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One week on - reflections of Money2020

Wow, what a week and what an event Money 20/20 is turning into. Bigger than last year and so many new companies exhibiting  

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Reflecting back on a hectic couple of days, there were several recurring themes:


Open banking has arrived
It was without doubt the backbone of discussion throughout this year’s Money 20/20 – with the event feeling a bit like the launch party for open banking. It begs the question what next? Its going to be fascinating to see how this plays out – will it take the route of contactless where adoption took off slowly before gaining mass acceptance and who are going to emerge as the winners?

Consumer payment choice
Whilst cash use has shrunk, the range of ways people like to pay for goods and services has literally exploded. The event was a firm reminder that payments companies that limit consumer payment choice will undoubtedly limit their own potential.

Data monetization
There was lots of discussion about this. The question here is has the horse already bolted in terms of data being a value add or a hygiene requirement? One area that the challenger banks have excelled at is providing their customers with access to clear, straightforward and highly visual data about their finances for free. The debate has moved on and now surely its about how best to serve actionable data; this being game changing intelligence driving commercial success. Then the provider has the right to generate a revenue stream from this.

Partnerships
Payments firms that succeed will be those which work collaboratively to deliver winning solutions to merchants and their customers. Given the diversity of businesses now needing a payment service, payment methods need to be broad, comprehensive and work across international jurisdictions. Firms should seek out businesses which are able to help them fill expertise gaps, such as in foreign regulation and compliance, in order to enhance their offering.

Added value services
Competition means payments services providers face increasing commercial pressures. There was much talk at Money 20/20 about the need to strengthen value added services. For example, don’t just provide data - offer it in real time; make payment settlement faster - on the hour rather than by the day. Pressure on everyday margins will no doubt continue – payments companies need to innovate across the value chain to effect growth ambitions and meet customers’ expectations.

Consumer empowerment and choice the overriding theme of the event
With open banking, data science and diversifying payment methods to mention but a few of the key areas of debate, there was a strong theme centering around consumer choice and empowerment. Never has the phrase the customer is king been more relevant. This is a sure sign that competition is healthy within the payments sector. It’s exciting, encouraging and I can’t wait to see what innovations lie in store at next year’s event.

About CashFlows
CashFlows’ payment solutions enable businesses to accept multi-channel payments from all major card schemes and issue innovative prepaid products to their customer base. At the heart of our operation is our cloud-based platform, providing a flexible and scalable foundation for our services. We tailor our offerings to specific sectors and have a partner-led go-to-market approach. At CashFlows, decision-making is quick, development is collaborative and staff are experts in their fields. CashFlows is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority as an electronic money institution, and is a principal member of Visa, Mastercard and other international card schemes.

Jonathan Bennett

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