We went to Europe’s biggest FinTech-conference

This is our take aways from Money20/20 Europe i Amsterdam.

By
  • Erlend Nitter-Hauge, Anders Morken, Fredrik Svijer
Jun. 19 20244 min. read time
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  • Fintech

Erlend Nitter-Hauge:

AI was a dominating topic, with some interesting use cases, but also a weariness to some of the discussion: Hard to tell if it was due to fatigue from talking about AI non-stop for the last year or two, if it's the tendency to always having to address the worst case scenarios when the topic is brought up, or if it’s just not yet delivering on the enormous promises.

My gut-feeling is that it's closer to the first two than the last one. Nvidia said on stage that they are now working with a bank that has a 1000+ use cases were they are using or testing AI.

However, established use cases such as fraud prevention is winning over some of the more exciting but experimental areas.

EY covered how AI will have a massive effect on embedded lending, highlighting risk assessments and credit scoring as the two main beneficiaries, especially with the Open Finance framework in mind.

There were less product announcements in general this year, but Bunq launched their partnership with Mastercard and Nvidia, being able to provide a holistic overview of your finances, and an (upgraded) AI-agent called Finn along with it. Maybe something to watch for the future.

Dearth of Series B/C-companies: At Money 20/20 you quickly get an overlook of who has money to spend on glittering, and at times over the top, stands. Much like russetiden in Norway it’s all about having the biggest and coolest stands to attract attention. The stands were still enormous and numerous, the conference covered more ground than ever before (we easily clocked 15.000 steps each day), but it was dominated by nations (yes, nations such as France, Germany and Estonia have their own stands to highlight their favourite FinTech’s), bigger companies, or infrastructure-companies past the series C funding stage. The smaller startups and scaleups have either died or have slashed their marketing budgets.

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Anders Morken:

Open Banking and Payments is everywhere:

a. VRPs

The intersection of technology and finance is always buzzing with innovation, and the latest conversation around Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) is no exception.

VRPs are not just a new payment method; by simplifying transactions and offering a seamless user experience, they hold the potential to reshape the banking landscape.

As we navigate the complexities of user education and regulatory frameworks, it's clear that the collective effort of the FinTech community will be pivotal in driving the adoption of VRPs.

The horizon for open banking is expanding, and with it, the opportunities for innovation in the payment sector. By 2025, we anticipate VRPs to become a staple in the UK's financial ecosystem, setting a precedent for global markets.

b. Pay-by-bank

We were lucky to learn more about "Pay by Bank" technology, which allows seamless and secure bank-to-bank transactions for various payment scenarios. Over the past year, the focus has shifted from understanding how to use the technology to identifying specific use cases and optimizing user experiences. This payment method is particularly prevalent in Europe, with significant uptake in countries like Sweden. The conversation highlights the different contexts and use cases where Pay by Bank is gaining traction, including:

  • Self-to-self transactions (e.g., transferring funds between personal accounts).
  • Bill payments (replacing or supplementing direct debits and debit cards).
  • E-commerce payments (both high-value and low-value transactions).

As a sign of how Pay by bank creates value for the merchants, Uber promises $140 to their driver’s when they convince their customers to Pay by bank.

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Fredrik Sveijer:

Regulation

The emphasis on consumer-centric regulation in both the U.S. and UK highlights the importance of user control and protection. The U.S., in particular, is setting the stage for rights and protections without mandating specific technical solutions.

As we look towards the future, the push for global standards are more vital than ever. It's not just about one country's progress but about creating a cohesive, worldwide framework that benefits all.

With the 2024 elections on the horizon, the U.S.'s focus on open banking may shift, presenting opportunities to reduce data usage friction and broaden financial product inclusion.

Collaboration and learning are the keys to success. By sharing insights and best practices, especially between the U.S. and the UK, we can foster a more inclusive and innovative financial ecosystem.

Euro stablecoin and Digital Euro:

The European Central Bank was on stage to outline the path for a digital euro and how they will use regulation to encourage adoption among banks and retailers.

However, it first needs to go through “the democratic process in the EU,” which translates to a rather long time to market. Others pointed out that euro and USD stablecoins are already in the market, new ones will come, and different types of digital currency will solve different types of problems. It is not a “winner takes it all” race, and it was good to hear that speakers focused on customer problems and use cases, not just bragging about fancy technology. The area has matured a lot in just one year.

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Money20/20 in Amsterdam: Fredrik Sveijer, Erlend Nitter-Hauge and Anders Morken.

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