" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> EXCLUSIVE: Five Key Highlights of MoneyFest | Fintech Finance
Saturday, April 01, 2023
Tradetech Europe

EXCLUSIVE: Five Key Highlights of MoneyFest

Beren Attoe, Fintech Finance | Fintech FinanceHi! I’m Beren. I’m a fresh-faced newbie to the world of fintech and, in case you hadn’t seen my “Newcomer’s POV to Fintech” article, I’m writing articles as a younger perspective into fintech. Not just as a reflective piece, no, but as a way to make the field more welcoming to newcomers. Fintech should not be feared as this impossible wall to surmount. I want people to feel welcome. Doors should be opened for people. Not closed.

So, what is this article about? Here, I want to talk about Money20/20 and, more specifically, MoneyFest – a subset of Money20/20. It is an annual event where many of the greatest minds and industry leaders come together to talk about finance, financial technology, and many of the new ideas shaping it.

For any of you nerdy types out there, like me, it’s financial E3.

Given our current day and age, however, the event was held remotely over digital conferences and video calls. That can’t stop me from giving you highlights. And here, in this article, we’ll look over the five trends and highlights to really keep your eye on in fintech.

Highlight #01 – Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency, otherwise summarized as a form of digitally stored and paperless currency, has been all that anyone can talk about. By far the biggest trend to take away from MoneyFest. Many talks went over the growing popularity amidst the pandemic and remote age we live in. In the 21 for ‘21 talk with Marvin Liao, he noted that Cryptocurrency is the big thing to look out for in 21, though we have already reached that time and might have already started.

And, in a talk from Conny Dorrestijn (BankiFi) and Douwe Lycklama (INNOPAY), we’re seeing an increasing lean towards the cryptocurrency economy. But even so, despite how popular it is, we also see founders such as Luan Cox (FinMkt) and Jontae James (NatureTrak) suggesting that not just anyone jump in; that people should have the awareness and knowledge beforehand to understand what field you’re really going into. It makes one wonder where cryptocurrency will be in the next year, or even the next month.

Highlight #02 – Technology & Digitization

With each day, we take an additional step into the digital age. Our lives are increasingly controlled by data. Anything and everything about us is collected by services. So how does that play into financial technology? Companies are becoming more aware of the demands that this COVID-normal age has wrought upon us; that updating one’s infrastructure and reinforcing principles with the help of technology is the way to go forward.

So, really, what does that mean? In order to unlock innovation that benefits the consumer, the infrastructure – the backbone – must transform to support that. It must be modernized. In a talk from Emmalyn Shaw, she brings attention to how around 45% of banks see outdated cores as a major obstacle to innovation. There’s one clear solution to this. Not a catch all, but a major step in the right direction; cloud-based technology. Amidst places that have already taken this tech on board, it’s made great changes already.

As Emmalyn says, when finishing her talk, “rip off the band aid and stop throwing good money into a black hole of old tech that will only limit firms from making material technology advances.”

Highlight #03 – Founders

There’s a definite difference between the generations of old and the new challengers. Among the talks in MoneyFest, approaching the topic of founders and startups was a prevalent one; we could see that as early as the first day, where two prominent founders talked about their beginning experiences as well as sharing advice to others. They are the previously mentioned Luan Cox of FinMkt and Jontae James of NatureTrak. Their talks, and how they got noticed, were really enlightening. My summary can’t do it justice.

But, in short, they talk about MoneyPitch. It’s a high stakes pitching event. And, from his experience, Jontae expresses that “refining your pitch really boils down to gaining a presence, being comfortable under so many people, and reaching out to what venture capitalists are looking for.” It isn’t something that you can relax on. You need to take institutions and events like these seriously, because that’s how you get off the ground.

Highlight #04 – 21 for ‘21

This came as a surprise to me! I didn’t expect a more personal, down-to-earth series of talks to take place at such an important event, but here we are. 21 for ‘21 appears to be a series of quick, rapid fire questions asked to existing talkers. Not only are questions geared towards their professions, how they function in the corporate world, things like talents and so forth, but just basic details and ‘fun facts’ are asked to lighten the mood.

There’s a contrast between responses as well. Marvin Liao, when questioned in 21 for ‘21, focuses on the broader picture and a global view. Meanwhile, Jessica Lam focuses on personal qualities and skills, the immediate sphere around her. Both, though, are valid in their viewpoints. They talk about how remote working has been beneficial in many ways and how it’s opened the doors for things they couldn’t do before. Hearing them answer questions ranging from personal to professional, especially the questions about ‘what makes a good leader’ and ‘what makes a bad leader’, is an interesting deep dive in their mindsets.

Highlight #05 / Conclusion – Remote Event & Presenters

The fact that this event was able to thrive, and grow, and educate tons of people even amidst the pandemic age is astounding. Presenters, both speakers and people directly associated with MoneyFest, were on the top of their game. We saw comprehensive recaps of the days just gone past, on demand services for re-watching talks, and video/voice quality was high across the board.

Naturally, this might not be new. But, it’s new to me. And I cater my writing to people new to this field, to documenting my experiences, so that other people (with any luck!) can follow in my footsteps. A fantastic, genuine effort from MoneyFest, MoneyPitch, and Money20/20 as a whole to bring the latest and greatest talks in fintech directly to people’s screens even amidst all of the awful things going on today.

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