This week, we supported our client YouLend, a frontrunner in embedded finance, to elevate its voice above the cacophony of the other fintech elite at this year’s Money20/20 Europe. We facilitated lively discussions on the transformative potential of embedded finance and explored the changing face of finance as retailers and marketplaces increasingly strive to own the entire customer journey.

Aside from the fascinating potential of embedded finance and wider discussions of the evolution from open banking to “open everything”, what other major trends and discussions caught our attention at Europe’s biggest fintech event? 

Here are some of the key insights from Money20/20 Europe 2024:

Fintech’s path to profitability

Following a challenging 24 months of funding scarcity in the sector, thanks to interest rate hikes, it seems the era of gargantuan VC investments, mega growth and soaring valuations may be over for the European fintech sector. Attendees acknowledged that fundraising is considerably harder in Europe than elsewhere across the globe. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Winning European fintech players are taking a stable approach to growth, remaining laser-focused on profitability and setting themselves up for a more secure long-term future.

AI – obviously

It’s not enough to say that AI was a discussion point. Just like the technology itself, AI ran horizontally across every discourse. Central to the event was Money20/20’s overarching theme – Human X Machine, which urged attendees to consider how we create a world where AI and humans can bring out the best in each other. Industry leaders explored everything from the ethics of the technology in relation to jobs, data biases and regulation, through to pioneering use cases, with one “co-host” AI chatbot even interviewed on stage. Opening up access to financial data was shown as crucial to creating the optimal Human X Machine relationship – and tech experts waxed lyrical about the importance of the financial services industry leveraging their own rich data. As the saying goes – garbage in, garbage out.

The Universe of One

Hyper personalisation, or as Money20/20 termed it, The Universe of One, was another key topic of conversation. Speakers pointed out that AI in financial services is not especially new – automation has been leveraged in the industry to drive efficiencies through standardisation for years. But where the industry turns away from standardisation and implements AI to drive hyper-personalised experiences – including the role of hyper-local, customised payments – is where it will start to get really interesting in the next few years.

Tokenization

Pioneers in tokenization of course backed the technology. Visa announced the issue of its 10 billionth token live on stage, claiming the technology is “enabling a future where we have more control over our data in the age of AI.”

While AI filled the room with buzz, excitement and a dose of trepidation, other trends were met with less enthusiasm. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) were among these. Although some were optimistic about the various stages of research, pilot and testing across Europe and the globe, there was a sense among many that CBDCs are an over-engineered solution looking for a problem. Either way, voices were generally united that it will be some time before we see any real traction with the technology. 

That said, not so long ago the industry was saying the same thing about AI – so watch this space. 

Need help elevating your brand’s voice and cutting through the fintech noise?

Get in touch at onesmallstep@madebygiants.io