Money 20/20 Asia
Insights from the World’s Leading FinTech and Payments Event by Klareco Communications
For the first time, Money 20/20, the world’s leading FinTech and Payments event, has landed in Asia. Bringing together over 15,000 global industry leaders from across the world, the three-day event last week featured multiple Klareco clients and our own session on harnessing the power of PR and marketing for FinTech companies.
Klareco’s Managing Director Mark Worthington also sat on a panel to provide guidance to startups pitching their businesses at one of the event’s competitions.
Cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and the evolving payments landscape continued to dominate most of the conversations at the event. Here are some of the key highlights:
FinTech on the Rise
FinTech is no longer just the domain of banks and financial institutions. It was clear from listening to the participating sponsors, speakers and delegates that not only tech giants like Google and ride-hailing apps like Grab are becoming digital payment companies, even airlines such as AirAsia are exploring FinTech innovations like blockchain. Its Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes was one of the key speakers at Money 20/20, and announced the company’s foray into FinTech with implementation of its own cashless payment system BigPay. He also envisioned entering the remittance market and going into the money-lending business for entrepreneurs. On the sideline, he spoke about considering an initial coin offering to raise funds and introduce the airline’s own cryptocurrency.
With the industry buzz around blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, focused his closing speech on crypto tokens. He talked about its potential use cases – one of them being cross-border payments – its pitfalls and dangers, and the challenge for central banks and regulators to harness the benefits of the technology while containing its risks.
One point that stood out was when he said “the litmus test will be public trust and acceptance…will people put their faith in Money that is not backed by a trusted public institution like a bank dedicated to protecting its value?” He said if an algorithm can preserve value like a central authority, perhaps this future scenario is possible.
Ravi Menon also highlighted that a second generation of crypto tokens is emerging to address pain points such as price stability and that not all developers and programmers in the crypto world are anti-establishments. The theme of working with regulators and aligning interests with them is echoed by the likes of PayPal and Ripple.
Communicating trust in technology and solving customers’ needs
Trust in technology or a system has always underscored its adoption, and whether it will be successful. Communicating and demonstrating the reliability of that technology or system in order to build trust amongst customers and users is therefore critical for any FinTech company or innovation seeking to gain traction and grow.
Another key takeaway was that innovation should meet customers’ needs. Chief innovators of banks talked about shifting mindsets in the organisation as they think about serving customers. Challenging siloed structures and mindsets goes beyond technology.
In his session, Mark talked about effectively communicating how technology can solve pain points for customers and meet their needs. Increasingly, it’s about demonstrating impact, making achievements concrete and showing with case studies how your solutions change lives.