By Peggy Bekavac Olson
The Money2020 conference held in Las Vegas in October 2013 hosted a new ecosystem at the convergence of payments, financial services, retail, mobile, marketing, data, technology and more. The event highlighted profound changes underway that will greatly affect how consumers and businesses manage, spend and borrow money.
The five-day conference, only in its second year, drew 4,200 attendees, including 300 chief executive officers from more than 1,500 companies and 60 countries. The Aria Resort & Casino offered top-notch meeting and convention facilities, along with superb hotel, dining and entertainment amenities, that fostered a stimulating learning and networking environment.
Keynotes were delivered by familiar and predictable titans, as well as new-guard technology companies. Conference sessions covered a wide range of topics categorized into various informational tracks, including aligning ecosystems; research and market-centric views; the entrepreneurial edge; empowered consumers; banking and money management; retail 3.0 – the mobile-enabled commerce experience; checkout and payment innovations; sharing, giving and gifting; and borrowing.
The Launchpad360° sessions resembled reality television's Shark Tank, giving startups six minutes in front of venture capitalists to "pitch their wares" in an attempt to seek funding and a few moments of notoriety. Matt Harris, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures and moderator of the Launchpad360° sessions, tweeted during the event, "Money2020 is the Hunger Games of payments."
A mix of newbie startups and industry stalwarts exhibited in the tradeshow area. More than 100 traditional exhibit booths and 70-plus vendor kiosks vied for attendee attention. Predictably, smartphone and tablet mobile solutions were in abundance.
Here are some insights I extracted from the conference:
Money2020 provided a glimpse of the future with many players and technologies posturing to dominate marketplace acceptance. Those who embrace change and innovation will position themselves well, and those who don't may face extinction.
Peggy Bekavac Olson is founder and principal of Strategic Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in financial services and electronic payments. She serves on the Board of the Women's Network in Electronic Payments and on the Program Planning and Communications Committees for the Electronic Transactions Association. She can be reached at 480-706-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about Strategic Marketing can be found at www.smktg.com.
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