Posted by & filed under Banking, Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, Fintech, Innovation.

Looking back at 2019’s biggest fintech convention of the year.
Source: @money2020 Twitter

…And it’s a wrap! The European leg of Money 20/20 in Amsterdam was a wild success. The world’s largest marketplace for fintech ideas and innovations grew in maturity. Fintech scaleups seemed to outnumber startups. A sign that the fintech industry is growing and developing.

As innovators come together to explore the future of fintech, we seized the opportunity to take notes! Let’s take a look at the week’s highlights.

Open banking in a cashless society

This year’s Money 20/20 theme was alchemy. Tracey Davies, president of Money 20/20, provided a platform for collaboration. And alchemy was the perfect metaphor for the conference. Industry leaders were seen networking and collaborating with SME founders. Conversations were sparked and ideas were heard.

“Cards and phones are taking over payments. Non-cash transactions are growing at the fastest pace ever. Lead by Asia that’s growing at 29%. Sweden is expected to become the world’s first cashless society by 2023.”  

Peggy Alford, PayPal, Senior VP of Core Markets

Digital payments require coordination from different party. It’s no wonder that open banking is a hot topic. Nevertheless, it looks like things are taking more for banks than they initially thought.

“Open Banking was one of the main topics of Money2020 as the up-and-coming thing… this year again”

Jeroen De Bel, Founder at Fincog (at MeetupXL of Amsterdam Fintech Week)

The good news is, this means more maturity in the way financial institutions approach scaleups and startups. It’s no longer an afterthought or a sugar-coat, but rather a strategic decision.

“Banks need to rethink their strategy. Customers are evolving with fintech trends. And banks need to make room for more flexible touchpoints.”

David Brear, CEO of 11:FS

Too many fintechs, too little novelty?

Drew Graham and Dr. Leda Glyptis at Money2020

Drew Graham, Director of Digital Strategy at Barclays, argued that there are too many fintech startups. His argument was that startups overpowered the quality of value they provide. Too many startups – too little new innovations.

From the point of view of a big financial institutions, the amount of fintech startups can be overwhelming. Banks have traditionally taken care of the whole value chain. Of all banking needs. Fintechs, on the other hand, often take care of more specific niches or products.

Another reason for this boom is the romanticization of startup culture. It’s “cool” to have a fintech startup, or to invest in fintech startups.

“A lot of capital being thrown around in small increments encourage the proliferation of startups.”

Dr. Leda Glyptis, CEO at Foundry and Chief of Staff at 11:FS

Many of these startups are becoming strong challengers to banks’ business. The combination of niche mentality and capital gives some of them a stronger value proposition.

Michael Byrne, Director of Strategic Partners at LexisNexis Risk Solutions at Money2020

“We are seeing more and more fintech startups, cryptos, regtech, and insurtech companies. Taking their seat alongside the major players in full lifecycle financial ground.”

Michael Byrne, Director of Strategic Partners at LexisNexis Risk Solutions

But working with them is often not easy.

“Often startups don’t have a clue of how to collaborate with a bank, and enthusiastic innovation managers might give them the wrong expectations”

Don Ginsel, Founder at Holland Fintech (at MeetupXL of Amsterdam Fintech Week)

All in all, this makes banks’ life more difficult. There are more and more startups. Some of them are more and more of a challenger. It’s more important than ever to be able to pick the winners. Who do you think is going to transform your business?

Customer-oriented innovation

As Money 20/20 wraps up, speakers focused on the different industry trends.

“We have to make [banking] relevant. And we have to give people comfort. That governments and regulators can answer the questions they have. We need to reimagine a way of regulating. We need to become much more iterative, much more open.”

Martha Lane Fox on traditional financial institutions

Customers have gotten used to convenience. It’s gone from bonus to requirement. And we got to see how banks deal with this “new” requirement.

“It’s important to focus on solving the immediate needs of your customer, but always with the longer term vision in mind — at Ripple that’s the Internet of Value.”

Ginger Baker, Ripple, Sr. Director of Product

Adopting fintech solutions was definitely one of the most touted ways of achieving this. This is a double-edged sword. Financial institutions get a more flexible offering. But they also need to become flexible themselves. Otherwise, it will be difficult to compete in the industry.

Behind banking products: having a healthy fintech ecosystem

It’s important to have change among the changemakers.

Finance has been traditionally male-dominated. But the finance industry needs to reflect the society it serves. And women in fintech are rising to the challenge.

Elizabeth Lumley, Teena Baker-Taylor, and Ruth Wandhöfer on Gender Diversity at Money 2020 Amsterdam 2019, interviewed by Isobel Chillman

“So many women get denied leadership positions and speaking slots. Because the status quo doesn’t know that they’re there. So we need to work as an entire community to find that woman. And put her on stage.”

Elizabeth Lumley on gender diversity within the fintech industry

Another factor of a healthy startup ecosystem is healthy entrepreneurs. And startup culture has been known for being toxic in burning people out. Many entrepreneurs will find themselves stressed out of their wits. Sometimes it gets the best of you.

“You’re not out of control. You are totally in control of how you deal with this. So I opted to stay close to myself. And remain insatiably curious.”

Conny Dorrestijn, Founding Partner at Bankifi

Entrepreneur or not, make sure you know your purpose. Focus on the important tasks. Ask the right questions and keep looking for solutions.

What’s next?

Collaboration is breaking walls between organizations. The event was a platform for big leaders and new players to address common issues. And if we had to summarize the overall feel in one word, it would be “maturity”.

Every year, Money 20/20 grows and becomes more welcoming of innovations. Next year, we’re expecting to see more global trends getting adopted by fintech. As technology continues to disrupt, startups continue to improve their technologies. And one thing’s for sure. Money 20/20 will remain one of the largest platforms for cultural innovation and external collaboration.

What do you want to be able to share a year from now?

Posted by & filed under Banking, Collaboration, Corporations, Featured, Fintech, Insurance, Startups.

We talk with a lot of interesting people every day (definitely one of the best perks of the job!). We learn every day from these smart people and their experiences and thought why not share all that with you. Cue our new monthly webinar series.

The first six episodes focus on collaboration and specifically piloting. In each episode we have two guests from startups and one from banks, insurance companies or other corporations, who talk about the different parts of the collaboration journey from the first contact to life after the pilot.

While we are waiting for the next episode (live on the 5th of September), I thought I would gather together some of the learnings from the series. I have to emphasize the word ’some’ as it is impossible to fit everything into one post, and I highly recommend checking out the series here for all of the learnings.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Banking, Collaboration, Featured, Fintech, innovating, Insurance.

The best innovations come from collaboration. Yet most attempts at collaboration fail. Most corporates blame the lack of strategic alignment or maturity. Most startups blame bureaucracy and internal politics.

And they’re both right: most of the time, there’s some building block missing. When you buy furniture, you wouldn’t leave half of the pieces “for later”. But with collaboration, that often happens. Neither startups nor corporations come with an Ikea-like manual.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together the elements of startup-corporation collaboration. After 25+ programs, we’ve seen a lot of what can go well, and a lot of what can go wrong. And many of the pitfalls are predictable, to some extent.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Featured, Fintech, Programs, Startups.

We have done 26 programs so far, but still, each new program makes us as excited as if it was the first one. And the same thing happened again with our latest program: startup accelerator with OTP Bank.

Now it has already been a month since the Demo Day and the end of the program itself. While the collaboration still continues, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on what happened.

Three months of collaboration, innovation & results

Last summer when we started designing this accelerator, we mapped our partner’s OTP Bank’s needs with them – like we do with every collaboration program, be it for a bootcamp, a three-month accelerator, or continuous startup-innovation support. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech.

Last week it was finally time to get the accelerator started at OTP Bank! We have worked hard with OTP Bank to prepare for it, and we couldn’t wait. We were looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with the startups and their counterparts at OTP Bank. Based on the selection period, we had high expectations, and lucky for us, so far it seems like we weren’t wrong!

The first week was a whirlwind of introductions and clarification

On day one we got to know the startups better, and they got to know us better. But even more importantly: the got to know their collaboration partner OTP Bank better. The startups met with their business champion (who will Read more »

Posted by & filed under Banking, Fintech.

Is your startup going to be the next big thing in fintech? Do you have the AI, blockchain or cryptocurrency solution of the future? Or other innovation that is going to change how we do banking? And most importantly, do you want to collaborate with top banks from all over the world?

We are looking for the top fintech startups to work with top banks with over 100 million customers.

Make us love you and will make the banks love you more

Convince us you are what banks need, and you will be part of the selected top startups we Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech.

Some of the most exciting times of my work are the accelerator periods. It is thrilling to work with the great minds in startups and the partner bank. So much happens every week and I am always amazed when looking back at what really went on. The accelerators are real adventures!

And as we work with early-stage startups the accelerators don’t only show a glimpse into the newest new of the industry, but the future of the industry! If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. Did I already say accelerators are my favorite time…?

And now it’s time for the next adventure: the Selection Bootcamp of our OTP Bank accelerator just started today! And that means we have the next exciting accelerator adventure ahead of us. But before that, it is time to get to know the finalists and find the startups that best match our partner the OTP Bank.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Banking, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator.

Startups: when you apply to any of our accelerators or BankAccess programs, you’ll be exposed to all of our bank partners operating in 20+ countries in addition to TEB. 

Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB) is a reputable institution in the Turkish banking sector operating with its more than 500 branches and about 10,000 employees throughout the country. Since its establishment in 1927, with its expanded network of branches and a diversified range of products and services, TEB has pursued operating in various fields of the banking sector.

In 2005, BNP Paribas, one of the strongest banks in the world Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Startups.

China has been the number one market in fintech for a while now, and India is right behind it. But will 3rd king of the market be the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)?

At first, saying so might feel a bit surprising, random even. Sure, there are some great success stories like Prezi, Ustream, LogMeIn coming from there, but calling the area the next big fintech market – maybe a bit too much. Except when you dig deeper you can see that it has many similarities with the current fintech leaders; in e.g. consumer mentality and environment, regulations Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Featured, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Programs.

Collaboration between startups and corporations is not easy. Most attempts to cooperate actually fail. There is a cultural divide between their two worlds. This why you need a mediator who understands both of those worlds: to make the collaboration a win-win for both the corporation and the startups.

Luckily, our area of expertise at Nestholma is exactly that: collaboration. Turning it into an actual business. Making the magic happen. “Banks and startups speak a different language”, says András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation. “We need an interpreter”. Tweet this. And we’re proud to say that they have chosen Nestholma as such an interpreter.

But what does Nestholma bring into the mix for the startups and the corporation, as an acceleration partner? Read more »