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Our team recently attended Money 20/20 Las Vegas and came back brimming with excitement.
We interviewed our CEO and Co-Founder, Yaacov Martin, to find out what happened on the ground at this long-awaited finance conference:
1. Yaacov, what was the atmosphere like at Money 20/20 this year?
Money 20/20 was the biggest in-person money and payments conference since COVID began.
And you could tell.
The energy was evident, people were craving social interaction. Everyone we met was full of optimism, readiness to engage and were very approachable.
The sessions were emptier, but not because people didn’t want to attend – they were simply thriving on face-to-face meetings, something which we’ve all been deprived of for way too long.
There were so many people that have been in touch over the past two years, either via email or zoom, but now meeting in person for the first time took the relationship to the next level. Normally, if you’re at an event and you’re meeting a person for the first time, there is the awkward small talk and getting to know each other. In this case, that stage was already out of the way, done via online communication, making in-person meetings a lot more natural and friendly. I believe that it contributed to actual business – since people felt more of a personal connection not being behind screens.
I experienced this personally when a contact from a huge organization, with whom I’d been engaging with virtually, embraced me with a hug when we finally met in-person for the first time.
What this shows is that no matter how efficient we’ve become virtually, nothing can replace in-person events.
2. What themes were the most prevalent?
Corona didn’t only have an effect on the people aspect of the conference, but also on the themes.
Traditionally, Money 20/20 has always been futuristic, representing what will be the next big things in finance and payments. This year was significantly different, because COVID rapidly accelerated technological developments in finance, payments and banking.
COVID changed fintech in a tangible way – from online payments through to contactless payments and the dire need for easy-access financial services. We’re hopefully seeing the tail-end of the pandemic, but its impact and the changes are here to stay.
Watch this Money 20/20 session to find out how IKEA is building tomorrow’s consumer financing today.
3. If you had to narrow it down to 5 of the top topics discussed at Money 20/20, what would they be?
- Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
- Open banking
4. What do you think is the next biggest thing in money/payments?
Speed and convenience. Customers want quick access to instant services at the point of purchase, which they normally would need to access via other apps or websites. Now, the fact that they can split their payments up from within the customer journey is the future of consumer payments.
What became clear from Money 20/20 was that banks and lenders realize that BNPL is not a trend but a genuine payment method that is not going anywhere. If they aren’t in the space, then they risk not only losing out on the growing market, but also losing legitimacy as a payment/banking provider. Service providers realize that they need to adapt their solutions to the BNPL use case, including fraud, automation and more.