Last week me and a couple of my colleagues from DefineX headed out to Amsterdam for one of fintech’s biggest events, the Money 20/20 Europe conference, an event that is considered as a platform for showcasing the latest innovations around financial services and the ideas shaping the future of Money.
Personally, I especially welcomed the opportunity to join the 3 day in-person conference attended by thousands of people and connecting with industry leaders from the global fintech ecosystem after working from home and being constrained to attending virtual events for the last 2,5 years.
Like previous years, open banking continued to be one of the hot topics among the numerous issues discussed by panelists on 6 stages. In fact, the first panel of the conference hosted the CEO of Visa Europe and the co-founder/CEO of Tink with the parties discussing Visa’s strategy and motivation behind acquiring the open banking platform earlier in the year. The panelists also highlighted that the real innovation is not in open banking but offering value added financial services based on data.
Embedded finance also took center stage at the conference with discussions around solutions on how non-fintech companies like retail and e-commerce players can leverage on the fintech as a service model by embedding financial solutions on their platforms with the potential to increase revenue and boost customer engagement. During one of the panels, it was noted that services provided via embedded banking such as credit card, personal finance, insurance are merely commodities and offerings should be personalized considering customers data to enhance the customer experience rather than creating complicated processes. Attendees including myself were lucky enough to receive a copy of the “Embedded Finance – When Payments Become an Experience” book by Scarlett Sieber and Sophie Guibaud which was officially launched during the conference.
The growing BNPL (buy know pay later) sector was another trending topic during the conference. Apple’s announcement of its buy know pay later service “Apple Pay Later” just the day before the conference added to the excitement in this space. In addition to companies demonstrating BNPL solutions there were comprehensive discussions around various issues especially considering regulations, transparency and financial responsibility which are critical for the healthy growth of the BNPL space.
As expected blockchain and crypto were also a highlight of the conference both on and off the stage with many blockchain and crypto solution providers having presence in the halls. Discussions in the crypto space were centered around developments in the crypto payments environment, future of web3.0 and DeFi applications as well as NFT and the Metaverse.
All in all, Money 20/20 has provided to be a great informative event providing valuable insights into developments in the fintech industry and the opportunity to chat with community members.