PSD2, VR and fidget spinners: my reflections on Money20/20 Europe 2017
Sunny Copenhagen right after midsummer – an excellent place to be! It was my first time visiting Money20/20, and I was personally excited to go back to the Financial Services industry after two years of learning about other sectors. The unexpected winner and takeaway from the event: fidget spinners by far! Now let’s go first into the other more serious takeaways…
In my opinion, PSD2 and analytics/AI were the most recurring topics at the conference
As expected, PSD2 was a dominant theme, not really as a panel topic (because regulations are boring?) but the hyper competitiveness around innovation led to a number of in-depth discussions around Open Banking here and there. My belief is that Open Banking will remain a highly relevant issue for at least one or two years, but probably even longer.
AI and analytics are a strong topic. Bankers do love number crunching – it’s the heart of the industry, isn’t it? BBVA held an interesting competition for fintechs on AI. The winning solution was a combination of Personal Finance Management and predictive analytics to avoid overspending.
The event official fintech start-up competition introduced a winner whose solution on Identity Management connected to blockchain, addressing both Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer issues. I believe there is a long but very potential path in connecting the online world across industry barriers there.
Virtual Reality was a hot topic for exhibitors and presenters
Worldpay featured an entertaining show on how to pay in VR and backed it up with data from a recent study on how comfortable or embarrassed people from different cultures would be to use VR. Rabobank shared their concept of global farmers’ network, where VR is used for “visiting” other farmers across the globe. So, I got the privilege to learn about tomato farming too! I believe Rabobank have a valid point to think about what their mission is for Society - which is obviously hard to accept for those who want to categorize a bank as a bank and nothing else. Building a global food chain network is a far more attractive mission than traditional discussions about interest rates.
The VR is probably in the very early stage for business use. "The potential of virtual / augmented reality goes far beyond what we have seen at this year's event. Especially when combined with data and AI capabilities, it opens up completely new opportunities for the fintech industry: bringing finance closer to retail and entertainment, and offering consumers a holistic customer experience where it's needed the most," shares Ksenia Avetisova, Tieto Strategic Innovation Lead, who has brought Tieto Retail VR demo to Money20/20.
Big and small side by side at Copenhagen Fintech Week
An interesting side event was Copenhagen Fintech Week which brought together tens of fintech start-ups and established corporates, like Nordea and Danske Bank – even side by side! This was an eye-opener for me to see how the openness has started to materialize in the Danish fintech society; something I wouldn’t have believed to see happening a couple of years ago.
How to make the most of large-scale conferences such as Money20/20
At the event, there were some 4000 visitors and numerous key note speeches. My own lesson is to try to avoid round table discussions because they very seldom get to any point, as well as avoid topics which are too open, for example “how the mobile will replace the wallet” (was it Money2020 or Money2002...?).
Giveaways are always the funny yet so obligatory point, and fidget spinners truly are the thing of 2017. Let’s mark that one down: if you’re planning to be an exhibitor this year, make sure you bring those spinners and plenty of them. The giveaways are at the end of the day the souvenir to bring back home to children, and branded pens don’t really hit the mark.
Tieto @ Money20/20
Tieto’s topics at the event covered Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Digital Onboarding and Loan Origination, Virtual Account Management, Real-Time Payment Ecosystem and more.