A Postcard from Money20/20
Greetings from Las Vegas. By the time this note finds you, I will be back at my desk pouring over my follow-up notes from another crazy, wonderful, insightful and totally exhausting Money20/20. The event itself has grown to become the annual ‘must-attend’ on the financial technology schedule, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint with new attendees, old friends and an agenda that kept you on your feet for 4 days (and nights).
This year’s event covered everything under the sun in our market, and featured over 450 speakers (including yours truly and my Rantings partner Dan Ring), but there were four main themes that stuck out to me as driving a vast majority of the conversations.
Money20/20’s Four Themes:
In nearly every discussion I had this week, the conversation at one point or another talked about how the payments ecosystem is changing, and for me, the best word that can be used to describe this change is convergence. I am not just talking about payment types, though that’s a big part of it. The convergence is in the market segments, the consumer interaction channels, and the value propositions being brought to market. Everyone in the value chain wants to talk from the client experience layer, all the way through the interaction, to the execution (and settlement) of the transaction.
The best analogy I have heard, and have used myself, to describe this phenomenon of the new payments ecosystem is imagining a swimming pool with lane lines keeping everyone in their lane suddenly no longer having lane lines. Everyone is looking for full visibility and access to the data through the entire value chain; whether it’s a consumer proposition or a corporate proposition.
Real Time (Everything)
You couldn’t get far without talking or hearing about real-time payments. While this trend was more under the surface than others, it certainly was showing its reach. Keeping pace with the speed of payments (or trying to get ahead of them) was driving the fraud and AI conversations I saw and heard. And making those payments faster, cheaper and more ‘open’ were the primary discussions we were having on the consumer and corporate proposition side. Having access to real-time data was a key talking point on my panel from a treasury perspective. Real time won’t necessarily get the headlines from the show, but it wasn’t far from any discussion.
Digital Identity and Authentication
I’m going to put these two together because they are intertwined. If you were to walk around the show floor, you probably noticed the same thing as I did identification and authentication services are hot right now. As the payments ecosystem continues its sprint towards being almost entirely digital, there is a real world need to make sure those interactions are secure. Whether it’s using a user’s biometric print or new encryption options, real-time payments creates a new need and market opportunity for services that prove you are who you say you are and have given the requisite permission to initiate the transaction in question (all in real time). Dan’s wink payments may be coming to fruition!
Digital Channels and APIs
If you turn back the clocks to the very first Money20/20, the conversations around the digital channels were all around “omni-channel strategy.” The term at that point was focused on how to create a seamless experience at your branch, online and in the newly-emerging mobile channel. That conversation continues today; however, it has evolved into a discussion that goes way beyond the bank-owned interaction channels and screens. Platform banking and making API services available to the widest audience possible is a key trend in the banking space right now. How wide an audience you are looking to reach, and how broad that catalogue of services is, are open topics at most – if not all – banks globally. But having an intertwined channel and API strategy is no longer just an option, it’s becoming the market standard.
I hope everyone who was in Las Vegas enjoyed the show as much as I did. Looking forward to seeing you all again in 360ish days!
Related Blog Posts
Removing Gender Bias and Enabling Women to Succeed in Leadership Roles
The recent UK Women in Payments (WIP) Symposium 2019 took place in London, recognizing unique leaders who help uplift women in the payments industry. Among those recognized was ACI’s Melissa McKendry, vice president, Retail Banking Implementation Services, who was honored by WIP as the 2019 Advocate for Women.
Regulating for Real-Time: The Role of Government in Payments Modernization
Dr. Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments and the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time.
Payments and Fraud: The Paradox Twins
Digital commerce through web and mobile is where merchants predominantly experience shopper growth today. This has become a hugely important domain for their focus. It offers a means for international growth, new market penetration and a way to engage with shopper-hungry Millennials in their culture. Merchants frequently adopt a Digital-First, eCommerce-First or Mobile-First strategy to ensure full corporate buy-in to this strategy.
Open Payments Systems for Merchants: Don't Close Down Your Options
Remember “Open Systems”?
It was a big industry nom du jour in the 80s and 90s. Every IT system had to be open and therefore flexible and future-proof. Nobody can argue with the logic behind this; making systems easy to integrate with other systems, ensuring vendors could cooperate with one another; creating agility to improve time to market and drive down costs.
Issuing and Acquiring in a Real-Time and Open Payments Ecosystem – The Global Picture
Dr Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments, stemming from the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time. See part one.
Why It’s Time for Women to Rise UP
As a senior software engineer at ACI Worldwide, Rawan Shawar helps to guide her team’s priorities and enhance processes at both the team and organizational level. Recently, Rawan was selected by the organizers of Money20/20 Asia to be part the Rise Up Class of 2019.
Can Digital Payments Be Kind?
There is no doubt that the era of less (or minimal) cash is truly upon us. According to the Access to Cash Review, cash could fall to just 10 percent of all payments in the UK within the next 15 years.
Other countries, such as Sweden, have already seen significant changes – cashless payments have grown so quickly that only 10 percent of the 20 SEB banks in Stockholm now hold cash. Beyond Europe, China is leading the way with USD$12.8 trillion in mobile payment transactions in 2018.
Keeping Up With Fraudsters: A Month Isn’t Enough
As the Government of Canada campaigns for improved fraud prevention and awareness this month, I’d like to do my part as a fellow Canadian, and shed some light on why payments need to stay a step (or more) ahead of fraudsters, today more than ever.
Local Perspectives: Real-Time Realities Across Asia-Pacific in 2019
Money20/20 Asia returns to Singapore this week, attracting payments professionals from around the vast APAC region – and beyond. The real-time and open imperative is one of the reasons why all eyes are on Asia-Pacific when it comes to payments, so I caught up with ACI payments experts representing three of the key countries within the region, to take the pulse of real-time schemes that are in varying stages of maturity.
What it Takes to be an ‘Influential Woman in Payments’ [Q&A]
Coming off the back of International Women’s Day this past weekend, PaymentsSource has recognized the Most Influential Women in Payments, spanning multiple industries including financial services, retail, investment and technology. Among the honorees is ACI’s very own Carolyn Homberger, group president, global sales. Part of the executive leadership team at ACI, Carolyn leads a team of payments professionals operating across all global regions, and plays a critical role in setting business strategy. As an advocate for the leadership and growth of women in the payments industry, Carolyn is also responsible for launching ACI’s own Women’s Initiative.