Money 20/20 has been one of the fintech scene’s yearly highlights for close to a decade. But the 2021 edition — which saw 4,000 attendees from 1,500 companies congregate in Amsterdam between 21 and 23 September — felt extra special.
After a year of lockdown hair, questionable loungewear, and interminable Zoom meetings, it felt great to dress up, meet old and new friends face-to-face, and hear about the latest industry developments and trends.
But our personal high point — not that we’re biased, of course! — was launching our brand-spanking new foreign currency hedging platform, X-Hedge, in front of a packed audience.
Embracing digital transformation
You won’t be surprised to hear that Covid-19 featured prominently in many of the event’s speeches, presentations, and panel discussions.
As in other industries, the pandemic has had a profound impact, forcing legacy financial institutions to go all-in on digitalisation and speeding up the adoption of technologies like cashless payments.
As a result, one of Money 20/20’s central themes was the future of payments, particularly the role of biometrics, digital ID, and other technologies that help make them smooth and effortless.
Photo source: Finews
This isn’t a new topic. McKinsey was already talking about its immense potential in 2019: ‘Good digital ID provides verification and authentication to a high degree of assurance, uniqueness, individual consent, protection of user privacy, and control over personal data.’
The EU’s successful digital covid certificate rollout has shown that creating an internationally interoperable digital ID isn’t just pie in the sky. That said, there’s still a long way to go, especially when it comes to balancing speed and convenience with privacy and ethical risks.
Crypto goes mainstream
Given the large number of crypto exhibitors, it was inevitable that the technology would come up often throughout the event. But what was really notable is how mainstream it has become.
Crypto panels were far from fringe events. They included representatives of central banks and big institutional players like JP Morgan, Societe Generale and American Express.
A crypto panel we attended with SG Forge, Saxo Bank, Metaco, Crypto Finance and others. Source: Money 20/20
More significantly, the discussion wasn’t limited to Bitcoin and its merits or demerits. The focus was on central bank digital currencies, smart contracts, and other promising innovations like programmable money and how regulation can nurture instead of stifle them.
The Netherlands Bank’s Inge van Dijk, for instance, affirmed her belief that central bank digital currencies could help solve many of the unintended consequences of a cashless society, such as vulnerable groups becoming excluded from the economy and power becoming concentrated in private actors’ hands.
Growing interest and engagement with these mainstream players will no doubt increase crypto’s legitimacy in the coming years.
It’s all about the BaaS
The hottest trend in fintech right now is undoubtedly the intersection of BaaS, open banking, and embedded finance. So, needless to say, these three topics — and particularly how they’re going to re-shape financial products moving forward — dominated the event.
It’s increasingly clear that the moats that have surrounded banks for decades are drying up, and banks will no longer be gatekeepers of finance. Instead, customers will discover and engage with financial products while they’re going about their day.
A buy-now-pay-later loan when they’re making a big purchase on Amazon, for instance.
Or life cover offered by their health insurance provider when they’re making a claim.
Unveiling X-Hedge: the simple, straightforward currency hedging platform that feels like you’ve built it yourself
At Assure Hedge, we’ve been monitoring these trends — particularly embedded finance — for a long time, because we feel they fit perfectly with our mission to make currency hedging simple and accessible to everyone. And our new platform X-Hedge is the culmination of that vision.
Whether you’re a currency broker, an accountant, or even a non-financial business whose clients might have foreign currency exposure — a relocation agent, for instance — X-Hedge will allow you to offer your customers a simple, cost-effective way to protect themselves from fluctuations.
With X-Hedge, your customers will have instant access to a wide range of currency trading options, including forwards, options, and spots, in over 30 currencies.
More to the point, they’ll be able to hedge their currency exposure at the moment when it makes most sense through a secure, intuitive, cloud-based platform with your branding.
It’s good to be back
This year’s Money 20/20 has been a whirlwind. We’ve learned a lot, made some great new friends… and probably scoffed too many pastries. And, of course, we couldn’t be happier with how X-Hedge has been received so far.
We’ll see you all next year for an even bigger and better event.
In the meantime, want to improve your offering, give your customers more value, and add a healthy new revenue stream to your business?