Thousands of fintech professionals gathered at The Venetian Expo on Monday to discuss the state of the industry and its future at this year’s Money 20/20 convention, which also drew celebrity keynote speakers such as 11-time U.S. Olympic medalist Allyson Felix, MLB Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and tennis legend Serena Williams.
Guy Mordoch, chief operating officer of AU10TIX, said the annual convention is “the beating heart of our industry.” AU10TIX, an ID verification company using using AI and blockchain technology, was an exhibitor at the show.
“Everybody’s here — all the decision makers and all the players in the (fintech) ecosystem are here,” Mordoch said.
The show floor included financial companies showing off their latest products with many focused on fighting fraud, showcasing online money transfers and targeting businesses on how to offer consumer services. It also included a drone obstacle course and a podcast studio, where attendees were able to wear headphones to listen to the discussion.
Money 20/20 has taken place in Las Vegas since 2012. This year, the four-day event expects to host more than 11,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors and sponsors from at least 94 countries, according to Money 20/20 USA Senior Vice President Denise Medved.
She also noted that demand for the convention has been so high that it will be expanding next year’s show, using five halls at The Venetian Expo instead of the four halls being used at this week’s show.
Medved said additional shows will take place in Amsterdam and Bangkok. She said breaking Money 20/20 into multiple events is because the financial industry is regulated differently in different parts of the world.
“Money is global but it’s also regionalized, particularly when it comes to regulatory issues,” Medved said. “We took the particular strategy of saying instead of one gigantic Money 20/20, let’s be in these strategic places so that we can address some of the local issues as well.”
Being able to address regulatory concerns around fintech is vital for the industry to be able to offer its products to consumers, said Scarlett Sieber, Money 20/20 USA’s chief strategy and growth officer.
“Everyone knows what fintech is, they just don’t know that they know what it is,” Sieber said. “Anytime that there is a movement of money, you’re dealing with fintech.”
Commonly used fintech products include the popular money payment app Venmo and the money transfer app Zelle.
Dave King, senior vice president of strategic development at MicroBilt Corp., has attended the conference for several years. He believes the industry will continue to expand as more companies expand their digital presence.
“The biggest change I’ve seen is that now almost everyone says they are a fintech (company) or uses fintech,” King said.
Sieber said she hopes Money 20/20 helps companies be more aware of the trends in fintech and its current regulations to make it more accessible in the future.
“It’s basically about how do you simplify and streamline experiences that include financial services? And how are companies that are traditionally outside of it getting into it?” Sieber said.