Money 20/20 USA: fintech’s annual Vegas pilgrimage is upon us

Hot off the heels of last week’s Sibos conference in Amsterdam, the fintech industry’s attention swiftly shifts to the other side of the pond this week for Money 20/20 USA. Against the backdrop of a particularly challenging and eventful year in finance, what are we likely to see dominating the agenda at this year’s show?

Money 20/20 – why is it important?

While Sibos largely represents the old world infrastructure and the goliaths of payments, Money 20/20 has become the fulcrum for innovation and new fintech.

Billed as the annual event where the industry’s leading financial services innovators “come together to connect and create the future of money,” Money 20/20 USA also somewhat ironically takes place each year in Las Vegas, a town perhaps best known for helping people part with their money…

But for those that can tear themselves away from the slot machines, Money 20/20 always turns out to be one of the most important conferences on the fintech calendar. The agenda is jam-packed with top tier speakers and panelists (see: Serena Williams, Amrapali Gan, Takis Georgakopoulos and Bill Harris to name just a few), and most companies worth their salt use the conference as a platform to make major product or business announcements every year.

What are we likely to see at this year’s show?

This year has seen a sea change in the investment climate for fintech. Investors are looking at B2B fintech subsectors where revenue is a safer guarantee as consumers struggle with the soaring cost of living, and this is reflected in the Money 20/20 agenda. Expect to see topics like regtech, data infrastructure, financial rails and risk analytics get a lot of airtime across the full four days.

In particular, throughout 2022 there has been a continued move towards efficiency services and ones which offer regulatory compliance. ‘Safety’ tech seen as “mission critical” is typically more resilient in a downturn than other emerging technologies that can often be seen as a ‘nice-to-have’, particularly by some of the more conservative financial institutions. Many of the innovative start-ups at the show will no doubt have this in the back of their minds given the attendance by banks and other TradFi players who could be potential customers.

While in other years the agenda has sometimes been dominated by certain themes (blockchain was arguably THE central theme for a number of years), the challenge in a constrained funding environment is differentiation – and this is reflected in the variety on display in this year’s line-up. The fintech market is oversupplied with vendors and now, more than ever, you really have to set yourself apart from competitors’ offerings to make your mark in the industry.

An increasing number of fintechs have started to run out of runway this year – and to use a suitably apt gambling reference – when the chips are down, expect to see the ones with a clear, unique business model to win the sought after investor dollars, while others fall by the wayside. Given the coverage it receives in the global financial media, Money 20/20 is as good a platform as any to make your business case.

 

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