What we heard at Money20/20 — the “Super Bowl” of payments

By: Eric Christensen

With more than 7,000 attendees, Money2020 was a meeting place for the “who’s who” in the payments industry. This event drew more than 500 sponsors all offering unique solutions and partnerships that are designed to serve our merchant clients more efficiently and effectively.

Our team engaged with hundreds of payments experts at the event, attended sessions, and drew a crowd at our booth to talk about why SPEED WINS in international payments. Thanks in part to the ski simulator experience at our booth, there wasn’t a place at the conference that I could go without people recognizing the Digital River name on my badge. Here is a video recap of our time at Money2020. As a result of all this activity, I took part in interesting debates and conversations that I’d like to share with you.

One of those interesting debates was about the definitions of card-present and card-not-present transactions. With the emergence of new payment technologies and methods, the lines between card-present and card-not-present transactions are blurring. Where this debate nets out will impact U.S. interchange rates.

I asked my colleagues what they heard at Money20/20 and here are some of their main takeaways:

  • Rick Barbari, group vice president of payments partnerships, Digital River World Payments: “I heard a lot of talk about the opportunities and complexities of tokenization – an important ecommerce topic for cross-border credit card transactions, as well as Apple Pay’s influence on NFC-based mobile payments and MCX’s vision for QR-code based mobile payments. Overall, there was a spirit of partnership and collaboration among attending companies to make the existing payment ecosystem more effective.”
  • Brent Owens, developer liaison for Beanstream: “Walking around the conference floor and talking to developers it was clear that innovation wasn’t waiting for anyone who needed to catch up. From the apps created in the hackathon to the startups trying to stand out from the crowd it made me realize that 2015 is going to be an incredibly exciting year and the way we make payments is going to change. I saw numerous mobile payment apps, everything from loyalty apps to biometric scanning, and of course, security. Bitcoin was everywhere and quite popular in the development community. Some of the most exciting ventures were the teams that saw what others were making and are providing solutions that can bring together this somewhat fragmented payments app market. The competition is going to be fierce and only the most tech savvy companies with smartest solutions are going to come out on top.”
  • Craig Thompson, vice president of strategy and channel development, Digital River World Payments: “Apple Pay was a hot topic, but there were a lot of companies working on the peripheral of what Apple Pay offers. I saw a number of companies working in the area of mobile authentication, offers and loyalty. My estimate is that at least 70 percent of the companies present focused on some component of mobile enablement, payment or services.”

After meetings, sessions and sideline conversations, I left the event feeling exhausted and energized at the same time. 2015 is going to be a great year to be a payments professional!

Did you attend Money20/20? If so, what did you learn? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments field below.



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