Money 20/20: Reflections and Takeaways

money 20/20

The Money20/20 conference was held in Las Vegas earlier this month. The payments industry trade show had over 7,000 people in attendance and over 400 exhibitors and sponsors. It is a must-attend event for anyone in the financial, banking and payments world and we were excited that Credorax was able to attend and contribute to this wonderful event.

There were many insightful seminars and discussions at the conference, both formal and informal, about the state of the payments industry today and what we can expect going forward. In trying to sum up my experience, here are several takeaway reflections from the conference:

Apple Pay

Although no one from Apple was present, the recent launch of Apple Pay was the hottest topic at the show. The conference hosted some experts in the field who agreed that Apple will change mobile payments to a larger extent than was previously expected. Payment industry insiders view Apple Pay as a true “disruptor” that could have long-term implications on NFC payment schemes. Overall, the financial industry wasn’t particularly comfortable with Apple Pay because of its revolutionary nature. Credit card companies and other stakeholders in the traditional payments industry are wary of the future ramifications of this new technology.

Bitcoin

Virtual currencies based on Bitcoin also dominated discussions at the Money20/20 conference this year. Many Bitcoin companies, offering services like wallets, payment acceptance, and cross-border payments, claim that the new virtual currency can reduce cross-border payment costs significantly compared to wire transfers and SWIFT.

However, the legacy financial industry still underestimates Bitcoin and believes it is not an interesting technology to occasionally monitor. This is because Bitcoin still isn’t accepted as a payment method in the overall marketplace on par with traditional currency. Also, unlike traditional currency, it is not backed by a major government or by a bank. More online retailers and a few stores are accepting Bitcoin payments, but consumers still have a difficult time finding places to spend the virtual currency.

US B2B Payments

Surprisingly, in the US alone, more than 60% of B2B payments are still paid by check, and almost 90% of companies still manually enter and re-key remittance data. In fact about 50% of companies surveyed by the Association of Financial Professionals say they are likely to convert the majority of B2B payments from checks to electronic payments within the next three years*. And with commercial transactions now exceeding $300 trillion globally, it’s also the biggest opportunity.  Panelists at the conference discussed the stubborn appeal of checks, the relative appeal of ACH and cards, and the need to offer value to both B2B buyers and suppliers in the US.

The Credorax team had a wonderful time at Money20/20. We really enjoyed meeting our payments colleagues to talk about the important issues and trends happening now in our industry. Click here to see some pictures of our booth and the great people we met. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!

* “Checks Ceding Ground to Electronic Payments” CFO.com November 13, 2013

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