Finetics™ Studio at Money20/20: Pat Patel

Finetics Studio | Payments | 3/16/2016 10:21 AM

Content Director at Money 20/20 Europe Pat Patel explores trends in European Fintech and financial regulations with PaymentEye's Sarah Gill, live from our Finetics™ Studio on the exhibition floor at Money 20/20.


Sarah Gill, Reporter: I'm joined by Pat Patel, who is the Director of Content for Money20/20 Europe. What can we expect for next year? I mean, there's going to be some similarities and crossover with the US version, presumably, but what's going to make it distinct to Europe?

Pat Patel: So essentially, if you think of the Foundation, the DNA is, it's the Money20/20 brand. It's the fun factor, it's the thought leadership, it's the collaboration. So we're taking that model that was made at the Vegas show super-successful and growing from pretty much, you know, 30% to 40% year on year and taking that and augmenting that with the European community, and really thinking long and hard about what makes Europe different.

So the opportunities and challenges within Europe are completely different than what's going on in the US marketplace. So that's what we'll be looking to cover. And essentially, Europe is a collection of countries, and there are opportunities and challenges within each of the markets.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Okay. I mean, what are the kind of interesting trends you're seeing coming out of Europe at the moment? I think no one can deny that the thin tech industry has been gathering momentum over the last few years. What are the kind of most exciting things you're seeing coming out of there?

Pat Patel: So for me, it's around the startups. And there is a lot of thin tech startups and hubs and associations that are growing across Europe. Obviously, the natural limelight is on London, but you have an amazing tech community in Berlin. You also have hubs in Paris emerging and in Frankfurt and in Warsaw, and also in Copenhagen as well, and Stockholm. And that would be one thing that I would say. The elements of thin tech startups that you're starting to see are really fundamentally changing the traditional way of payments and financial services. So that's one element.

I think other areas you would say is some of the opportunities are going to emerge from regulation in Europe. So we have regulation at the regional level that's been driven by the Commission, but we also have domestic kind of regulation coming down the line as well. And some of these things are around open access to accounts, but also kind of platforms and APIs and trying to create a harmonization across the whole of Europe.

And when authorities and regulators try to do these things, what you get is a number of opportunities emerging. And one of the things that we'll be looking to do in our Europe event is shine a spotlight on those opportunities and how companies can start to capitalize on those opportunities.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: So I'm kind of interested in the kind of hackathon element of it. Is that going to be--we had that here. Are we going to have that next year as well?

Pat Patel: Yes. So we, at the beginning of the year, we decided that it wouldn't be wise for us to look into a hackathon in Copenhagen. But as the year has progressed and we've hit our targets--you know, we have now just over 200 speakers confirmed--and we have great sponsors. And essentially, we're turning our thoughts to how do we keep this a grassroots event? And as you would have seen from the hackathon in Vegas here, it was inspiring--absolutely inspiring--to see a number of individuals, programmers, entrepreneurs, coming together to really fundamentally rethink the way financial services, or even kind of commerce and payments, are delivered to consumers.

And so for that element of it, we want to ensure that Money20/20 Europe has a similar grassroots feel to it. And so we're looking into how can we make this happen? So over the next month or two, we'll be coming out with a decision on this. And so all I can say is watch this space.

Sarah Gill, Reporter: And then I'm also interested in the, you know, the decision to have it in Copenhagen. You know, as you mentioned, London is increasingly seeing itself, at least, as the thin tech capital of Europe. Many people might have expected you to base it there. Why Copenhagen?

Pat Patel: So we have a lot of angry cities on our hands now. So the guys from Amsterdam in particular, and in Berlin and Frankfurt as well as London, were very disappointed that we had chosen Copenhagen. And essentially, we spent two months traveling around the whole of Europe to try and find the right atmosphere, the right venue, and somewhere where we felt where we could stay a lot, but also create a captive networking experience.

And essentially, when we landed in Copenhagen, we just had an amazing feeling about the place, not least because of the technology element of Denmark and how they're very far ahead and very advanced in terms of moving away from cash, but the venue itself is beautiful. It's very elegant, and you have a twin hotel complex with a conference facility. And so that enables us to really create that networking experience.

And the other factors that we took into account was the distance between the airport and the facility itself, which is very important for us. So we want attendees, the minute they land in Copenhagen, can have a seamless personal experience just to get to the event. So it's literally five to ten minutes away.

Other aspects that we took into consideration, and so when we landed and we visited the Bella Center, and that's where the event will be held, the mayor made a special visit for us. We also had meetings with Danske Bank, a number of the other banks in Copenhagen, and the largest processor, Nets. And these organizations just made us feel so welcome that it became a no-brainer.

And we wanted something slightly different than the Vegas experience, and notwithstanding that there is no place like Vegas in Europe. So we wanted something slightly--

Sarah Gill, Reporter: Thank goodness, I might say.

Pat Patel: Maybe. Some would say that. Vegas is seen as Marmite, to a degree. Some people love it, some people less so.

The opinions, findings, or perspectives expressed in this content are those of the participants and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Bancorp, Inc., its affiliates, or its or their employees.