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Interviews

Pat Patel on Money 20/20 - 2018 highlights and 2019 sneak preview

Tuesday 12 June 2018 | 02:19 PM CET

Money20/20 Europe is an event where the payments, fintech and financial services industries come together to connect and build the future of money.

On June 4-6, leaders representing every sector of the financial industry arrived in Amsterdam to seize new business opportunities, strengthen partnerships and discover the latest disruptions. The Paypers spoke with Pat Patel, Content Director of Money 20/20, looking back on the conference and looking ahead to next year’s Money 20/20 Europe edition.

Could you please tell us more about the Money 20/20 event? How did it start?

The first edition of Money 20/20 took place in Las Vegas, the US in 2012, where we had around 3,000 attendees. After the success we had in the US we decided to take the show in Europe, and in 2015 we had our first edition in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event focused on the opportunities and challenges facing the European payments and financial services industries, critical in realising new and disruptive ways in which consumers and business manage, spend and borrow money.

How has Money 20/20 Europe developed over the last three years, and how was this reflected in the event’s organization, selection of topics?

In year one, 2015, there was a lot of content around collaboration between banks and big techs, which was only just starting to take off. Banks moved from being dismissive of startups to being more open and willing to collaborate. However, even though there were a lot of headlines, there was still little substance. Lots of banks were proclaiming: “We are partnering with x”, and “We are starting innovation labs”, but it felt like they mostly did this for the headlines. Nevertheless, this year, we see a lot of value being created through the collaboration between banks and fintechs. As Ralph Hamers, CEO, ING Group, speaker on the main stage this year, remarked: “there is a genuine desire from banks to work with fintechs and other startups”.

The other big development is the emergence of big data and data-driven organisations. Carlos Torres Vila, the CEO of BBVA, talked about this topic in his presentation, noting that “the real opportunities lie in the value-added services on top of the traditional financial services”. Due to these opportunities, we see banks beginning to consider themselves as tech players, and moving in similar directions. A key issue for data-driven companies nowadays is putting the customer in control, something which companies like Guppy try to do. Guppy is a blockchain-based credit bureau which provides banks with a platform that gives consumers back the control over their data.

Consumers are able to create really customized views and ways to manage their data, which was not possible three years ago. Since then, we have also seen the status quo around data; the Equifax hack in the US, and the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal have changed consumer expectations regarding their data. Therefore a blockchain architecture could be embraced by businesses as it is more transparent, more auditable, and more traceable.

Another point of interest is the emergence of Ant Financial (AliPay) and WeChat (WeChat Pay). Alipay started out as an ecommerce wallet, the functionalities of these payment services have grown exponentially; on top of everyday payments, you can make investments, buy tickets, or book hotels; you can essentially live your entire life in that wallet, so the amount of time you interact with your wallet daily is phenomenal. There is a convergence happening between a consumer’s social life, retail life, and financial life, delivered to you in one mobile app. This is happening in China and parts of South-East Asia, largely driven by these two companies. The relevance for Europe and the US is that it is changing the expectations of consumers. These companies are in Europe now, and they are starting to offer services in the US. It may take some time before they start to get any real scale in these regions, but the game is changed. You cannot dismiss them or their model: the way they interact with customers has become the benchmark for financial services, and banks and payment companies need to respond.

Lastly, there is, of course, the PSD2. We try to cover the opportunities that this regulation brings and identify the companies that are doing something different with it. Regulation in Europe naturally plays a bigger role than some of the other agendas that we have, because everything is governed by regulations in this region. The PSD2, GDPR, and the UK’s Open Banking Initiative are all core parts of the Money 20/20 agenda.

What will Money 20/20 Europe look like next year?

The rise of the tech platforms will continue to be discussed. Furthermore, I think more banks will begin to execute as the tech players do, and try to broaden their offering, which will be more integrated into society. I see ING and BBVA as two front-runners in this trend. I think Ant Financial and WeChat will expand their model further into Europe, which we will cover extensively. I also see a continuation of the discussion around the PSD2, more focused on how the leaders have capitalised on the PSD2 and what needs to be addressed in the future - PSD3?

In 2019 we will also have more data on companies that have successfully made use of the opportunities of PSD2. I hope to see something a bit more concrete real world implementations utilising the blockchain, and I hope that some of the collaborations in blockchain will gain some substance. We also want to cover a bit more around the retail user experience. How can mobile payments be integrated more into the retail market? The necessity for retailers to get with the times is higher than ever, so there is great interest for innovation in that space.

About Pat Patel

Pat is the Global Content Lead for Money20/20, responsible for the content strategy and product across the US, Europe, Asia and China events. He has a wealth of experience across the payments and broader financial sector services, having worked at VocaLink (a Mastercard company) and Cardiff Pinnacle (a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Cardiff).

 

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