Every year, the best and the brightest stars in the financial technology space gather together for Money 20/20. The event brings together everyone involved with the finance industry — from tech stalwarts to scrappy startups — and it’s a chance for companies to find new customers, partners, and learn about key trends and strategies.
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With mobile app usage in the fintech space growing at 4x the industry average (according to App Annie), we felt it was important to return to Las Vegas for a second time and be present for Money 20/20. Over the course of four days, via one-on-one meetings with potential customers in the Connections Lounge, as well as Gin & Tonic tasting at our booth, we had 40 demo requests and met numerous customers on the floor.
And from our conversations with attendees as well as information gathered at the keynotes, we put together a quick rundown of what’s been going on in the fintech space.
The Buzz At Money 20/20
1. Everyone’s Talking About FaaS
“FaaS is a key takeaway from Money 20/20,” says Shelley Schmidtlin, our Director of Enterprise Marketing at CleverTap. Fintech companies and payment platforms as well as marketplace/e-commerce platforms are now all using the buzzword.
Finance-as-a-service (FaaS) is how fintech brands are packaging their fully integrated services, which range from accounting, financial, and business strategy. Although what sets FaaS apart from a run-of-the-mill accounting, or advisory firm is the technology. Using the proper tech, FaaS companies are able to offer personalized experiences at scale, and are agile enough to adapt to constantly changing business needs.
We are already seeing many cryptocurrencies and payment platforms deliver customer experiences within their products by embedding services like CleverTap seamlessly into their apps. This allows them to deliver what their customers expect: full connectivity. Examples of this include Fiserv and MX.
2. Three Common Categories in Fintech Startups
We noted the sheer number of new and overlapping fintech products coming into the space. Many of them are products in beta and come from three major categories:
- Robo advisors
- Digital-only wallets
- Credit payments for low to no credit (e.g., GrowCredit)
We have no doubt that these startup apps will soon be vying for attention, which means it will be more critical than ever to dominate the market with growth strategies that go well beyond acquisition.
3. Data and the Mass Democratization of Finance
Money 20/20 only served to underscore what we’ve seen with our own clients — that there is a mass democratization happening in finance. Across the globe, particularly in developing nations, various fintech companies are giving people access to financial products, people who would otherwise have had a hard time gaining access. And the major element that has been powering these efforts to bring more people into the financial ecosystem is data.
A few months back, we were seeing these emerging trends coming into play and brought together a panel of experts to discuss Fintechs and the Era of Radical Inclusivity. Speakers from fintech companies Petal and Bread talked about how consumers across the globe were learning to use fintech tools for the first time, and the key to retaining all of them was using data to offer them personalized experiences throughout the entire consumer lifecycle — from onboarding to engagement to retention.
4. Other Trends Happening Right Now
Based on the conversations we had on the floor with actual fintech executives, more and more companies are looking for consolidated point solutions — niche tools that solve very specific business problems, but which are bundled together for better ease of use. For example: why use a push notification solution, an email service provider, and an analytics software and have to manage three separate vendors when you can use a consolidated point solution — like CleverTap — that does all three?
Money 20/20 Event Highlights
Day one kicked off with Magic Johnson speaking on the stage and everyone singing along with a Prince look-alike (it’s Vegas, baby!) hoping to win a signed Magic Johnson jersey through a vendor giveaway.
Day two didn’t disappoint with a performance by Journey and some amazing (and familiar) speakers.
Familiar Faces in Fintech
Vartika Ambwani, Director of Fintech at Silicon Valley Bank gave her insights during a session titled, “If it Ain’t Brok: IPO Success Stories.” And by the way, she also shared her experience working with a fintech company during a hyper growth phase in our recent webinar: Lessons in Fintech Hypergrowth from gohenry and Silicon Valley Bank.
Cryptocurrencies such as Paxos and Chainanalysis were also in attendance at Money 20/20. Take a look at the insights they shared with us during the webinar, The Crypto Forecast for Fast Growing Fintechs.
Bread was also in the crowd, literally and figuratively. Apart from the booths at Money 20/20 having delicious pastries everyday, our friends from the company Bread were also in attendance. We were fortunate enough to have Parilee Edison Wang from Bread participate in a panel discussion with us on the topic of data-driven policies driving inclusivity.