Last week Money20/20 Europe saw much of the world’s payments industry come together to discuss trends, challenges and new developments. It’s the first full in-person version of the event since before the pandemic (2020 was cancelled and 2021 was held at a reduced scale), and although flight delays caused issues for both speakers and attendees, it was a strong restart for an industry at a significant inflection point.
Key themes at Money20/20 Europe
This year has not been one of industry-changing announcements or dramatic developments. However, this is far from a bad thing: the event was characterised by measured approaches taking over from hype, a likely response to the wider challenges of market turbulence, inflation and post-pandemic resettling. Some of our key takeaways:
- Much of the focus was on infrastructure and product maturity, not new developments, with many sessions exploring how existing technologies can be more fully utilised to meet the needs of businesses and consumers looking to protect themselves from a potential downturn. This included a strong focus on PSD2 and open banking, including the use of account-to-account payments, as well as areas such as the role of PoS in an omnichannel retail environment.
- While crypto wasn’t as dominant as it was at the last Money20/20 USA, there was a strong presence, particularly among players looking to integrate crypto into established payment processes or add crypto capabilities alongside traditional financial services. However, trust and security were strong watchwords for the space, particularly in light of the recent UST stablecoin collapse, with many stressing their use of the audited and asset-backed USDC. This gave the sense of crypto positioning itself to become a part of the market rather than a replacement for it, and increasing focus on compliance in the process.
- Crypto wasn’t the only area where compliance was key. Companies operating across the area, including KYC, were abundant this year, and there was a general sense of an industry doubling down on its efforts in this area to protect it in an environment that may become more challenging in the future.
- On the funding and startup side, a similar narrative continued, with stability and profitability taking over from conversations that would previously have been dominated by growth. It’s clear fintech is still seeing decent levels of investment, particularly across the UK and Europe, but companies are expected to deliver sustainable growth with a clear path to profit in return.
- Consolidation is coming. Many industry leaders I spoke to expect an uptick in consolidation in the space. A combination of reduced valuations, pivots from growth-at-all-costs and a tougher economic climate will provide interesting opportunities for those who can afford to spend.
Key Money20/20 Europe announcements
On announcements, it was a relatively light year, although there were some that caught our attention. Here’s our highlights:
- MFS Africa announced it was acquiring Global Technology Partners, the leading processor of prepaid cards in Africa, in a rare acquisition of a US company by an African one.
- Checkout.com announced a stablecoin payments settlement solution, which will give merchants 24/7 access to settlement using the technology.
- Payoneer and Fiserv announced a partnership that will allow businesses to access Payoneer’s payouts platform via Fiserv’s operating system Carat.
- Banking Circle announced it was powering interoperability between mobile payment companies Bluecode and Twint, in what it hopes will be the first step towards a Europe-wide solution for mobile payments interoperability.
- Zumo announced it had secured funding from the UK government for a project to decarbonise the crypto industry, as part of a goal to ultimately make it net zero.
- Metal Pay, a US-based crypto platform whose services include P2P payments and crypto payroll, has launched in the European Union.