It’s the second to last day at Money 20/20 Europe but judging from the number of suitcases being checked in the cloakroom, it may as well be the last.
Clarity’s delegation has been busy coordinating media and profile opportunities for our client Auka on the ground. However, we have also been checking out the sessions when the chance arises and there are some very clear themes everyone is talking (and in many cases worried) about.
The second payment services directive comes into effect as of 12 January 2018. What this means essentially is that as soon as the date ticks over, banks have to ensure they’re in a compliant position to be able to hand over their API to any regulated business who requests it.
So, the big tech guys – Facebook for example, plus anyone else with a good idea and the know-how – can create an app or platform which connects with the banks’ platforms. Potentially this could lead them to become the preferred customer choice, leaving the banks as pure infrastructure. One journalist I spoke to during Money 20/20 said the smart banks are worried, and the others think it won’t affect them.
One big bank at Money 20/20 said they’re here this year not so much to promote themselves but to meet the FinTech start-ups who can help them to weather the storm.
Hang on – weren’t we all excited about the concept of a cashless society just a year or so ago? Phhft, old news. It’s all about one device – for now (let’s talk about biometric access to money later). Many of us already know this and are already making payments using our phone via P2P or in-store as a cardless payment device. We’re almost at the point where we can confidently go out on the town with just our charged phone.
Obviously the topic of security isn’t a new one and at a conference like this, delegates are always going to be interested in how they can best protect their customers’ data. As you can imagine, with banks like Santander announcing its new biometric pilot earlier this year, the focus has moved somewhat from complex encryption, PIN codes and tokens to your eyeballs, literally.
If you watched ‘The Night Manager‘ you’ll have seen how this can work with eyeball scan technology being employed to send large amounts of money. There’s no greater security measure than a person’s unique fingerprint or DNA right? Well, in terms of a unique identifier, maybe not, but if that’s the sole security check in place then it turns out that’s not super robust as unlike a PIN which doesn’t have to be stored anywhere on your device or the banks’ system – a fingerprint “key” does have to lurk somewhere in the background.
Global money transfers
Not a particularly new concept – sending money from one country to another – but until relatively recently this has been way too hard considering the cosmopolitan society in which we live. This year’s Money 20/20 has seen a number of FinTech companies seeking to make money transfers easier and cheaper.
Many of these companies are surely considering the potential impact that a mass-adoption of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could do to their industry. These guys want to bring to market the most trustworthy, cheapest and user-friendly service first, before we all throw our hands in the air and embrace the freedom cryptocurrencies might allow us in terms of convenience, global transfer and e-commerce.
It’s still a little “us and them” with Annich McIntosh from Card & Payments World quipping in her opening address on Monday, “you can easily tell who the new startups are versus the traditional banks – one lot are wearing jeans, the other are in suits.” It’s actually quite an accurate take – however, like I mentioned above, the (smart) big banks here will be looking to the folks in the jeans to try to establish mutually beneficial partnerships.
We’d like to shout out to Clarity client Auka, which launched its new business model at Money 20/20 this week. Auka’s has been an amazing story to tell – it is truly a pioneer when it comes to mobile payments and has a solution that banks can take to market in a really short space of time to be ready for PSD2. Check out this TechCrunch article and CEO Daniel Döderlein speaking on CNBC about Auka for more information.
Clarity will be at Money 20/20 until Thursday afternoon. If you’d like to have a chat, get in touch.
by Lydia Lobbread more