Last week I had the pleasure of attending Money20/20 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. The three-day conference attracted over 10K visitors, 1000+ CEOs and 550+ speakers this year – making it one of the largest conferences focused on financial technology (fintech).
In general I believe that the biggest benefit for attending a conference such as Money20/20 is the opportunity to network and the density of high quality people in one place is just phenomenal.
There was definitely a lot to take in and for this post I want share some of my impressions from the conference with you.
Focus on your customer needs
One of the key takeaways, as obvious as it might sound is that market opportunities are endless if you are able to listen to consumers and merchants and if you are able to translate this into fast product adoption that create true value.
Innovation cycles accelerate and there is no way anymore to force feed products into markets that do not benefit consumers. Customer centric and convenience driven innovation becomes more than ever one of the leading industry mantras.
Differences: Europe vs. US
The major difference is the local complexity payment providers face when serving the European market compared to the US.
Both markets have roughly the same size in terms of population but are characterized by different languages, different currencies, legislations and most importantly different payment habits from end consumers – resulting in a huge number of payment methods available in addition to credit card and PayPal.
When talking about the adoption of consumer innovation (e.g. new services) the countries tend to vary massively within the European Union. UK seems to be an early adopter of new technologies and always a bit more oriented towards US trends, whereas Germany is more of a late adopter.
FinTech trends for 2016
Managing risk and regulatory challenges for merchants and consumers in a smart and efficient way without compromising conversion or convenience will pose a significant challenge in 2016. Particularly for a payment service provider, it will be crucial to innovate on add-on services and products built on top of the transaction stack to create real value in a highly competitive and commoditized market.
What’s driving innovation in the Fintech industry?
There are multiple innovation drivers in fintech, such as hardware, consumer behavior, emergence of new business models and even regulatory changes.
For instance the latest generation of smartphone devices featuring payment functionalities (e.g. Samsung Pay), in combination with a younger mobile centric demographic entering the market as consumers, further accelerates the adoption of mobile services and commerce.
A great example for regulatory driven innovation is Quaderno who took EU VAT complexity and built a great product for merchants to master it.
If you weren’t able to attend Money20/20, you’ll be happy to know that the next edition will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark (April 4-7th, 2016), where we’ll also be attending again.
And if you want to meet up at an event, ping me on Twitter @joergpaymill and let’s arrange a time for a chat.