What Happened at This Year’s Money 20/20

For fintech and payments companies of all sizes, Money 20/20 is a jackpot for networking and discussions on how technology will impact the future of money. Over the past year, we’ve observed new fintech companies break into the market, VCs flock to fund the next big idea and companies expanding to become a one-stop-shop for consumers and businesses. 

This year’s show trends were just as exciting. What happens in Las Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Las Vegas. Here’s what we saw and learned at this year’s show.

News that had a hot streak

Uber Money: Announced during a keynote, Uber is breaking into the financial industry offering drivers instant payments through a new no-fee checking account and debit card. Uber’s newest venture into finance is the latest venture of a startup venturing into territories previously held by traditional banks.

Amazon and Payments: No doubt with Amazon’s continued dominance in commerce that they’d make a splash by jumping into payments. At a keynote, Amazon announced a simple new Alexa tool, paying utility bills by voice.

BlueVine Business Banking: As startups continue to fill in the gaps where traditional banking falls short for consumers, BlueVine (a Highwire client) announced a monthly fee-free checking account service designed for small businesses – filling the gap left by traditional banks leaving most SMBs to use consumer accounts and pay $400+ in fees. 

What’s Trending

This year’s official #Money2020USA Twitter hashtag saw more than 24 million potential impressions from more than 1,200 contributors during the span of the show. During the span of the show, there was an average of 668 tweets per day with the hashtag. Looking at this year’s trends on Twitter, payments came away as the clear topic of interest. Just behind payments, AI was another buzzword top of mind during the show. Meanwhile, blockchain, cashless and cryptocurrency fell short on capturing Twitter’s attention.

20/20 Planning Tips

With the size and magnitude of Money 20/20, breaking through the noise to reach customers, reporters, potential partners and investors can prove to be challenging. As we enter planning for next year, consider standing out with digital activations. Having an always-on social strategy with video, polls and Q&As is a strong way to cut through the noise.

Using the right hashtags is key to reach a broader audience. For example, using #Money2020 saw nearly a third of the impressions as the official #Money2020USA tag saw, even with about half the number of tweets and contributors.

At this year’s show, Highwire PR had five clients in attendance. With our roots in journalism and deep experience in fintech, learn how we can elevate your story through traditional and digital communication campaigns. Reach out to our payments/fintech lead, Kim Paone, or shoot us a note at hi@highwirepr.com to learn more.

A Peek at Tech Trends Impacting the Shopper Experience

Next to the ice cream counter was a 13-year-old boy slowly inching further and further away from his mom while scrolling through the latest photos on his iPhone. A sea of people and ghost plush toys named Snarky surrounded us. We admittedly were intrigued to stop by the Kith Treats store in the new Hudson Yards shopping mall because of its Lebron James flavored ice cream, but others were trickling out from behind closed doors of a ticketed area — Snark Park. The boy told us he had been waiting for months to be a part of this new experience by Snarkitecture, which combines museum-quality installations with exclusive retail. It certainly wasn’t just about the ice cream. 

 

 

When thinking about shopping in America, it’s hard not to go straight to the importance of experience. Whether it’s collaborating with athletes and celebrities to delight your customers with treats or providing a gated, exclusive exhibit — the way that brands get people in the door has forever changed, and with good reason. As we’ve seen from the tsunami of mall closures across America, the convenience of a mall isn’t a driving force like it used to be thanks to Amazon and other direct-to-consumer online brands. To attract customers and build loyalty today, brands have to establish a connection that’s fueled both on and offline and goes beyond the products themselves.

As brands gear up for the 2019 holiday shopping season, here are a few technology trends impacting the shopping experience:

Made for Me: E-commerce subscription box services are mainstream, mostly due to a customer’s ability to try multiple products without a major monetary investment. But they’ve also helped fuel the move to personalization. Whether it be skincare or vitamins designed just for you or a virtual shopper that gets your style exactly right — retailers are focused on drilling down far beyond the age range and location of their customer — and instead to their exact desires. With AI and targeting efforts only improving, we’ll see retailers use technology to reach customers on a more personal level than ever, both in-store and online.  

But is it Instagrammable? The in-store experience isn’t just about providing easily accessible products to people who are browsing or coming to the store with a product purchase in mind — it’s about making people wish they were there, too. For example, at the Hudson Yards mall just about everything is an Instagrammable experience — the artwork between storefronts, the brightly colored stores and entertainment on site — even a climbable landmark! FOMO is all too real for today’s shoppers. 

Frictionless Checkout (Wherever & However): It’s no secret that checking out is one of the worst parts of shopping — online or in-store. In recent years, we’ve seen the industry make strides in-store with self-service checkouts and even Amazon paving the way for no checkout, just grab and go. In order to make the checkout process faster, retailers are going “cashless” and deploying mobile checkout stands throughout stores. During the busy holiday shopping season when in-store real estate is particularly precious, it’s likely to become an even more important strategy. 

Yes, it’s only summer but it’s always a good time to think about the shopper experience. As we gear up for holiday shopping, what are your predictions for this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Plus, enjoy a few pictures from our trip to the Hudson Yards mall — it’s quite the place!