the next five years.