The largest fintech conference in the world, Money20/20, is going live this year with events in Europe and Las Vegas, scheduled for September 22-24 and October 25-28, respectively, to debate the future of payments and money across the globe. In the last three years, Latin America has been chosen as the place to invest, and financial technology services have been developing in the region at a quick pace, with unicorns like Nubank and EBANX.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some deals were put on hold or were renegotiated, rapidly changing the landscape for new investments. But this year, Money 20/20 will celebrate the “fintech fightback”, putting the spotlight on industry players that are finding success during these times.
In an interview to LABS, Monique Ruff-Bell, Event Director for Money20/20, talked about the challenges of dealing with events and also about fintech’s expectations for the post-pandemic scenario.
What is your vision for the recovery of investment rounds?
Monique – We are still unsure how long businesses will be affected by this pandemic. It can be months or it can be years. But what we’ve previously seen within our industry during trying times is that when valuations are lower and there’s less competition for deals, those who continue to invest in the downturn and into the early stage of recovery can come out as winners in the end.
LABS – How is the challenge of dealing with events at this moment?
Monique – It’s been very challenging for many event leaders to navigate something like this. This isn’t anything anyone within the events industry has ever experienced and there was no playbook on best practices. We are all just trying our best to figure it out. We’ve had to pivot strategy and pretty much mourn all of the “could of’s” and “what if’s”. Now it’s about “What’s Next” and how can we stay flexible and agile in all of our planning to make sure we are supporting or clients, partners and delegates in the best way possible.
What will be covered in Money 20/20 and how will it help fintechs through the new normal?
Monique – We are all about showcasing the learnings this pandemic has taught our industry, celebrating those who have been part of the “fintech fightback” and finding success and creating innovation within this challenging time, and providing ways for people to have access to do business, find partnerships and hear from their peers on important strategic initiatives in the most safe way possible.
Which were your main learnings during this pandemic?
Monique – I think I’ve gained more patience and flexibility than I have ever had in my entire life! You should, of course, set goals and have solid plans in place but being so tied to the “how” instead of the “what” can create even more pain than need be. All of your best laid plans can go out the window with something like this, so it’s all about agility and resilience and knowing that the goal can be achieved, but just not in the way you thought. Innovation usually comes out of much struggle and heartache.