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Review from MONEY20/20 - Day 2

26 October 2016

Review from MONEY20/20 - Day 2

Liam Spence,
Head of Product,
Pay By Bank App

Hello again from Las Vegas

The first sessions of the day focused on Millennials and the next generational cohort named the iGeneration. We learnt that communicating using images is fast and fun, emojis are the fastest growing language in history J, that engagement is increased when companies use emojis in email headers and that the pizza emoji is the most used on Venmo.

Other panel sessions this morning have focussed on open banking API’s – initially from a wider banking sector perspective before a more focussed payments session, although the views and remarks were aligned across both sessions. The main takeaway was the at open banking API’s have helped to drive innovation and foster relationships between the fintech start-ups and the incumbents.

The first panel, which included speakers from ACI, BBVA, Dwolla and BankMobile, focused on how open banking APIs have been a key driver in the rise of fintech start-ups, with the spokesperson from Dwolla commenting that what would have previously taken them two years to achieve would now have only taken them six months.  They all agreed that the number of financial institutions in the US (a theme picked up in yesterday’s sessions on real-time) has prohibited the growth of open banking APIs at an even faster rate. Furthermore, there was a general consensus amongst the panel that if there was a regulatory push, with PSD2 being mentioned as an example, this would be of benefit to the ecosystem. Lastly, they all interestingly believed there could be a great opportunity for those that could successfully aggregate APIs if all banks were to be open. Definitely a hot topic to watch…

The second payment-focussed session had representatives from PayPal, Square US Bank and Visa. Both Visa and US Bank, the more incumbent representatives in the payments API session, both commented that initially there was much cultural resistance in their respective organisations to pivot to an API strategy. However, both recognised that to stay relevant in the market place they had to adapt. They both said the key was to allowing access to the networks of such incumbents so they can participate in innovation and growth in the industry. PayPal and Square both highlighted how open APIs will benefit the buying experience of end customers. PayPal discussed their partnership with Facebook (which was reported on yesterday) and Square, highlighting the APIs launched earlier this year to allow online and offline merchants to accept payments.

In other announcements, Mastercard have launched Chatbots for both Merchants and Banks providing new ways to deliver engaging and personalised experiences via messaging platforms. Gartner has predicted that $2 billions dollars of online sales via mobile AI based assistants will take place by the end of this year so this is an incredibly exciting and forward looking announcement.

BoA have developed a virtual assistant called Erica to provide financial advice to help their customers manage their finances. Users can interact over voice and text chat, analysing spend and creating budget tips. It launches late 2017 so a while to wait before we get to see it.

The themes of AI, augmented reality and virtual assistants to empower consumers to better understand and manage their finances using technology that is becoming freely available could become reality in the not too distant future.

Please return for our next update on day three of Money2020. 

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