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Banking 01 Apr 2016

Four reasons you shouldn’t miss Money20/20 Europe

In 2011, Anil Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner - Google employees at the time - organized an event in Las Vegas that aimed to bring together the main fintech actors. Five years later, Money20/20 has become the international benchmark for innovation in financial services.

This year, the fintech event will take place in Europe for the first time ever. The April 4th -7th Copenhagen event will include participants from startups, entrepreneurs, fintech executives and regulators. BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila will represent the bank at Money 20/20 and will be the only Spanish executive to be featured in the conference’s main stage.

BBVA will participate in several sessions regarding various aspects of the Group’s transformation.

Other big names in this year’s conference include Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, Blythe Masters of Digital Asset Holdings, Nicolas Huss of Visa Europa and Sabrina Peng of Alipay (Alibaba), in addition to companies like Amazon, Google and Samsung.

Money20/20’s content director, Pat Patel reports that this event stands out for “bringing together the different components of the fintech world needed for innovation: the banking sector, retail sector, entire payment industry, mobile phone and telecommunication companies and startups.” Money 20/20 Europe   wants to “be the catalyst behind growth and development in the payment and financial services industry.”

1. A truly international event

1,500 companies have confirmed attendance at the first European edition of Money20/20 and 3,300 participants are expected from 75 different countries, including 1,000 CEOs and 425 speakers and panelists.

Money 20/20’s convening power makes it a must for those who work in the fintech sector. 78% of the participants consider it vital as a network, 52% report using the event for new ideas and products and 66% say they have learned more about innovation thanks to the conference.

2. The quality (not just the quantity) of speakers and panelists

Of the 425 speakers and panelists, BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila stands out. He will give his presentation on the opening day of the event and will discuss the challenges facing the financial services world and the need to transform the sector. He will also explain the BBVA Group’s strategy to overcome these challenges and the fundamental role new fintech firms play in this process.

The institution presided by Francisco González will also be represented in Copenhagen by Shamir Karkal, Head of Open Platform at BBVA and Marco Bressan, Chief Data Scientist at BBVA and Chairman at BBVA Data & Analytics. As a panelist, Karkal will speak about the creation of BBVA’s open API platform and the strategy behind the project. He will also stress the Group’s support for the fintech industry through initiatives like BBVA Open Talent.

This startup competition will hold its 8th edition this year and is currently accepting projects.

Other key speakers include Johan Lorenzen, CEO of Holvi, the Finnish startup BBVA recently acquired; and Metro Group’s Olaf Koch, who will discuss the transformation of his retail model and agreement with Techstars to create an accelerator. Industry heavyweights such as Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, known for backing Google, PayPal and Yahoo!. Coming from China, Sabrina Peng will explain the European strategy of Alipay International, Alibaba’s payment platform.

The European edition of Money 20/20 will also include face-to-face meetings between traditional banks and new actors. On Wednesday, Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing, representing a traditional bank, will share the stage with Tandem Founder Ricky Knox, representing a challenger bank, to debate the way they see the financial world and banks’ future outlook.

Another new development will be the pitches session organized by the winners of the StartUp Pitch Competition, and presented by the investor Matt Harris of Bain Capital Ventures.

3.Europe:  the region with the greatest growth in fintech investment

Europe is the region that has grown the fastest in terms of fintech investment. In 2015 alone, this type of investment increased by 215% according to Money 20/20 figures.

Of the 13 unicorn companies (those that are worth more than $1 billion) produced in Europe last year, seven are fintech firms.

London is the city with the most fintech talent. Approximately 44,000 people work in the fintech sector in London, more than Silicon Valley and New York combined.

4. Fintech 50

And last, but not least: the April 4th launch of the annual Fintech50 ranking, which classifies the 50 European fintech firms with the greatest potential to transform the financial industry.

Holvi, the financial services company for freelancers recently acquired by BBVA, was one of the prominent names in the ranking last year, which also included the payment company Adyen, and the international transfer system Transferwise.

How to follow the event if you weren’t able to register

  • On site, in Copenhagen: Many participants attend other activities during the conference, such as networking dinners and meetings.
  • Through the media: Bloomberg and CNBC will have live coverage of the conference. For financial technology news, Finextra will post videos and reports on the event and 150 European journalists will cover the event for countless media outlets. And of course, on Twitter through the hashtag #Money2020Europe.