Money20/20 is the largest financial services conference in the world, held in four locations: Europe, Asia, China and U.S. The U.S. event, held at the end of October, is the largest with over 12,000 attendees. The tracks, meetings and expo events spread over 4 days, in one of Las Vegas, Nevada’s largest event spaces. It is an experience—submersive, exhausting, eye-opening and invigorating.
This year’s theme was “The Money Revolution.” The theme reflects the massive shift that has taken place in the industry over the last year, as well as the massive amount of change that is coming. I don’t usually put much stock in a conference theme, but this one hit the nail on the head. In my 10+ years in financial services, I’ve never seen such a dramatic shift in customer expectations, nor such a strong change in technological capabilities, combined with rapid industry business model reinvention.
Below are some key themes and takeaways. Stay tuned for deep dives into all of these areas in the coming weeks.
Technology + People
From artificial and augmented intelligence (AI), to biometrics and an overall “digitization” of financial services, an ongoing theme around these new technologies was the importance and role of people in making them smarter, better, more relevant and adding much needed context to technology powered experiences. Much has been said about new technology and its impact on the human workforce. The overall theme was that people are keys to success when using these new technologies. Technology + People = Real Value Creation.
Global, Open Solutions
From India and India stack, India’s open API infrastructure ecosystem, to the United Kingdom’s move to welcome FinTech to London, another theme at Money20/20 was the importance of designing, building and supporting open ecosystems that have a global view. Increasingly the development, health and evolution of financial services is not only a local or national play; it’s a global move that crosses countries and continents.
Purpose and Inclusivity
Financial Services has always had a unique relationship with the people it serves—and also with those it doesn’t. For example, it’s hard to get credit if you don’t have credit. Historically the industry has ignored the fact that they only serve a limited part of the population—locally, as well as globally. This is starting to change as financial services companies have access to and are looking to serve more of the global marketplace.
Customers are also looking for more from the companies they do business with; they want a better version of capitalism and they’re voting for it with their wallets.
FinTech — or TechFin?
There was an ongoing debate between whether we should think of the new advancements within Financial Services as Financial Services that are being delivered via Technology— FinTech, or if the future of financial services is Technology first, empowering what will become the Financial Services— TechFin. Currently, nearly all existing Financial Services players are financial services first, technology second. Most startups are technology first, financial services is simply one thing that they deliver from that technology. It’s a dramatic difference in perspective.
Transformation in the Face of Change
And finally, Transformation, the new way to talk about comprehensive, systemic, customer-centric and evolutionary approach to change. There are tons of finance organizations that have embraced the challenges and threats and were rewarded with big success. From a small bank like Umpqua and their Silicon Valley startup Pivotous Ventures, to a large giant like Pacific Life creating Swell, the path towards relevance and value is beginning to be paved with real-life examples of transformation. The question is, how many more will adopt these methods and how will they evolve? We will see as we track their rapid advancements over the next few months and next year at Money20/20!
Stay tuned for deep dives into all of these areas in the coming weeks.