The year 2020 might have seemed on the far horizon when the Money20/20 conference series launched in 2011. Seven years later, the event's global reach was on full display from Oct. 21 to 24, 2018, at the Venetian Las Vegas. The show drew more than 11,500 attendees and 3,500 companies, and featured over 450 speakers with expertise ranging from technology, security, banking and finance to regulatory guidance and next-generation commerce.
"Money20/20 believes that inclusivity is a strategic imperative that will drive both businesses and the broader financial industry forward," wrote Money20/20 organizers. This was reflected in the show's support of retail's Rise Up initiative honoring female leaders and the Money20/20 USA Startup Academy, designed to accelerate next-generation startups whose innovations are challenging the status quo.
Numerous small-scale cafes, lounges and meeting places provided a welcoming counterpoint to the convention's massive scale. A Money20/20 mobile app helped attendees navigate exhibits, meetings and presentations and use AI-powered matchmaking to meet like minded people. An "Ask a Question" feature enabled attendees to interact with moderators during presentations.
Michelle Evans, global head of digital consumer research at Euromonitor International, envisions a world where consumers increasingly transact and work from home. Sharing key insights from her report, Commerce 2040: Revolutionary Tech will Boost Consumer Engagement, Evans said consumers are valuing experience over ownership; immersive technologies will enable fans to see through the eyes of sports and entertainment stars; and entertainment will shift from in-seat to "choose your own adventure."
Her report suggests the lines between real and virtual are blurring as consumers employ virtual reality to gain information or entertainment. This may one day include bots communicating through implanted earbuds and restaurant menu boards sending targeted messages to passersby. "The entry of the restaurant will evolve with one dedicated to dine-in occasions and the other to delivery," she wrote. "Convenience stores will likely be the only outlets with inventory. Former retail outlets will shift into micro experiential [centers], helping consumers discover and test products for later drone delivery to home or designated [neighborhood] spots."
Henry Helgeson, president of integrated payments at TSYS, has seen technology speed the adoption curve in mobile and digital payments. "Hyperlocal commerce looks different than it did three years ago," he said. "I don't envision a future where my child will carry a credit card."
Helgeson said merchant level salespeople can remain relevant by evolving and selling products that solve more than payment problems. "Payments, like other industries, is cyclical; we still have plenty of runway ahead of us and tailwind behind us," he said.
Tim Bedard, director of product marketing at OneSpan, suggested that cybersecurity is also cyclical. "It's part of our industry's DNA to see fraud rates go up until the right solutions are in place," he stated. "Throughout the whole lifecycle, we try to provide a better experience while lowering fraud and meeting regulatory compliance."
Mike Camerling, CEO at AEVI, said advanced technologies can improve payment flows and take away the pain of innovation; simple integrations and APIs no longer meet retail's complex requirements. "Let's focus on the customer and how to make it a better experience," he said. "New people look at things differently and can help merchants run their businesses their way, choosing their own apps that are interconnected and talk to each other."
Christopher R. Kronenthal, president and chief technology officer at FreedomPay, noted the industry's increasing complexity. "We've evolved from integrated POS to payments-in-a-box to omnichannel to multimerchant ecosystems. Merchants may take up that banner by aligning with retail OEM partners to create little ecosystems."
Todd Linden, CEO, Paysafe, North America, said the fragmented payments landscape presents challenges to card-present and ecommerce merchants. Linden presented highlights from Lost in Translation: The future of payments for SMBs. The report cited security, fraud and abandoned shopping carts as top issues for retailers. Linden expects to see an increase in mobile wallet and app payment adoption in the next two years and said service providers must improve the commercialization process.
Linden told The Green Sheet that Money20/20 is also drawing an increasingly sophisticated audience. "With an overwhelming inventory of startups, the show is bringing to bear more variation in technologies and app marketplace models, which is refreshing," he said.
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