It’s been a fantastic first day at Money 2020 Europe, hosted in no other than Europe’s sin city: Amsterdam. Everyone from the financial and payments industry is here, with a clear domination by the big card issuers. The circus theme adds a nice touch to the otherwise dull RAI conference complex, with entertainers and circus acts performing hourly.
Here are some of our key highlights from the fintech conference.
Data and the consumer
Day One at the conference had a very apparent theme from the get-go: the consumer.
Financial executives spoke about the power of the customer and how innovation is driven by consumers trying to make life better and easier for themselves. As consumers, we have a lot of choice and not much time nowadays; time is the most valuable asset that we own.
Using data to make better choices as a consumer was a hot topic. Carlos Torres Vila, CEO of Spanish bank BBVA discussed the challenges of the new data driven universe but also how consumers are starting to benefit from it. “The future will be personal data banks”.
Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple, was another keynote speaker on the main stage who reflected on the consumer lifestyle. “Smartphones are now moving into the territory of banking.
“Apple was always about making life better.”
@money2020 EU Steve Wozniak advise for entrepreneurs ‘build something that u want to use, make it elegant & simple. Remember for our first ten-years, Apple only had 1 product, so important to make ur 1st product right 2 have a successful company’#M2020EU #Money2020 #fintechmagic pic.twitter.com/kUm2ZVcmGN
— Brian Heinen (@BrianHeinen) June 4, 2018
How has banking evolved?
There has been a significant shift in the way banks operate, from starting out initially as a monetary infrastructure, to now supporting people with end-to-end decision making. The biggest worry faced by consumers was not having money in the bank or getting ROI from savings. Fast forward all those years to now, the focus and value add in the banking industry will be in solving bigger problems that consumers and companies face with money, such as time management tools and saving towards lifetime achievements.
In an era of fintech vs. banking, Torres addressed that banks shouldn’t be worried about fintechs taking over, as it’s more about bringing great innovation and disruption to the market through open platforms that can be offered to customers.
Charlotte Hogg, CEO of Visa Europe adds that “consumers have to feel in control of their financial lives and banks need to enable that.” In regards to the threat of fintechs, Hogg also believes that the financial network must be open so that everyone can benefit from what new players have to offer.
The new wave of payments
Wozniak discussed how payments are changing, using Apple Pay as an example to highlight the move towards seamless payments. Wozniak stated that Apple has always been about ease of use and simplifying processes for the consumer. This approach has transformed Apple’s perspective to payments - by only simplifying and removing friction from the payments process.
And it’s not just mobile banking that’s making waves in the industry. Globally, electronic payments have already surpassed cash. In the UK, Finland and Denmark, less than 10% of all transactions are done in cash, while in Sweden, that figure is a mere 1%.
Hogg mentioned that our approach to payments has shifted: they need to be simple, seamless and secure. A great example of this is the London Underground, where 50% of the journeys are paid with a contactless card, which results to around 2.5 million contactless transactions a day. A commuters journey and experience must comply to the principles of being simple, seamless and secure.
Keep updated with our highlights from Money20/20 over on our Twitter.