Money 20/20 Europe: Matt’s Snap Judgement
Fresh from landing back in Belfast, Matt Flenley takes some time to reflect on the five major things he thinks about Europe’s self-proclaimed largest fintech event…
1. Money 20/20 needs more banks to engage fintechs at the event, and for app usage to be a must
ING and Santander had a big brand presence at the event, although more as a showcase of a funky cafe/bar (ING) and a print-your-face-on-a-coffee boutique (Santander) than being open to fintechs coming up and pitching / asking questions. Rabobank had a stand in the centre of the main hall and were probably the easiest to approach. ABN Amro were tucked away and seemed to be mostly featuring a VR kiosk. Overall, the feeling was that Money 20/20 needs more banks involved in the story to be a credible space for fintechs to take the time to sponsor or attend, and definitely – from speaking to fellow fintech & regtech delegates – if you work at a bank and want to attend Money 20/20, using the app to meet firms surely has to be the point of having an event app.
2. Banks love an API
We heard multiple times from multiple stages how much banks want API-everything. This makes sense – microservices for specific fine-tuned requirements that they can access easily and readily. But it’s also very bank-centric; given fintechs specialise in parts of the journey banks either can’t do or find it hard to do, it would seem sensible for them to be actively scouting out events like this to discover which services are going to liberate their back offices and deliver proper customer benefits at reduced cost.
3. The future of data is… not something banks are that interested in?
Judging by the all-fintech panel talking about how to monetise data on the third day of the event, banks are either completely confident they’ve got the future value of data totally covered or they’re still some way from figuring it out. Or, maybe (and this leads to point 4), perhaps they aren’t engaging with Money 20/20 as much as they used to…
4. Does Money 20/20 have it covered?
There’s a definite sense that the Amsterdam event is less well-attended than its Vegas version. Now, personally speaking I like the laid-back, roomy nature of the Rai as an event venue (it’s by far and away the best venue for food, and for getting the step count up!) but does this mean the event was under-sold given how busy the Vegas one is by comparison? Maybe fewer banks are attending, and fewer firms too, which is a concern for future events.
5. Sideshows are great fun but do they need to be so big?
The Street Takeover and Welcome Party are definitely great social events, and really well-supported and resourced, but in an age where banks are more and more under pressure to be efficient beasts, with high degrees of automation, does the scale of this kind of event put banks off from being associated with it?
We did meet some really brilliant people we’d not usually encounter, in an environment which was laid-back and mostly free from worry about the day job! We benefited from this year’s event, whether through social media, visiting our client in the Netherlands, or taking part in video content wherever we could (thanks to Invest Northern Ireland for our part in the RTW Payments Race, and Fintech Finance for a vox-pop video). There’s definitely still enough in it for us to consider going in 2020, to use this as a marketing & promotional exercise, accessing a vast global platform that helps expand our reach, but – sorry sales team, you’re probably best staying at home!
Press contact: Tania Ahmed ([email protected])