I was at Money 2020 in Vegas. It was great to be back at this high energy show, antithetical in some sense to the Vegas cliché - what happens in Money 2020 is talked about all over the fintech world.
There were several broad themes at the show. Here are my top takeaways.
Modernization of Infrastructure - Digital platforms like Smart Card, BaaS/Embedded Finance, neoCore platforms, and Enterprise DeFI - succinctly captured in our editorial info graph at the end.
Fintech explosion in the South - LATAM and beyond (don’t miss our upcoming podcast on this)
We are just not ready for Web3 or at least no clear owner of Web3’s marketing push (probably will happen over time like Bitcoin).
I recorded a couple of podcast and one of them is featured in this episode on Embedded Finance and neoCore. I sat down with Luvleen Sidhu (CEO at BMTX formerly BankMobile), Jamie Donahue (CTO of BMTX), and Ahon Sarkar (General Manager at Helix by Q2) to talk about all things BaaS, Embedded Finance and the recently announced partnership between BMTX and Helix.
These pages have written and prognosticated about this space as early as 2014 - more recently last year I wrote about the virtualization of Banking and how it is easier to embed a Bank in any workflow with a fintech than to open a Bank account with a traditional bank [Do you want to Embed a Bank in your Business - the future of Baas and platformization of Banking]. My guests are pioneers and leaders in this space and they are changing the distribution of financial services. Let me explain with some historical context.
In the 1980s the growth catalyst and differentiator for financial institutions was having more branches and banking locations at retailers and educational institutions and the likes followed by mergers and acquisition in the 90s to expand that footprint. The Fintech generation and Digital Banking (the last 20 years) was all about removing friction and enhancing the customer journey and efficiency.
Now, the key differentiation in financial services is the combination of digital and distribution: digital distribution through embedded finance into the workflows at retail stores, doctors offices, colleges and SMEs at large. Banking products will be available through ERP, CRM, Digital and fulfillment systems.
A digital Banking product is or will get embedded in every vertical workflow. It’s truly outside in banking not only in experience but in economics. The vertical business could also becomes a mini-bank for its customers potentially deploying its balance sheet. These business microcosms are connected, and symbiotic. Put the ecosystem in blockchain and there is more efficiency and possibilities to manage risk and programmatic controls.
The combination of enterprise Defi and embedded banking will be the next wave. Watch this space for more on that!
Enjoy and always Be in the Know!
On a separate and not so upbeat note: Very disheartening to hear about layoffs in tech esp. in the bay area including in bellwether fintechs like Stripe. I found this compilation useful if you are looking to hire. Under the List of Employees tab, there are lists of the impacted individuals.
If any FINTECHTALKERS that are reading are impacted, please let me know and I am happy to make some connections
(Violin piece in podcast courtesy of my daughter Ilina)
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