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Money2020 Europe: Takeaways as we finally meet in real life.

Last month's Money 20/20 Europe was the first large-scale event in the Fintech industry after COVID-19. As usual, it delivered an outstanding line-up of brands and thought leaders. Here are my takeaways and insights regarding the most significant gathering of the European fintech community in 2021.  

Happy to see you again! 

Now that we can ease more about COVID-19 restrictions, the social interaction within attendees forced Money 20/20 organizers to extend the meeting areas. The demand exceeded expectations as the number of planned meetings almost tripled compared to previous editions. However, financial services providers were difficult to find. I presume that it was due to non-physical policies that banks still hold. This year’s Money20/20 was mostly a get-together for technology companies. 

The financial industry learning from the best.

One of the most valuable breakouts of Money20/20 involved partnerships of the platform giants. With almost all seats taken in the largest breakout hall of this event, it seems that fintech is ready to learn from the greatest. The panel included Konstantin Surkov from Netflix, Yael Barak from, and Mark Shaw from Spotify. They highlighted the importance of partnerships and embedded finance as a path for growth. 

During the breakout, it was immediately addressed that open technologies are enablers for their businesses. Although the discussion turned out to have a focus on bringing value to clients. Yael Barak pointed out the efforts that spends on assuring that their technology can be utilized. She mentioned that ‘the payment service the company provides almost becomes an afterthought'. The success of is not solely coming from their services but also the way they are embedded in the daily lives of their users. This can be a key learning for the financial industry since their products are still largely distributed in long-established channels. 

The core banking technology transition is finally happening

 The long-awaited transition from legacy core technology to the cloud is finally happening, as it is evident that more established banks are realizing their cloud core banking projects with new announcements during the event. They are adopting technology that recently was not even considered for core banking: Cloud-native and SaaS-delivered from the cloud. In a panel discussion about modularity and adaptability, Rafael Otero from Deutsche Bank emphasized that the core banking transition is still ‘a risky business’.

This was addressed by Thought Machine’s CEO Paul Taylor, mentioning that this is not always the case, as many core transitions are executed smoothly. Although, he also added that new approaches are required ‘as no core banking system is built with the target system in mind’. It is clear now, hyper configurability and cloud nativeness is the spotlight topic for core banking transition.

Read more of my takeaways of Money2020 Europe 2021 on the resources section of including the lack of workforce in the tech industry, ongoing data management challenges in banking, and how crypto is becoming mainstream, even for banks. 


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