Recapping FinTech’s Biggest Event: Money 20/20

Alec Berger

Money 20/20 has been shaping the future of fintech for a decade now, with thousands of leading companies, high-profile speakers and dynamic event experiences. The Woolpert Digital Innovations team was among those who attended Money 20/20 in Las Vegas. 

During the event, a great deal of emphasis was placed on digital payments, cybersecurity and fraud as well as a key industry concept known as KYC, “know your customer.” Due to the sliding economy and pressure to catch up with how slow development has been in recent years, much less attention has been paid to anything not deemed “business critical” (crypto integration, AI/ML, next-gen replatforming).

However, the experience still proved to be an inspiring opportunity to meet clients and learn from partners across the fintech space. Here are my key takeaways from the event.

Startup Surge

There has been a significant surge in startups. I spoke with many people who were laid off during the pandemic only to rebound by starting their own businesses. Innovation is the next big thing, so as unemployment climbs, people seeking a way to make ends meet are increasingly launching startups. 

While it seems counterintuitive, of the people I spoke to, many indicated an uptick in opportunities for funding. Startups are taking off, in part, because many are being supported by venture capital firms. Cloud providers and venture capital firms appear willing to bet that current economic pressures won’t last and today’s investments will pay off handsomely in years to come. Although the number of employees in large companies is declining, smaller startups are creating huge opportunities for innovation.

Rise of Google

More attendees were talking about Google than ever before. Usage of Google Maps, Google Cloud and Google Workspace is becoming the new standard. People are adopting analytics into their businesses now more than ever. Analytics is a traditional strong point for Google, as every solution is backed by data. There was a lot of talk among clients, attendees and partners about new investments in Google. The main drivers of Google’s growth are its cost efficiencies, diversification of technology strategy and an interest in its core advantages of data, analytics and location intelligence.

Cybersecurity and Fraud Prevention

Data is becoming more valuable as a commodity and currency. However, organizations have failed to take advantage of data ownership for various reasons, including speed to deployment, perceived efficiency and lack of in-house development talent. In response, we are now aggressively moving to retain data. Trends I saw in many cases included losing company data or giving (knowingly or unknowingly) it to software-as-a-service providers and vendors who ultimately sold the information back to the owners in various formats.

Also, it is very clear that identity management is still very important. Key areas of identity management include customer identity (through bot mitigation and fraud prevention) and internal organizational identity (instability of the job market, poorly designed security systems and lack of adherence to existing protocols). 

Additionally, a significant number of companies and speakers at the conference are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect fake IDs, photos and facial recognition. Facial recognition AI/ML uses biometric authentication to flag AI-generated faces and masks.

The New Normal

Globalization of IT teams and clients continues to become the new normal. Doing your work virtually seems to be easier, and fresh talent is everywhere. Companies are taking advantage of finding lower cost options overseas that also allow for better response to rising global customer demands.

Many companies and speakers at the event are also working to decrease friction and navigate global payment regulations. The reason for this is the call to homogenize payment regulations to speed up international payments and commerce.

Companies are cracking down on overall efficiency and working to optimize and/or reimagine existing processes.  For some companies, reconfigured teams also have provided great opportunities for a fresh start.


This year, Money 20/20 focused on many critical points, but the biggest takeaway the event made clear was the increasing relevance of Google Cloud. This technology is leading the fintech industry, creating solutions that combine an optimal user experience with consideration for fraud and identity theft risks. Whether with banking, insurance or other financial services sectors, Google Cloud solutions contribute to seamless user onboarding in an increasingly connected, omnichannel world. 

Overall, many trends powered the conversations at Money 20/20. Key components of brand building, go-to-market guidance and creating value added services within and outside of the payments industry created buzz. Our team enjoyed the exchanges and lessons taken from the event and we will be sure to return next year.

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