Money2020 Payments Conference Recap

It was great to attend and speak at the recent Money2020 Conference out in Las Vegas. As fellow payments nerds already know, the show is a fabulous opportunity to network with and learn from the payments community from around the globe. Here are a few takeaways from the event worth highlighting for those of you who were unable to make it to this year’s event.

  • Payments Continues to Garner Attention: The event was supposedly the largest ever and I heard estimates in the range of 12-13,000 attendees. One of the issues with any show once it gets to be a certain size is that the audience becomes far more diversified beyond its original group of attendees. Money2020 appears to be going through this stage -- there were many more investment bankers and journalists there than I believe attended previously. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does change the nature of things when the banks and merchants and others who would buy the solutions offered at the show slowly start to represent a smaller percentage of the attendees. The show is also changing as ever-increasing amount of VC funding is pouring into payments-related companies, especially around consumer behavior, machine learning, blockchain, and other currently hot topics.
  • RegTech Was A Hit: It was great to be on Money2020’s first-ever panel dedicated to the topic of regulatory technology (“RegTech”). My fellow panelists from PWC, IBM, The Bancorp, Trulioo, and Buckley Sandler, and I discussed compliance frameworks, regulatory predictions, and new technologies and were thrilled at the 250+ people in the audience. The content owners of Money2020 deserve a lot of credit for offering up such a timely topic to the attendees. Among the major takeaways on this panel were a discussion about whether or not humans will be rapidly replaced by “compliance machines,” how the expectations that regulators have around technology are changing, and the growing role of data utilities.
  • Politics: There was lots of prognostication around how the US Presidential election results will impact the regulatory environment, banks and merchants. The topics in this domain touched on Congressional hearings, the passage of new legislation, and more. In particular, the session entitled “The Impact of U.S. Presidential Election on the Financial Services Regulatory Landscape” featuring Tim Pawlenty, (President and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable and a former Governor of Minnesota), Neal Wolin (the former Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury), and Raj Date (the first-ever Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)). The large attendance in this session indicated to me that conference-goers were keenly interested in hearing about political impact of the election and the control of Congress.
  • CFPB Keynote Talk: The Director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, gave a talk at the show discussing openness among the financial services community. People should read it carefully as it portends big changes in the coming years for how fintech companies access data and services. Moreover, the way regulators look at the fintech space is going to morph; no longer can it be ignored and the CFPB – like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – is now letting it be known that transformative approaches in the regulatory landscape are upon us.
     

Payments are changing and will continue to change. New regulations, new concepts, new consumer needs, and new threats will all combine to ensure that the way we pay for things and process transactions will be different than it is now. Money2020 remains a premier event for people trying to keep tabs on these changes and differences and last week’s show was no different.

 

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