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What was hot at Money2020 Europe?

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Last week was Money 2020 Europe week.  This year a gathering of 6,000 odd people – and I mean ODD – assembled in Copenhagen to talk all things FinTech and stuff.  That’s 50 percent up on last year’s first outing and, due to the numbers and a few brown envelopes from the Dutch, the whole shindig moves to Amsterdam next year.

I had various duties during the week, including hosting a panel on the challenge of large banks replacing their core systems.  Michael Harte, Global Head of Innovation for Barclays Bank summed it up well: “Can big banks get smarter or smart banks get bigger. it’s just  a question of who gets their first.”  Damn right sir.

I was a bit cheeky with Michael as well, as I started the panel by saying: “I met a FinTech partnering with a bank, who opened their announcement by saying ‘my three-year old son likes to play with dinosaurs … so do I’.  What do you think about that Michael?”

He gave me the long and short of it. The short answer that is, where the second word was OFF, and the longer answer about how it is hard for big firms to change but they’re trying.

Talking of change, the panel opened with an audience question: Do the large banks need to change their core systems?  78% of the audience said definitely yes (this was before my presentation and opening words).  We concluded the discussions with a second audience question: CAN the large banks change their core systems? and that split the audience firmly down the middle, 50:50.  Interesting times.

There were other great moments during the week including FinTech Insiders live, where Jason Bates went around feeling up the audience (you’ll need to listen to the podcast for that one) but, just as I was going to summarise the whole week, someone beat me to it.

My good friend Claudia Bate, from Engage by Bell Pottinger, put out this blog update, and I cannot resist but repost it here.

What was hot at Money 20/20 Europe?

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain led the discussion, as FinTech leaders from the likes of Google, Amazon and Square revealed a future of banking bots, automatic payments and financial services that truly “know us”

FinTech experts from across the globe flocked to Copenhagen to debate the future of money at this year’s Money 20/20 Europe. The world’s leading tech, financial services and business experts revealed how new technologies will fundamentally change the way we borrow, manage and spend money around the world.

The conversation continued to buzz online, with over 35 million impressions generated in just five days.

Our analysis revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the most hotly discussed topic across social media, online forums, news and blogs throughout the event. Speakers and attendees discussed a future that will involve everything from chatbots negotiating on our behalf, to the death of slow authentication processes, as technology gets to “know us” and ultimately move us towards an open, cashless and cardless society.

The show’s AI trend was boosted by news from MasterCard who announced that international bank Citi and digital payments firm Paysafe are the first to implement its new AI-based fraud solution, Decision Intelligence. MasterCard’s AI tool was the most popular piece of news from the event, out of over 150 announcements across the show – generating 685,000 impressions.

Spanish bank BBVA was the most talked about brand online following its AI-based keynote, with 1.4 million impressions.

After AI, Blockchain generated the second biggest buzz around the event, with brands including Blockchain enterprise Ripple, along with giants Samsung and Visa all enthusing about the future of the technology. This was fuelled by global tech firm IBM’s announcement that it is building blockchain technology for seven of Europe's largest banks, including high street bank HSBC and Netherlands-based Rabobank.

The project marks one of the first real-world use cases of blockchain technology in financial institutions, leading many FinTech influencers to comment that:

Blockchain could “finally be moving away from endless proof of concepts to genuine adopters”.

With tech guru Jack Dorsey opening the show, his payment enterprise Square came in as the second most talked about brand throughout Money 20/20 Europe. Dorsey, who ranked as the third most influential individual at the show, was joined by the likes of GoogleAmazon PaySamsung, and Airbnb on the keynote stage.

Visa came within the top three brands, with conversation buzzing around the payment giant’s strategic investment in challenger bank Klarna. Announcing the deal to a packed audience at the show, Jim McCarthy, Global Head of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships at Visa admitted:

“We've been sitting on our network for 20-30 years and it took innovators to come along and realise the vision for it”.

Challenger Starling Bank, followed by Blockchain enterprise Ripple, made up the remainder of the top five most discussed brands from the show. Meanwhile, on an individual level, FinTech leader Chris Skinner topped the list as the most influential person at the conference, followed by FinTech Circle’s CEO Susanne Chishti.

After AI and Blockchain, Biometrics, RegTech and Machine Learning were the next most discussed trends at Money 20/20 Europe this year.

As the official communications partner for Money 20/20 Europe, we gained a unique insight into the most hotly discussed trends at the event and set up more than 50 interviews with leading media publications on the ground. 

The level of investment being made by top brands to enable them to take a leadership position on the future of money should not be underestimated, and the millions of online mentions related to Money 20/20 Europe is testament to the wider interest in the continued growth of the global FinTech sector.

A strong presence across social media, along with a speaking slot from a bold senior spokesperson proved to be a powerful tool in helping brands stand out in the crowded FinTech market.

It’s no surprise to see that Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain stole the show this year, we’re increasingly seeing our clients, partners and industry friends get excited about the potential these technologies hold.

Follow the conversation using hashtag #M2020EU  for more information.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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