Money 2020 Europe took place over three days in Copenhagen, Denmark ( April 4 -April 7). With more than 3,500 attendees, 420 speakers, 200+ sponsors and 100+ media partners representing over 70 countries, the conference shaped up to be one of the biggest Fintech events of the year. Europe was showcased as a place where innovation and creativity are in abundance.
The main theme carried through the conference was companies changing their approach to focus more on customers or consumers. The financial industry showed a craving for services that have identity and authentication in them as every booth and brochure included customization. Through processes and new solutions that are specifically tailored to a customer’s needs, companies are trying to change the industry to benefit individuals.
Neobanks, a mobile-first banking experience that believes in moving away from traditional banking, were deemed another major trend at the event. Fidor Bank, a neobank based in Germany explained that the future of banking lays within the online market. Through innovative online banking, neobanks challenge the old-fashioned financial industry and make banking solutions easily-accessible and integrated.
Fintech hubs were another surprise at Money 2020. Cities that were originally thought of as hubs for the Fintech industry showed little dominance, showing that places all over the world are open to innovation and development of financial services. The difference between hubs and other places, however, remains – not every city has the capabilities to sustain the fast-growing, dynamic Fintech world. Thus, the top five locations emerged to be London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and the Silicon Valley with Singapore, Berlin, and Sydney running close behind.
Bitcoin and blockchain were also greatly supported as the Fintechs in those sectors try to tackle newly emerged issues with financial fraud and security.
Interesting External Events
FinLeap, a Fintech company builder based in Berlin, hosted an exclusive Fintech dinner on Tuesday night of the conference to discuss FinTech in Berlin and also create an opportunity where influencers within the Fintech realm could meet and discuss new ideas in an intimate and open setting.
The startup pitch at Money2020 Europe was also a huge success and was won by a Portugal startup:Crowdprocess. The contest featured 12 of the best startups across Europe and a panel of expert judges chose three companies to pitch on the stage on Tuesday and compete for 22,000 euro prize.
Biggest news at the conference
As mentioned above, Money 2020 provided a stage for those who wanted to announce news. From collaborations and mergers to general Fintech updates, many companies took part in the initiative to spread the word. US online lender Kabbage, for example, announced its deal with Santander to help them out with fast online loans for small businesses. Another company, TransferWise, announced the integration of the largest bank in Estonia LHV and Berlin-based company Number 26. JP Morgan reported on a collaboration with OnDeck. Atom Bank just launched their iPhone and iPad app while AliPay, China’s leading third-party online payment solution provider, is launching its services in Europe.
As for the banking industry, BBVA is beginning work with various Fintech providers to improve the customer onboarding experience by verifying more customers faster and more securely. The announcements however did not end with just companies. One of the biggest statements did not concern a merger or a collaboration but rather a list of of the 2016 Fintech 50. This list comprises of 50 European businesses that are leading the transformation in the Fintech world. The fourth edition of the list included Berlin companies Barzahlen, Mambu, Number 26, Raisin, and SpotCap. The rest of the Fintechs in the list were from the UK, Netherlands, Israel, Switzerland, Iceland, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden. In another section of the Fintech 50 ranking, the panel of judges named ten companies to look out for including Berlin’s Savedo and OptioPay. Fintech 50 also featured India and Hong Kong as the plan is to launch a The Fintech50 Asia later in 2016. The list was constructed based on year-long research and included expertise from over 30 industry experts across Europe.
What we learned from the conference
At Money 2020, Fintech showed its matureside. The growing industry is no longer the hype it used to be, but instead, focuses on execution and quality. With big figures in investment, Fintechs are ready to collaborate with others in the industry, including banks to make their product not only scalable, but also sustainable. Through collaborative discussions, young startups gained insight from experts in the financial industry with useful feedback on how to develop, innovate, and succeed. However, still only a handful of banks truly understand what digitalization means. Some of the standout banks at Money2020 included BBVA, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Barclays. Those banks showed willingness to combine their financial expertise with the drive of the younger generation to change the financial industry.
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