Any change that can promote the expansion of the global economy is change for the good. Taking into account common sense, economic theory and, indeed, the very raison d’être of the World Trade Organization (WTO), such change would include a move towards freer trade in goods and services between nations. Freer trade is promoted when the costs and risks – to all parties involved - are reduced.This is a central theme of this edition of Financial IT. Many of the contributed articles focus on the technology and infrastructure governing payments – especially between corporates. Many of the articles also examine questions of trade finance. Both topics are closely linked. Innovation – whether it comes from financial IT providers, the banks or other actors – that facilitates payments between trading companies will usually make it easier to finance trade.