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Key Takeaways From Money 20/20 2016

The fourth annual Money 20/20 is in the books. While official attendance figures have not yet been released, this one felt even bigger than last year. Five analysts from Aite Group attended: Christine Barry, Julie Conroy, Ben Knieff, Tiffani Montez, and Thad Peterson. Here are a few key takeaways from the team: 

  • Zelle’s debut: At last year’s Money 20/20, Early Warning announced that it was buying clearXchange in a bid to join the faster payments fray. It unveiled its person-to-person (P2P) offering, Zelle, at the event, which will be production-ready in Q1 2017 and will offer real-time P2P payments.
  • Continued sublimation of payments: Payments are only the enablers of commerce, and merchants only care about payments when they enhance or at least don’t diminish the customer experience.
  • Portable point of sale (POS): POS form factors are migrating to portability, and POS providers are moving “up the stack” to offer completely integrated payment capabilities. Revel Systems came out with some big news: Generally seen as a tablet POS player for SMB, it is now the POS platform for 30,000 global Shell Oil stations. 
  • Machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI) analytics: “Machine learning” and “AI” were two of the buzziest words at the event, with many vendors touting their use of advanced analytics for fraud detection and marketing use cases. The application of these terms, however, seemed to be quite broad, indicating the need for better definition of these segments.
  • Buzzy blockchain: Blockchain was also one of the big buzzwords at the event, with huge booths by startups like Chain.com highlighting the amount of venture capital money pouring into this space. Trade finance and supply chain management is a killer app for blockchain tech, with huge disruptive potential.
  • The morphing of “identity”: The entire concept of identity needs to be rethought, and in a big way. Most of us have lived with a certain concept of identity for decades, but the entire concept needs to change, especially given that the personally identifiable information that has traditionally constituted identity is wholly compromised by cybercriminals. As an industry and society, we are very early in the process.
  • Cross-border e-commerce: Cross-border e-commerce is growing, and the demand is certainly there. That said, it’s still a very complicated thing to do. A lot of companies are positioning themselves to support the explosive growth in the space.
  • Realigning priorities post-EMV: EMV has been a major distraction for all players in the U.S. market. Now that year one of EMV is behind us, resources can refocus on a few things that got put on the back burner (instant issuance was raised as an example of this many times).
  • Digital assistant: On the heels of Tiffani Montez’s recent report in which she discussed the future trend of AI-driven virtual assistants, B of A introduced its virtual assistant, erica, at Money 20/20. Erica uses artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and cognitive messaging to deliver an improved customer service experience. 
  • Biometrics is beginning to make headway in both retail and commercial banking. There were several biometrics vendors at the event that are currently in discussions with large banks to enhance their authentication capabilities for corporate mobile banking, and Wells Fargo’s Secil Watson talked to a packed house about the successful use of biometrics in the bank’s commercial online channel.
  • Open APIs: These are top of mind for many vendors and large global banks alike.

Money20/20 Europe will be here before we know it— join Aite Group’s Ron van Wezel in Copenhagen next June! Be sure to use promo code AITE2017 to save €200 off your conference fee.