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#Money2020eu, Open for Business with CBDCs and more

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The long awaited showcase event of the European Fintech scene kicked off with the opening of Registration on Monday the 20th of September. Delegates had to wait a few more hours to actually get into the event, on the Tuesday. But, the build-up was tantalizing, especially as Amsterdam is most definitely ‘Open for Business’.

The #DisruptionBanking Editorial team got here early to make sure that all the registration and Covid testing / vaccine checking was out of the way. Amsterdam basked in glorious sunshine, filling delegates and speakers alike with optimism that their first business trip of 2021 (for many) was well worth it:

The layout of the RAI Conference Centre has been changed to accommodate this year’s Money2020. Much like the content has also evolved since the most recent Money2020 back in June 2019. Today, a plethora of new firms and sponsors from across Europe and the rest of the world have gathered to celebrate one of the Fintech calendar’s must attend events.

Once you’ve navigated the necessary Covid documentation, the entrance to the venue greets you much like a movie premiere. Huge digital displays and smoke machines help delegates tune themselves in with what they are to expect once they enter the main boulevard:

Coffee and soft drinks abound around the venue, and once you’ve had your morning caffeine intake, a short walk around the stands is well worth it. From JP Morgan’s lounge to the abundance of Estonian startups, there are plenty of solutions available for both consumers and merchants.

Stalwarts like Temenos and Trustly welcome delegates as you first come into the conference hall, and there is a big UK presence amongst attendees, sponsors and even the Media. With so much investment into the UK fintech scene, there’s no surprise there is so much representation from the UK. And the UK isn’t the only one, Australia, Lithuania, Poland, Nigeria, and a host of attendees and sponsors from other countries are also in attendance.

Not everyone has come to see the exhibitors though. Many attendees are here to take part in the excellent debate on stage. Daniel Marovitz, Senior Vice President, FinTech at Booking.com didn’t disappoint. After a brief introduction from Scarlett Sieber on the Hive stage, Daniel took a few moments to share what so many of us at Money2020 have been experiencing since we landed. What a business trip looks like in 2021.

The seats filled quickly, and Daniel didn’t disappoint. The Hive isn’t the only stage at Money2020. The Assembly dominates the middle of the conference hall, with Megan Cooper, Chief Platform Officer at Barclays sharing her thoughts on technology. For those more interested in CBDCs, much like the #DisruptionBanking editorial team, delegates headed over to the Core.

Moderated by Carline Emch, Director of Government Affairs at American Express, the discussion focused on ‘How should CBDCs be designed and what function should they perform to become a trusted medium for payments’:

Inge Van Dijk, Director, Payments & Market Infrastructure De Nederlandsche Bank, spoke about how consumers are using less and less cash and how they want digital currencies. She believes that because of the importance of money or cash, it is important for central banks to step in.

“If you pay by card, it’s commercial bank money. If you pay by cash, its’ central bank money. Since citizens are using cash less, we need central banks, demand is actually increasing for digital payments.” Inge shared, continuing by explaining how: “Cash is a public asset, and it’s the safest and most liquid asset. So we have a central bank to provide an alternative and to complement card payments [but with central bank not commercial money]. This is the interest in terms of retail CDBCs.”

“And it could also have a second advantage, in that it would foster financial inclusion. Some people cannot open bank accounts so this would be an alternative – something based on a digital wallet. CDBCs would also be there for interbank settlements, and it would have an interest for cross border payments. Because border payments today are slow, often very costly, especially for remittances.” Inge continued. And so does the debate at Money2020.

Our Editorial team will be highlighting the top stories from this year’s Money2020. Please follow us on Twitter to find out what else is happening at Amsterdam.

Author: Andy Samu

#CBDC #Banking #Fintech #Money2020eu #Amsterdam #CentralBank