Why corporate treasurers should (not) go to Money 20/20

On one hand, you have got the payments and fintech community and on the other hand the one for corporate treasury. They both have their websites, social media and events. They both are (also) about cross-border money flows, FX, processes and technology. Why does it feel like they are two separate worlds that do not blend? Last week I visited Money 20/20 and the question came up again.

As a corporate treasury aficionado, treasury recruiter and treasuryXL ambassador, of course I visit EuroFinance, the FinanzSymposium and the events of DACT, ATEB and other treasury bodies. As our clients are in e-commerce, the telco industry and governmental bodies, bulk payment flows are essential, I also choose to go to Sibos, Toekomst Betalingsverkeer and last week’s Money 20/20. I meet different people but hear about the same concepts.

Money 20/20 is, in comparison with most other events mentioned, huge. Five large halls of the Amsterdam Rai are filled with about 400 companies, varying from young start-ups to multi-billion conglomerates. The programme, the catering, and the whole look and feel are set up for thousands of visitors. Many company representatives are very proactive, communicative, and often less knowledgeable than the ones at smaller events.

Overwhelmed, but treasurers can learn from it

I was overwhelmed. When trying to create an overview of what this event is about, it’s about financial service providers, often in payments and all their suppliers. It is very tech-driven, solutions are offered in blockchain/cryptocurrency, FX, cross-border payments, KYC, anti-fraud and identification. Also, it is about various countries offering employees and an infrastructure appealing to investors: Malta, the Baltics, France and also African countries.

In my perception, there are hardly any suppliers relevant to corporate treasurers. Still, you might consider going there, especially when your company has bulk payments, for two important reasons. You will learn how your bank assembles its services: they do not create themselves but buy building blocks and bring them together. This will help you get a feel for their stability and in negotiating well as you can look under the hood. Also, the presentations and new solutions will give you a look into the future. The corporate treasury world tends to be conservative. At this event, you will see what might be implemented in your TMS or bank infrastructure in five years. Very inspirational. So perhaps I will see you there next year.

Pieter de Kiewit

PS I still do not know why both worlds do not blend more often…

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