Money 20/20 don’t do things by twentieths. They don’t even do things by halves. Last week, three of the Airwallex team (four, if you count the avatar of Lucy) headed down to Copenhagen for the world’s biggest money-related event. Every name in the fintech industry was in attendance at the showcase, which included roundtables, talks, panels, and things only Money 20/20 can do.
Airwallex CEO Jack Zhang talked on a purple-clad panel with fellow members of the Mastercard Startpath program. Airwallex are the only Australian company to have been selected for the prestigious project, which helps boost promising fintechs in their innovative endeavours.
Our head of European Expansion Michael Stachowiak and head of Global Sales and Partnerships, Joe McGuire, were back to back in meetings with payments companies from across the globe.
Joe McGuire also took part in a buzzer round hosted by Pioneers.io, an Austrian business who host a major tech event. They ran a family feud-style buzzer game, and the competition was a fierce battle between fintechs and banks. Two teams were chosen: one comprising of Corporates including HSBC and Mastercard, the other from fintechs Railsbank, Starling Bank, Meniga and Airwallex.
Joe ultimately won the game with his comment about blockchain, saying that it was "kinda like teenage sex... Everyone's talking about it, no one is really doing it and the ones that are doing it, are doing a terrible job." His cheeky quip won him two tickets to the Pioneers.io event which is set to take place in May in 2018.
Aside from the Airwallex successes, some really interesting topics were covered which highlighted the huge developments of the past year in fintech and banking. Open banking was discussed by a number of players, including CEO of BBVA Carlos Torres Viva and Barclays. The need for change in regulations was also a hot subject, with one European panel announcing that national differences in regulation have become a barrier for growth.
A number of panels discussed how improving the customer experience as a driving force for innovation – with the head of Merrill Lynch Merchant services Mike Reed stating that those who will go the furthest will be the ones who take customer needs into account.
If we were to grade the event, we'd give it 20/20.
Jack on the Mastercard Startpath panel
Jack and avatar Lucy
Joe with the golden ticket