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Exploring the Future of Finance: Key Insights from Money 20/20 Europe 2023


9 min read

Taking place in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, Money 20/20 has emerged as Europe’s premier event, bringing together an extensive network of financial institutions and fintech enterprises. As participants among the 9,000 attendees, the DashDevs team immersed itself in an enriching experience, delving into 70 hours of remarkable content delivered by distinguished thought leaders and conducting about 100 meetings with potential clients and partners. This insightful discourse focused on the pressing themes propelling the industry forward.

This year, the fintech landscape has experienced a significant shift, causing fintechs and their primary investors, venture capital firms and private equity backers, to face challenges such as declining technology valuations and reduced consumer spending. Despite these circumstances, the prevailing trends in the fintech industry have remained relatively consistent.

Investors continue to demonstrate a strong preference for companies that offer services to enterprises rather than directly to consumers. In fact, some investors have shown unwavering support for these enterprise-focused firms, even maintaining their valuations from previous funding rounds. However, there are notable nuances that have sparked interest, particularly in the realm of generative artificial intelligence, which has become a fascinating area of exploration.

Now, let’s delve into the current state of affairs in the fintech industry. What are the latest trends that have gained traction, and which areas have experienced a decline in interest?

A stage in a conference hall with participants and a large banner in pink and blue gradient tones representing the Money 20/20 conference.

Key Theme of the Money 20/20 Conference

The overarching theme that dominated the discussions at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam was the convergence of innovation and collaboration in the financial industry. This theme emphasized the need for traditional financial institutions and fintech companies to come together and explore new avenues of cooperation.

In the context of the financial industry, this theme holds immense significance. It acknowledges that the rapid advancements in technology and evolving customer demands require a collective effort to drive meaningful change. Collaboration between established financial institutions and agile fintech disruptors can foster the development of innovative solutions, enhance customer experiences, and address the challenges faced by the industry as a whole.

Day 1: Unveiling the Present and Future of Money

The European edition of Money 20/20 kicked off with a captivating atmosphere as participants eagerly pondered the question of what was now and what was next for money.

Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, responsible AI Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, wasted no time diving into the heart of the year’s hot topic. She engaged in a deep discussion on the implications of AI, raising thought-provoking questions about its potential impact. The prevailing concerns included the possibility of widespread job displacement and the technological substitution of human labor.

Following her insightful speech, activist and entrepreneur Lily Cole took the stage, sharing her perspective on the transformative power of money: “To my mind, money is the most universal, powerful language we have today. It is in every single moment influencing our social fabric, our environmental reality, for better or for worse”. She emphasized the universal language of money and its pervasive influence on various aspects of society.

Throughout the day, a diverse range of topics captivated the attendees. Yuri Levine, the founder of Waze, provided valuable insights into the growth journey of startups, highlighting the importance of finding product-market fit, developing a sustainable business model, and implementing effective growth strategies.

The day’s highlight arrived with the announcement from HSBC’s CEO, Ian Stewart, regarding the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK operations. This move showcased HSBC’s commitment to preserving the bank’s unique identity while enhancing its offerings with their own expertise, providing startups with comprehensive support from the early funding stages to the IPO.

The first day offered an array of engaging content, including interactive sessions with the MoneyBot, fostering networking opportunities, and providing entertainment. The abundance of insights and exciting developments left participants eagerly anticipating the events scheduled for day two.

Day 2: Exploring the Pathways to the Future of Money

On the second day of Money 20/20 Europe, delegates continued their exploration of the evolving financial landscape. The day began with invigorating discussions and inspirational moments that set the stage for the captivating sessions ahead.

One standout conversation focused on the collaboration between traditional financial incumbents and emerging players. Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO of GoCardless, emphasized the importance of proper collaboration and highlighted the growing customer-centric approach adopted by banks lately: “You always have to do things properly. They have to make sure that, you know, we don’t go rogue. But it’s been a really productive relationship. I think it’s all about a common focus on the customer. And I think banks in recent years have learned to be much more customer-focused”.

The event exuded a vibrant atmosphere, particularly during the Europe’s Got Access live pitch competition, which showcased groundbreaking innovations. Jack Zhang, CEO of Airwallex, shared his vision of consolidating the revenue pool within the banking industry to enhance financial inclusion and deliver exceptional customer experiences for both businesses and consumers.

The European Banking Authority presented its insights on the Digital Operational Resilience Act, shedding light on the oversight of ICT service providers working with financial institutions. Compliance and resilience were identified as crucial factors in navigating the digital era.

Throughout the day, delegates engaged in meaningful conversations, fostering connections, and expanding their understanding of the dynamic financial landscape.

Day 3: Reflections and Insights for the Future

As the final day of Money 20/20 Europe unfolded, delegates maintained their enthusiasm, eager to explore further opportunities within the event’s venue. Aydan Al-Saad, a creator and founder, shared valuable advice on salary negotiations, emphasizing the importance of open communication with management. His advice on what to do when you want a salary review is to literally tell everyone in your team that you want it—and then you will reach your goal.

Attendees had the privilege of hearing from Dan Mccrum, an investigative reporter from the Financial Times, who recounted his experience in breaking the Wirecard scandal. Mccrum emphasized the significance of uncovering the underlying lies that drive such scandals, focusing on the power of selling people on ambitious visions rather than fixating on trivial details:“What I’m looking for is basically one cockroach. This is a great phrase that short sellers have. There’s never just one cockroach in the kitchen. So you find one, and then you find the next one. So you have the individual lie, which exposes it, but what drives it is the big picture lie. You’re not selling people on details, you’re selling them on the dream—you know, AI, the green transition, or in Wirecard’s case, the cashless economy. And once you get people hooked on that, that’s all that really matters. That’s what people want—the big dream”.

The event concluded with Ali Niknam, CEO of bunq, discussing the future of neobanks: “It is in the DNA of bunq to do everything we can to go out of our way to understand what our users wants and needs are and then to create a product that they want to use, and I know this sounds really simple, and I know everybody in the room is probably working for a company that claims to be user-first. But at bunq, we actually are. The idea is not novel, but we executed it really well.” He stressed the importance of understanding users’ desires and needs, highlighting bunq’s dedication to delivering an exceptional user experience.

And just like that, the 2023 edition of Money 2020 Europe came to a close. As delegates departed, they carried with them a sense of anticipation for the future of the financial industry and the transformative possibilities that lie ahead.

A side view of the conference stage with a large banner in pink and blue gradient tones, participants in the hall, and a speaker being displayed on a nearby screen.

Key Takeaways from the Money 20/20 Conference

The Money 20/20 Europe conference offered valuable insights and takeaways that shed light on the future of the financial industry. Here are the key lessons and predictions from the event:

Lesson 1: Embracing Innovation for Competitive Advantage

Traditional financial institutions must adapt and embrace innovative technologies to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving landscape. The rise of fintech startups and the transformative potential of emerging technologies require a proactive approach to ensure long-term relevance and sustainability.

Lesson 2: Customer-Centricity and Personalized Experiences

The conference emphasized the growing importance of customer-centricity and personalized experiences in the financial industry. To meet evolving customer needs and preferences, financial institutions are increasingly focusing on tailoring their services. This shift involves leveraging data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation to deliver seamless and customized solutions.

The Future Outlook: Collaboration and Open Ecosystems

The future of the financial industry will be driven by collaboration and open ecosystems. Partnerships between traditional banks, fintech firms, and other stakeholders will enable the development of comprehensive financial solutions that leverage the strengths of different players. This collaborative approach will facilitate innovation and create a more inclusive and interconnected financial ecosystem.

Harnessing Emerging Technologies for Enhanced Processes

The integration of emerging technologies, such as blockchain, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT), will significantly enhance efficiency, security, and accessibility in various financial processes. Blockchain-based solutions have the potential to revolutionize cross-border payments, while AI and automation will enable better risk assessment, fraud detection, and investment strategies.

DashDevs Team at Money 20/20

At Money 20/20, we had the privilege of connecting with innovative leaders, forging valuable partnerships, and engaging in discussions that will shape the future of finance.

During the conference, we had a chance to present our new product, Fintech Core, as well as immerse ourselves in a diverse range of perspectives from entrepreneurs and startups worldwide. They shared insights on trust in the finance industry, discussed groundbreaking technologies like blockchain, ML, and AI, and explored the evolving landscape of Centaurus startups, which generate $100M in annual revenue.

Money 20/20 served as a platform to showcase the latest advancements in fintech, regtech, blockchain, and more. It offered opportunities to discover new business prospects and connect with potential investors. However, the conference was not just about knowledge and networking; it left a lasting impact with its enchanting and inspiring atmosphere, fostering creativity and passion among attendees.

Money 20/20 Conference Participants - Inna Abolikhina, Noam Izhaki, and Igor Tomych

Based on our experiences at Money 20/20, we would like to share some valuable tips for building strong networks:

  1. Stay approachable: Building connections starts with a friendly demeanor and an open mind. Authenticity and making others feel valued are qualities we observed in the most successful networkers at the conference.
  2. Seek meaningful connections: Building a network is not about collecting business cards, but about nurturing lasting relationships. Take the time to understand others’ goals and expertise, and look for common interests to establish a solid foundation.
  3. Embrace diversity: Conferences like Money 20/20 bring together professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries. Embracing this diversity in your network opens up fresh perspectives and opportunities for growth. Expand your horizons!
  4. Foster reciprocity: Offer assistance, advice, and introduce yourself whenever possible. Focus on quality relationships rather than quantity. By building strong, trust-based connections, you can create a supportive ecosystem.
  5. Stay engaged: Continuous communication is crucial for maintaining strong relationships. By providing value to your network and actively engaging with them, you contribute to a thriving environment of creativity and innovation.

Additionally, we had the pleasure of meeting over 95 fascinating individuals at the conference, and we deeply appreciate their insights and contributions. If we missed the opportunity to connect at the event, we invite you to schedule a call with us to discuss fintech, share new ideas, and explore potential collaborations. At DashDevs, we are passionate about seizing new opportunities and making a positive impact in the financial industry.

Together, let’s shape the future of finance, drive innovation forward, and create a stronger and more interconnected ecosystem.

Predictions for the Future Landscape

Based on the conference discussions, the financial industry is poised for significant transformation in the coming years. The adoption of innovative technologies, the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), and the increasing focus on customer centricity will shape the industry’s landscape. Collaborations and partnerships will play a vital role in driving innovation and fostering a more inclusive and interconnected financial ecosystem.

In summary, the Money 20/20 Europe conference provided valuable insights into the future of the financial industry. The key takeaways underscored the importance of embracing innovation, prioritizing customer-centricity, and fostering collaborations. By harnessing emerging technologies and embracing change, financial institutions can position themselves for success in the evolving landscape.

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