By: Marco Floreani
Manager – Business Development, Greater Omaha Chamber
In its 4th year, Money 20/20 has expanded to include more than 13,000 attendees, several hundred sponsors and a demo/vendor hall the size of a few football fields. Held in Las Vegas’s Venetian Conference and Sans Exhibit Center, Money 20/20 is the largest Fintech event, gathering a diverse industry mix of traditional banks, lenders, startups, investors and techies to expose rapid disruption in one of the world’s most vulnerable, yet lucrative industries: finance.
I’ll get into the details of the disruptive technologies like blockchain in future posts – but to quickly illustrate the scope of disruption, look at Fintech unicorn Stripe. Stripe is valued at near $30 billion. To put that achievement into perspective, J.P. Morgan (the country’s most powerful bank, worth $230 billion) employs more than 200,000 people, while Stripe only 400.
Fintech is making gains on traditional systems in a variety of ways, primarily by leveraging processing speed and lower overheads, and integrating algorithms with data to paint meaningful financial patterns. The fintech efficiencies leave more time for a company like Stripe to focus on sales and product innovation (all of which they do with much more transparency).
It should be noted that the old guard is no longer ignoring the disruptions. All the major banks and credit firms had a significant presence at the convention. Visa kicked off Sunday’s keynote series by announcing their B2B Payment Solutions utilizing blockchain infrastructure developed by the Silicon Valley startup Chain Inc. The first night also featured ex-Apple CEO, John Sculley, addressing a large crowd. He issued a warning to the big financial firms – ignore the impeding Fintech rise at your own peril. Robert Hacket of Fortune Magazine profiles Sculley’s caution here. There is no lack of warning .
Postscript: I look forward to documenting emerging changes in financial services, and hope you enjoy following along. In addition to remarking on the rise of fintech globally, I’ll be writing with Greater Omaha in mind, thinking how our region can strengthen its footing as a Midwestern hub for financial services activities and which services in our region will be the most affected by the rise of Fintech.