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From payment rings and blockchain to open banking and AI – Invest Newcastle at Money 20/20

June 14, 2023

A photograph of the large Money 20/20 sign, with chatting delegates surrounding it.
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Our Digital and Tech Sector Lead, Dawn Dunn, attended Money 20/20 in Amsterdam last week (June 4-6, 2023). In this blog, she shares her experience of connecting with industry professionals from around the globe and exploring the latest trends in financial technology.

At last, I got to Money 20/20 in Amsterdam. This is THE international event for the fintech sector, three action-packed days to explore opportunities for partnerships, networking, knowledge exchange and open innovation.

And it didn’t disappoint. Less than an hour’s flight from Newcastle, I was genuinely excited to engage with such a diverse crowd that typifies the global nature of the fintech industry. The scale and exceptional quality of Money 20/20 lived up to expectations, with nearly 10,000 attendees filling the three expo halls, and creating a bustling environment for innovation and ideas.

In addition to making many new contacts, it was good to see a number of familiar faces who explained to me that they return year after year, some working for different organisations but driven by the same passion for fintech.

As part of the Fintech North delegation, I had the pleasure of being joining the UK pavilion alongside representatives from Fintech Scotland, Fintech Wales, and Fintech Northern Ireland. Jack Jones from the Department for Business and Trade, along with Jabir Ahmed and Sian Jones, served as exceptional hosts. They helped showcase what the regions have to offer and instigated new conversations with overseas partners, before, during and after the exhibition halls closed, where there was ample opportunity to rub shoulders with the great and good.

North East companies who are trading internationally were well represented, including Kani (who are now in the USA), and Dialect Communications.

Working closely with my colleague at Invest North East England, Rachel Burdis, we were both struck at the number of countries who wanted to learn more about the North East as location for their UK fintech hub. The Australian delegation, in particular, showed a keen interest, which is exciting given their central role in Asia-Pacific financial markets.

Among the standard giveaways and great food, there were some serious applications of cutting-edge technology, great speakers and riveting insights. Open banking, crypto, and embedded finance continue to be key themes among the exhibitors, underscoring their significance in shaping the future of the fintech industry.

The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in fintech was always going to spark great interest, with long queues for AI-focused talks spanning all three days. The conversations and insights shared during these sessions emphasised the transformative potential of AI within the financial industry but also the significant risks if adoption is not carefully managed.

Wearables also featured prominently, with innovations ranging from payment rings to microchips embedded in nail varnish – all in the relentless pursuit of convenience and user-friendly experiences so central to the fintech space.

Networking played a crucial role throughout the conference and “Money in the Park” (a Glastonbury-style food festival), and “Money in the Street” also offered something a little bit different.

To summarise, Money 20/20 in Amsterdam is a fantastic event that underlines the importance of promoting the North East of England on an international stage. Some businesses know what we have to offer, but many don’t – and in order to attract investment and foster innovation in our region, we must continue to have those bigger conversations.

Money 20/20 provided a platform to exchange ideas, explore new technologies, and forge lasting connections, and we must continue to build on the work that’s being done by pioneering fintech businesses here in the North East and across the globe.

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