Automation and DLT architecture speed trading and settlement.
The foreign exchange (FX) market is so dynamic and fast-moving it’s no surprise that technology plays a pivotal role in providing trading tools while helping navigate the delicate and complex interplay between currency fluctuations and the impact of economic, geopolitical and other external forces.
In 2023, Citi, winner of four Global Finance awards, including for Best Bank Digital FX Platform, consolidated its portfolio of eFX trading platforms into a single dealer platform for corporate clients and professional investors.
“Velocity 3.0 is an agile, scalable solution allowing for the rapid addition of new features in response to changes in the landscape, ensuring our technology spend goes exactly where it should be—relentlessly focused on the client,” says David O’Byrne, global head of Citi’s FX Client Platforms. “Rather than pursuing traditional build or buy options, the Citi Velocity FXOS presents a tremendous opportunity to strike new partnership deals instead, and create ecosystem collaborations around the product. As clients demand more integrated solutions, our consolidated platform offers the full spectrum of Citi’s eFX offering and those of our strategic partners at a single point of access.”
MUFG Investor Services, which won the Best FX Trading Solution award, built and operates its FX Services platform in-house, representing a synergy between MUFG Investor Services’ precision and cutting-edge technology culture. “This comprehensive system integrates a vast array of technological tools within a cloud-based, fully automated framework, which plays a central role in minimizing user errors, enhancing scalability and optimizing tasks during expansion. The platform’s strength lies in its flexible and extensible architecture, conducive to performance and efficiency enhancements by facilitating the seamless integration of new tools, modules and external systems,” says Hans Jacob Feder, global head of FX at MUFG Investor Services.
Its technology stack, which consists of Python, HTML5, GraphQL and Nifi, powers a versatile and robust calculation engine that is central to operational efficiency, he explains. “This technology stack, along with our secure, advanced cloud-computing technology, forms the backbone of our platform. Cloud computing enables us to conduct thousands of automated tests daily, ensuring system integrity and functionality. It also provides substantial service redundancy, crucial for mitigating operational disruptions in a dynamic global financial environment. By leveraging state-of-the-art cloud technology, our platform stands as a beacon of reliability and efficiency. It is perfectly poised to meet the evolving needs of global FX service clients,” Feder says.
Kyriba, our winner for Best Cloud Technology FX Solution and Best System for Assessing Risk and Hedging Strategy, boasts a software-as-a-service cloud-based platform that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and business intelligence to empower CFOs and their teams to maximize growth and protect against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal treasury, risk, payments and working capital applications with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms and market data providers. Meanwhile, advanced correlated value at risk (VaR) analytics help reduce hedging costs through correlated VaR targets with optimized hedging costs scenario analysis.
GTreasury, the Best TMS Provider with FX Module award winner, has added FX hedging capabilities into its Treasury Management System offerings for CFO/treasurer customers. GTreasury’s ecosystem includes an expansive implementation and payment services network, bank connectivity and leading third-party software solutions.
Most Innovative Non-Bank for FX and Best FX for Payments Solution winner Corpay Cross Border Solutions combines the capabilities of a large financial institution with the agility of a fintech, providing efficient global payments, foreign exchange and customizable currency risk management services to clients across the globe. In addition to its cross-border solutions, Corpay is piloting new hedging, scenario modeling and risk visualization tools to help clients identify and manage FX exposures.
ION LIST, which took home the Best FX Regtech Tool award, provides the tools to identify risk as it happens or before it becomes a serious problem. XTP Risk Janus is a real-time position-keeping system with alerting capabilities. It can be used pre-trade, at trade, or post-trade. A flexible portfolio hierarchy of more than 80 risk analytics allows the system to aggregate risk in different ways in real time—by client, region, desk, market, asset or any other measure of interest to the financial institution.
Data analysis plays a big part in the FX market, whether real-time, historical or predictive; it helps inform trading decisions and provides greater insight into trading performance. Refinitiv, which won the Best Data and Analytics FX Instrument award, provides high-performance trade and pricing analytics, enabling firms to query vast quantities of granular historical and real-time data quickly. Sustainalytics, our Best ESG Investment Research Provider award winner, utilizes AI to screen investments against environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
Over the past year, the winner of the Best AI/Machine Learning FX Tool award, smartTrade Technologies, has invested heavily in AI and machine learning (ML) tools to augment the power of the entire front-office trading process. Smart Copilot, launched in September 2023, blends AI with human expertise to improve functions in the firm’s payments and trading applications. ML models have been utilized in the segmentation of client flows and in the identification of upselling opportunities.
Maintaining the Human Touch
Technology can only partially replace the human touch, but it can supplement it. Hyperpersonalization lies at the heart of the innovation efforts of DBS, the winner of the Most Innovative Bank for FX award. AI/ML technologies enable the Singapore bank to provide personalized and differentiated FX pricing for each customer. Contextual FX push notifications, deviation monitoring, dealer follow-ups and dashboard tracking help foster deeper customer engagement.
Investec, winner of the Best FX Trading Platform award, has used the latest technology to develop an intuitive, easy-to-use platform that enables clients to manage their whole portfolio, regardless of where they custody, prime broker, or settle trades. “Our ethos of high-tech, high-touch is about giving clients the best possible understanding and control of their FX exposure,” explains Aaron Jones, head of Investec’s Treasury and Risk Solutions. “At Investec, we use technology to enhance rather than replace our people’s high-touch approach. Clients have a “channel of choice” for engaging with our industry experts and digital tools, working together to develop clear strategies, remove blind spots and make better decisions. We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships founded on trust and a deep understanding of our clients’ objectives.”
Universal FX, launched in October 2023, is a new FX platform by BNY Mellon, our Best End-To-End Processing award winner. The platform helps clients manage execution across their entire portfolio, providing access to market-leading price transparency. Supporting investment managers, corporates, hedge funds and wealth managers will also help them navigate the industry transition to T+1 settlement. With Universal FX and BNY Mellon’s existing OneFX product suite, clients can now benefit from 360-degree insight and control and customize their portfolio in one place.
The winner of the Best FX Solution for SMEs award, BBVA, has developed a tailor-made mobile app focused on small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). BBVA eMarkets is aimed at BBVA clients with sophisticated FX needs that only quote prices from a few sources. It’s aimed at corporates that need products beyond the spot market but do not actively tier transactions, and SMEs that frequently purchase FX products.
With an eye on the future, HSBC, which took home the Best DeFi Crypto FX Platform award, launched its Orion blockchain bond tokenization platform in November 2022. Enabling the tokenization of the digital bond and currency used for settlement, Orion enables atomic, or instant, settlement or delivery versus payment (DvP) settlement. HSBC also adopted distributed ledger technology from Baton Systems for FX settlement.
Whatever the future brings, technology will continue to help all those involved in the ever-evolving FX market stay ahead of the curve and ride forex headwinds.
|Best FX Tech Awards 2024
|Best Bank Digital FX Platform (Overall)
|Most Innovative Bank for FX
|Most Innovative Non-Bank for FX
|Corpay Cross-Border Solutions
|Best FX Trading Platform
|Best Cloud Technology FX Solution
|Best Al/Machine Learning FX Tool
|Best Execution Algorithms
|Best TMS Provider with FX Module
|Best FX Regtech Tool
|Best Data and Analytics FX Instrument
|Best FX Solution for SMEs
|Best ESG Investment Research Provider
|Best FX for Payments Solution
|Corpay Cross-Border Solutions
|Best System for Assessing Risk
and Hedging Strategy
|Best End-To-End Processing
|Best FX Trading Solution
|MUFG Investor Services
|Best Data and Analytics Platform
|Best Big Picture Viewof Positions
|Best DeFi Crypto FX Platform