Mark Miller
Mark Miller is Associate Director of Insights for Payments with Mintel Comperemedia. He focuses on credit cards, lending products, and the general financial services landscape.

Day two at Money20/20 continued with the trend of financial wellness and inclusion, while also addressing current fintech hurdles.

Tim Chen, CEO of NerdWallet, kicked off the day by stressing the importance of comparison sites in providing simple, relevant information to consumers. This is especially crucial for those with lower incomes, who traditionally feel they have less choice in products, to instead select based on which products they qualify for. While Tim argued that complex programs like robot learning and artificial intelligence (AI) were not always needed to merely educate the public on financial choices, he did foresee a future where a simple algorithm could be designed to make the most healthy financial decisions for consumers.

Avoiding ‘fee fatigue’

Leaders of the most innovative fintech companies discussed how they can better serve customers in non-traditional ways. MoneyLion‘s Founder and CEO, Dee Choubley, described his service – which lets customers use funds as collateral against securing a lower-interest loan – as a “lifestyle” product, where checking, savings, investments, loans and rewards are all interconnected.

Lindsay Holden, Co-founder and CEO of Long Game, introduced a different approach. Long Game’s product uses gamification that encourages its largely Millennial and Generation Z base to save and awards customers in cryptocurrency. Holden argued that simple education was insufficient and while young consumers know they are supposed to save, they need a platform that enables the behavior and makes it enjoyable.

Jason Wilk, Founder and CEO of Dave, Inc., described how their product, which automatically predicts upcoming bills and adds up to $75 with no interest to prevent overdraft fees, helps customers avoid the debt trappings of traditional accounts. Dave’s “mission-driven business” is fueled by tipping and with each tip, the company plants a tree.

Fintech addresses modern challenges

In what has become a sentiment echoed across the first two days of the conference, TransferWise Co-founder and CEO Taavet Hinrikus stated that individual states regulating the fintech space put the US at a disadvantage compared to its European peers who typically only have to deal with one regulatory body. While he lauded the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) proposed fintech charter as a step in the right direction, he encouraged regulators to listen to fintech concerns and design rules that benefit the consumer as opposed to the incumbent banks.

Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users Team at Google

PayPal VP & Commercial Officer for Global Credit Darrell Esch talked about how reports of the death of the credit card are greatly exaggerated. He went on to say that credit cards would continue to exist, although the ways in which we use them will continue to change (e.g. less physical usage, more mobile wallets). He further argued that paper was the real enemy, as cash is “exclusive, expensive and insecure.”

The biggest event of the day occurred when Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users Team at Google and Sir Richard Branson took the keynote stage. Sengupta discussed Google’s goal of transitioning global payments from cash to mobile money. He illustrated how they partnered with India’s government and Universal Payments Interface (UPI) to build a custom version of Google Pay that has already surpassed credit card payments in the country. Branson shared many tales from his non-conventional career from starting an airline, exploring space and landing a UFO near Gatwick Airport. He also described how Virgin Money began as an alternative to banks that he felt were opaque and predatory, and ultimately invested in some of the biggest fintech players today, including Square and TransferWise.

Stay tuned for day three, as we share a series of new developments and exciting announcements!