5 min read

2023 Wrap-Up: 5 Things We Learned From Money20/20

Holly Shuffett
Holly Shuffett
Updated on
November 2, 2023
Ad Tech

This wrap-up discusses trends based on on-site experiences from Money20/20 USA. Money20/20 Europe and Money20/20 Asia are scheduled for Spring 2024.

Kevel at Money20/20 fintech conference
Source: Holly Shuffett with Kevel, 2023

Since its creation in 2012, Money20/20 has evolved into one of the largest financial services conferences in the world. This 4-day event opens its Las Vegas doors to 11,500+ attendees and 3,000+ companies each year -- and that’s just in the U.S.

This year, Kevel took to the Money20/20 floor to chat with some of these attendees and get the pulse on all things fintech: what attendees are excited for, trendspotting, and more. Let’s dive in.

Takeaway #1: Repeat visitors are the norm

What began as a 2,000-person conference in 2012 has rapidly grown into the worldwide phenomenon that is Money20/20 -- so it’s no surprise that many attendees are well-acquainted with the community. Of the 20 attendees we spoke to, just 3 were Money20/20 first-timers.

“It’s very similar to previous years,” said Adrian Carlsson, Chief of Staff at Credit Key. “There are a lot of the same players, a lot of the same booths.”

One attendee, Mark Ranta, shared this photo on LinkedIn showcasing his impressive collection of Money20/20 badges:

A collection of badges from Money20/20 conferences
Source: Marka Ranta on LinkedIn

“It’s my sixth [Money20/20] in a row,” another attendee, Virgil Bellini, the VP of Ops & Business Development at Tacen, remarked. “Except for COVID, although we’re not doing a talk like we’ve done in the past. It feels a little bit more hectic but it’s also nice not to be tied to anything.” 

Takeaway #2: Leads and connections remain a top priority 

Money20/20 was founded on four key pillars: collisions, conversations, serendipity, and magic. All of which combine to help facilitate the “right conversations, the right connections and the right discoveries which enable individuals and organizations of all sizes to achieve their goals and grow.” 

After speaking with over a dozen attendees, it’s clear that Money20/20 has more than achieved their goal of driving connections and forming relationships -- and this success is likely how the event has garnered so many repeat visitors.

Pairs of people networking at Money20/20
Source: Money20/20 official gallery

One unnamed source from Citibank shared that while yes, you attend Money20/20 partially out of necessity -- “You’re here because your competitors are here, your clients are here,” -- the ability to foster deals, gain learning opportunities, and catch up with familiar faces also plays a big role in what Money20/20 is all about. 

“You always run into people,” our source shared. “Once you’re in this business for a while you recognize people. You catch up, you have dinner, it’s awesome.” 

In fact, most attendees bank on generating leads or investor interest through events like Money20/20. Five interviewees had expressed interest in pitching or connecting with vendors and investors during the event. 

“I’m hoping to get ten people to have meaningful conversations with,” Don Rubin, the Regional VP of Sales at Savana, Inc. shared. “We’re trying to pick up some new demonstrations -- some you’ll be a fit for, some you won’t be. But to get an opportunity to go a little deeper is what I’m looking for.” 

Takeaway #3: Crypto and fraud detection are top of mind

When asked about emerging and dominant trends in the fintech landscape for 2023, crypto and fraud detection swept the conversation. Out of Money20/20’s 269 discussions, sessions, and keynote speeches, a combined 26 revolved around crypto, fraud, and KYC topics.

For some attendees, like Vijay Walter, the Chief Content Officer working with the Dubai International Financial Center, discussions around crypto are to be expected. 

“From where I come from, as a city and as a government entity, we do a lot of things around crypto because we are one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world,” Walter explained. “A lot of emphasis is given on crypto and Vetri.”

An audience watching keynote speaker at Money20/20 conference
Source: Money20/20 official gallery

But even for those of us not working with the largest financial hub in the middle east, crypto has continued to dominate Money20/20 conversations. 

Virgil Bellini of Tacen noted that “people are still interested in crypto” and that the “theme hasn’t gone away.” Our unnamed source from Citibank remarked that while post-COVID 2021 had a heavy crypto focus, this year they’re noticing “a lot of fraud KYC conversations.” 

For Will Agathis, a student at Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2023 marked his first Money20/20 to date -- and themes around crypto and fraud prevention failed to surprise him. 

“There’s a bit of a crypto, blockchain angle to all of this that’s looming overhead,” Agathis shared. “Fraud prevention, too, is something that’s being talked about a lot -- which makes sense because a lot of these consumer fintechs have been dealing with fraud for years now. Hearing about how that’s getting worked on is interesting.” 

Takeaway #4: So is AI

Unsurprisingly, themes of generative AI also managed to command attention at this year’s Money20/20. Out of Money20/20’s 269 discussions, sessions, and keynote speeches, 25 revolved around crypto, fraud, and KYC topics

“My first priority was to learn more about the innovation that’s going on in fintech, especially with the AI craze that’s been happening this past year,” Agathis told us. “There have been so many different use cases that have come out and seeing how some of these incumbents are using it has been really powerful.” 

In this LinkedIn post shared by Money20/20, Tom Brown, Partner and General Counsel at Nyca Partners also dubbed generative AI the “major trend shaping the industry.”  

Takeaway #5: Things change fast

For an industry that brings together lending, banking, investment, technology, crypto, and more, change is the name of the game. 

“This industry is evolving very fast, so I’m always curious to understand what’s new,” Demystify Biometrics Founder Ashok Singal shared. “Who are the new companies? How are they using technology? It’s important to know, all so I can understand the evolving landscape.” 

Key takeaways

Here’s what we learned at Money20/20 2023:

  • Many attendees have been to Money20/20 before, or know people who have. This means fostering a community and network of familiar faces is more accessible than ever. 
  • Connecting with the right people is why we’re here. Events like Money20/20 are as much about the planning and pre-show prep as they are the actual event. Figure out who you want to talk to and make time in advance. Keep in mind: things get hectic, so any plans are very susceptible to change. 
  • Crypto, fraud detection, and AI. These topics dominated sessions, keynotes, and casual conversations at this year’s event. Read up on the latest news -- consider subscribing to Kevel’s newsletter to help! 
  • Always be learning. With such a rapidly changing industry, learning how to change with it is key. 

Want more? Check out our Klarna case study to see how this forward-thinking fintech is launching user-first ad products to boost revenue, or learn more about crafting your own tailored ad experience. 

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