Money20/20 Asia 2024: Bridging the gap between innovation and regulation

Money20/20 Asia 2024 recently concluded in Bangkok, leaving attendees with fresh insights and connections. The annual event brings together industry, academia, and government for discussions on the current and future state of payments. Themes in focus this year included topics spanning from regulatory hurdles to the transformative potential of blockchain and digital currencies.

 

Finding the balance: Navigating regulatory landscapes in fintech

 

One of the recurring themes at Money20/20 Asia 2024 was the delicate dance between regulatory compliance and fostering innovation in the fintech realm. Sessions like “The Clash of Regulation vs Innovation for Safety, Stability and Growth” delved into the challenges and opportunities inherent in navigating evolving regulatory frameworks. As fintech disrupts traditional financial services, striking a harmonious balance between regulatory requirements and fostering innovation emerged as a paramount concern.

 

Cross-border open banking and the rise of digital assets

 

Discussions surrounding cross-border open banking and digital assets took centre stage, reflecting the increasingly global nature of fintech innovation. “Cross-Border Open Banking: Enhancing Integration Across Asia” explored the potential of open banking initiatives to reshape financial ecosystems, promoting greater interoperability and inclusivity. Meanwhile, sessions such as “Riding the Dragon’s Back: Hong Kong’s Bold Advance in Digital Assets and CBDCs” shed light on the role of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in redefining monetary systems and facilitating seamless cross-border transactions.


Participants in the ‘Global Payment Trends’ session discussed the increasing prevalence of digital wallets, particularly in Asia, yet noted that traditional card payments are far from being phased out. The Global Payment Report from Worldpay indicated that digital wallets now account for over 50% of all payments. However, card payments remain dominant in several significant markets globally.


“Digital wallets being well over 50% now of all payments..that’s huge,” said Zubin, Group CEO at BigPay, noting that “cards have not gone away. And I think that card dominance still exists in a number of significant markets around the world.”


Card-based payment methods continue to work effectively. “Card schemes aren’t sitting still…they have these rails, it’s about tweaking that front end,” he said, implying that cards will remain relevant as long as schemes continue to innovate and improve user experience.

 

Security and risk management in the era of DeFi

 

Against the backdrop of decentralised finance (DeFi) and rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, discussions around security and risk management took on added significance. “When the Earth and Moon Collide – Risk lessons from DeFi” offered valuable insights into mitigating risks within decentralised finance ecosystems, underlining the critical importance of prioritising security in Web3 landscapes. Similarly, “The Algorithmic Arms Race: AI vs. Humans in the Fintech Fraudscape, Powered by SHIELD” explored the evolving dynamics of fraud detection and prevention, highlighting the role of AI-driven solutions in safeguarding financial systems.

 

Embracing collaboration and knowledge sharing

 

The theme of collaboration and collective knowledge sharing also emerged as a common thread. As industry leaders and innovators convened in Bangkok, it became evident that meaningful dialogue and cooperation are essential drivers of progress in the fintech sector. Beyond showcasing the latest innovations and trends, the event served as a catalyst for forging new partnerships and alliances aimed at addressing the complex challenges facing the industry. Moving forward, fostering a culture of collaboration will be instrumental in driving sustainable growth and innovation, ultimately shaping the future of finance in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

 

Money20/20 Asia 2024 not only showcased the latest innovations and trends in fintech but also served as a platform for meaningful dialogue, collaboration, and community building. Attendees enjoyed a final ‘full moon party’ event, away from the brand and banners of the conference stands. As attendees bid farewell to Bangkok, the echoes of insightful discussions and newfound connections continue to permeate, laying the groundwork for continued innovation and collaboration in the ever-evolving landscape of finance.

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