This year in Amsterdam, with over eight thousand attendees representing more than 2,300 companies and 90 countries, Money20/20 Europe once again showcased its centrality to the global conversation on FinTech.
From startups and entrepreneurs to the world’s biggest banks, this three-day conference connected all types of innovators and disruptors within the money ecosystem through groundbreaking workshops, renowned speakers, and the latest FinTech products. Money20/20 is a leading global platform that enables individuals and organizations to achieve their goals and grow, while ultimately driving change in the overall industry – and we want to be the first to bring you the biggest highlights from the event.
Here is your insider’s look at the future trends in FinTech and banking technology innovation from the conversations, panel discussions and insights shared by the industry’s leading experts.
Top FinTech trends at Money20/20
Globally, since 2021, the biggest market downswings have been clear from lower consumer spending and decreased valuations for many FinTechs and their private-equity and venture capital backers. In the current climate, investors prefer products and services geared towards enterprise rather than consumers.
Yet the conversation about what’s cutting-edge in FinTech has largely remained the same, from embedded finance to digital wallets, but with exciting new evolutions:
Embedded payments enter new phase
Embedded finance, which is the offering of financial services (such as lending or processing of payments) by entities which aren’t banks or financial institutions, started with consumer applications like Amazon, Apple Pay and those found in buy now, pay later (BNPL). These can be seen as early-stage embedding. The focus for many now is on everything that comes after digital payment services including insurance, lending, remittances, savings, and investments. Rabobank and Banxware announced their new partnership for an embedded lending solution at the Money20/20 conference 2023, with the goal to make short-term financing more accessible to SMEs, even enabling entrepreneurs to apply for short-term financing “within 15 minutes.”
Of course, local customer habits and expectations can make global solutions hard to find for embedded finance. Yet innovative FinTechs are pushing ahead. Those like Weavr and OpenPayd showed what they got at Money20/20 Amsterdam for what the next generation of embedded finance looks like. Card issuance services, compliance and security, IBAN generation, wealth management, plus data and reporting–their embedded offerings allow businesses to handpick the financial services that enhance their products and services most. OpenPayd’s CEO Iana Dimitrova shared that “the regulatory advances and regulatory changes are now in place, but we haven’t yet seen the kind of innovation that people expected out of embedded finance.” Embedded diversification and interoperability are undoubtedly taking off with these foundations that are in place today.
Open banking going mainstream
Open banking, a system that promotes secure data sharing between financial institutions and third-party providers, has been gaining momentum worldwide – most noteably with banks. What was once a lukewarm response and compliance obligation for many traditional institutions has turned more proactive, and worldwide open banking adoption is becoming the norm. One telling partnership announced at this year’s Money20/20 event was between Worldpay and Volt to bring the power of open banking to merchants and enable them to tap into global e-commerce account-to-account (A2A) payments among consumers. The use of Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) for sweeping, which automate movement of money between accounts with more control and transparency, is another new way FinTechs are applying open banking.
Taking this one step further, open banking is also seen as the major driver for financial inclusion of the underbanked. Jess Turner, Global Head of Open Banking and API for Mastercard, talked about how she sees open banking as the democratization of data: “that could be in opening new accounts, that could be in payment choice – but one of the one’s we really talk about inclusion is lending, and lending to consumers and small business.” This continued demand for open banking APIs (application programming interface) and ways to link customers within and outside a bank are fueling the rise of a truly open data economy.
Targeted and expanding partnerships between banks and FinTechs
Through both regulatory mandates and a recognized potential for symbiotic relationships, the future of finance increasingly relies on collaborative efforts between traditional banks and agile FinTech scale-ups–especially those that have demonstrated an attractive customer proposition or efficient processing feature. In July 2022, for example, the UK’s nine biggest banks were required to introduce VRP for sweeping in a policy known as CMA9. Yet NatWest Group became the first to announce that it would go beyond the mandate to include non-sweeping VRP, and last year signed agreements with GoCardless, Yapily, Token, Tink and Crezco in an effort to offer VRP as a “new payment method.” Mark Brant, CPO of NatWest Group, as part of a panel discussion with partner GoCardless at Money20/20 Amsterdam 2023, claimed “I think it’s all about the customer, and I think banks in recent years have learned to be much more customer focused.” The initiative taken here by NatWest highlights an understanding that no single business can do it all and a trend that is sure to continue in the overall ecosystem.
More and more, these collaborations offer banks the opportunity to tap into a FinTech's technological expertise, agility and more innovative solutions, while the FinTech benefits from the bank’s infrastructure, balance sheet and customer base. The ability to identify opportunities for such partnerships will result in more innovative product and service development that caters to evolving customer demands and preferences.
AI for FinCrime, fraud detection, and RegTech
Like in so many technology circles, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have also emerged as gamechangers in combating both financial crime and streamlining regulatory compliance. More specifically, Featurespace is one of the world leaders in enterprise FinCrime prevention for fraud and money laundering by using real-time ML in service of more than 70 major global financial institutions. Matt Mills, CCO and GM at Featurespace, chimed in at Money20/20 on their exciting innovations in this space: “Instead of the traditional approach of building a model on what fraud looks like, [we’re] in a world where you can build a model on what good behavior looks like. And by definition, anything that’s not good is at least worthy of investigation and in many cases actually bad.” In this view, the true potential of AI- and ML-powered algorithms in fraud detection can be as much about detecting the bad activity as not irritating customer that are just doing good, normal functions.
Beyond this, another AI-based application to pay attention to is regulation technology (RegTech) solutions where it automates finance compliance processes all the way to ESG technology solutions, ensuring adherence to complex regulations while reducing costs and minimizing errors. This includes identity integration capabilities where cross-sector standardization, regulation and acceptance will be crucial. Regional policy disparities would normally make global solutions especially tricky, but the integration of AI can enhance broad operational efficiency and sophisticated security to meet these needs.
Next-gen digital wallets
From governments to big tech, banks and other industry players–a major race continues globally to develop the next iteration of digital wallet solutions. This means creating a frictionless journey that manages not only our assets but also our identities through secure technologies such as tokenization and encryption. As discussed at this year’s Money20/20 conference, the EU is leading the charge with the introduction of the European Digital Identity Wallet which will be available for all citizens, residents and businesses by 2024. It’s set to include essential documents like national identity cards, healthcare cards, driver’s license, diplomas and more, with cross-border sharing among all member states. This is the all-in-one technology that FinTechs want to build on and, simultaneously, are vying for industry preeminence to reach new audiences and deliver value.
Money20/20 Amsterdam 2023 highlighted the importance of preparing for this transformative shift, and knowing how to capitalize on this opportunity starts with knowing how to design and develop superior digital wallets. Experts further emphasized the need for regulatory frameworks, infrastructure development, and industry-wide collaboration to facilitate the widespread adoption of these next-gen digital wallets. There are important regional and cultural considerations that need to be taken into account when creating many of these solutions, especially regarding the willingness to share personal data. A one-size fits all solution is not feasible for capturing or verifying digital identity, and operators need to adapt to local environments.
What struck me at Money20/20 was the level of maturity of even the early-stage businesses. Companies had solid business plans, partnership discussions were based on real opportunities, and there was a real openness and interest in finding the best solutions for end-users, not just investors. The future of the FinTech industry looks bright!
Business Development Director, FinTech
From Money20/20 to driving the future of your business
The Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam once again shed light on the future trends in FinTech, with an acute focus on addressing business-forward and B2B solutions over consumer-oriented services. Both tech-forward and traditional businesses made clear that improving product and service efficiency and managing today’s economic risks would hugely benefit from the opportunities available in generative AI, embedded finance and open banking. The power of collaboration was also palpable, with many sessions and panels discussing the success stories from forging new partnerships as key to continue pushing innovation.
More than anything, the race to the top for many FinTechs is to create a global standard for their products. Plus, with more players seeking to enter the FinTech space, this year is a critical time for companies to keep building momentum. At Star, we work closely with clients like Paidy, Monavate, Moneytree, and many other FinTech companies for enduring end-to-end product innovations. Our cross-industry expertise blends strategy, design, engineering to co-create an extensive range of products – from AI applications to open banking APIs and IoT services – that address FinTech’s biggest challenges.