Top 9 Takeaways from Fintech's Money2020 Conference
Several members of the WePay team spent the earlier part of this week at Money2020, the world’s largest fintech conference. It was a great time connecting with innovative people and companies that geek out on payments like we do, and participating in a bunch of thoughtful discussions regarding what’s next at the intersection of financial services and technology. Here are our team’s top 9 takeaways from the conference:
- Whereas the buzz last year was all about wallets, wallets, and wallets, most of the buzz this year was around AI, bots, and new mobile identity verification systems (haptic, biometric, and more)
- Digital wallets remain big even if few have delivered to the initial, overhyped expectations. It’s now also clear that being top of wallet is critical – with McKinsey’s Global Payments Practice leader Kausik Rajgopal sharing data that 70% don’t change the primary card in their digital wallet barring a major card event.
- Bundling is the new unbundling. Many providers are decidedly shifting from laser focus on single elements – such as lending, fraud protection, and transfers – to combining them. The new thinking: focused solutions are great in isolation, but also create a lot of noise for other companies and ultimately consumers.
- US EMV adoption is really happening – chip card in chip reader transactions account for 33% of US transactions now, and are expected to account for 66% in 2017. Fraud is increasing and expected to continue to increase for Card Not Present transactions.
- Machine learning is very important to an ever-increasing number of players in fintech. That said, machine learning success really depends on what data is available and how many predictive variables are created from the data. Also, human experts combined with machine learning make for a much stronger solution.
- Bitcoins may be losing cache – there was almost zero talk of them – but many traditional players are experimenting with the Blockchain with aim to reduce costs, make back-end fund transfers safer, and more.
- Forget killing the banks – it’s now all about working with them. We saw this in numerous examples this year, from Google announcing agreements with Visa and Mastercard to emerging Blockchain players working with banks to enable faster, cheaper transactions on their legacy rails.
- The biggest players out there are coming on strong… and using their strength to do so. This was evident in what news generated the most attention this year – announcements including banking consortium Zelle launching to challenge Venmo and Visa’s push into direct payouts to debit cards.
- Competitive pressure continues to rise on merchant acquiring economics. Margins keep shrinking. Now more than ever, it’s critical to deliver differentiation and create operational efficiencies.
Were you at Money2020 too? Let us know what most struck you.