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  • Writer's pictureJaime González Gasque

Experience The Heartbeat Of The Money Ecosystem

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Money 20/20 USA is back in Las Vegas with its continued mission to “bring together the ecosystem of money to inform, to connect and do business”.

The event, held at The Venetian, aims to give companies access to thousands of visionaries, decision-makers and influencers. Through stages and experiences, people can engage, learn, be inspired and ultimately connect across the ecosystem to get business done.

Back in June, Money 20/20 Europe in Amsterdam smashed records with more than 220 press representatives from 70-plus media outlets, 90 countries represented, 380 sponsors and 2,300 companies in attendance.

On Monday, Money20/20 president Tracey Davies revealed that it is also adding Asia to its list of destinations in 2024. Money20/20 Asia will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on 23 to 25 April 2024.

Davies said: “I’m delighted to announce the new location to our global lineup: Bangkok in April 2024. Asia boasts a dynamic fintech ecosystem and some of the world’s largest fintech companies with over 50 unicorns. It makes so much sense for Money 20/20 to fit perfectly into that landscape. Bangkok is a truly exciting destination city.”

Tennis to finance

Following Davies onto the stage was tennis superstar Serena Williams who joined Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of payments at J.P. Morgan and Scarlett Sieber, Money20/20’s chief strategy & growth officer, to discuss her foray into venture capitalism, the influence of social media and the emergence of smart devices.

Williams on why she looks to back people with motivation, adversity and diversity: “Those are some of the things that we look at when we’re investing because we’re investing so early. The valuations are so small that it’s a huge risk, and I like to win. When you invest that early, you might get one winner out of 20. For me, I’m like no, I really love all these companies – they all are like someone that I believe in. That’s why we pick them that’s why we work with them.”

Scam awareness

TV host and producer of the MTV series Catfish, Nev Schulman chatted about scams with FINRA and Zelle including ‘pig butchering’. They revealed one in10 Americans will fall prey to a scam this year.

Gerri Walsh, senior vice president of investor education at FINRA, says: “Scammers try so hard to look like a company that is a legitimate company. We’re seeing this alot in the cryptocurrency space with the pig butchering scams where they fatten you up for the kill. They encourage you to invest on a platform that sounds like a platform or exchange that you might have heard of. And that’s what is so nefarious.”

Money 20/20

Socure founder & CEO Johnny Ayers and award-winning investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller led a panel discussion titled ‘How Money Moves Through Dark Markets’. It was a fascinating session into how criminals earn and move vast sums of money.

Money 2020 stage

Payments modernisation

Other highlights included a discussion on how regulators can modernise the payments system by enabling access to Fed accounts and services, implementing FedNow, and securing an open banking infrastructure with Nick Catino, global head of policy & social impact at Wise, Leila Perkins, head of North America regulatory at Stripe and Conway Ekpo, director, associate general counsel at Brex.

Perkins said: “There’s a lot of focus on what’s being said, done and planned in Washington, and less so at the state level. Yet actually there’s been alot of progress and payments harmonisation happening at state level from years of industry feedback. We have reason to be optimistic about hopefully seeing similar trends at the federal level as well.”

Sport and innovation

Rounding Monday off was a panel discussion led by Scarlett Sieber with New York Yankees baseball legend Derek Jeter and Allyson Felix, who has more Olympic medals than any US track and field athlete in history, alongside Mark Sullivan, EVP, financial services, from Salesforce.

“You can have a legacy that’s on the field, but I think it’s more important to have legacy off the field and give something back. That has always been something that’s been very important to my entire family,” said Jeter. “You have to be passionate about what you’re investing in, and you need to be passionate about your people. You need a good team.”

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