Global Payments

Flywire monitors industry trends while continuing to evolve

August 22, 2018 | Ryan Frere

The payments space is perhaps the fastest-changing category in the financial industry. However, as payments businesses grow and transform, we don’t have frequent chances to connect with partners and competitors to gain broader perspective on their latest developments.

Flywire is a company that thrives on innovation and collaboration, so when an occasion to take the industry’s pulse presents itself, we will always try to capitalize on that. In June, 2018, the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam presented a chance for Flywire to do just that.

The organization looks at Money20/20 as a valuable opportunity to plug into what’s happening inside the industry and enhance our connections with like-minded thought leaders. Because the Money20/20 audience may not include many Flywire customers or prospects, we bring members of our Global Payments team, instead of salespeople. The conference provides a unique venue where we can gain insight into a number of thought-provoking topics by participating in detailed conversations, observing, and listening.

This was the eighth time Flywire attended a Money20/20 conference, and this time I was fortunate enough to facilitate a session. That panel focused on a broad range of topics: From Japan’s foresight around cryptocurrency and how early regulation has enabled it to quickly become a leading market for crypto, to the innovative work that Mastercard is doing with members of the Fintech community.

People from throughout the industry attended this session. This exemplifies one of the greatest benefits of Money20/20: There is always a lesson that can be learned or something that resonates, no matter how unrelated a topic may seem to a company’s core business. Furthermore, the conference is structured in a way that enables attendees to immediately bounce these new ideas off of partners, coworkers, and other members of their networks. This creates a unique phenomenon of an instant feedback loop that would otherwise take months to play out.

Darren Woodward, the Credit Card Specialist on Flywire’s Global Payments team, attended this summer’s Money20/20. He calls the event “a who's who of payments,” adding, “it’s fantastic for networking and certainly makes it easy to research payment initiatives and convenient to gain insight on what's hot, what's not, and why.”

While at Money20/20, Darren’s and my belief that open banking will continue to gain traction were confirmed. “The wave of regulatory shifts happening throughout Europe, combined with fintechs and banks working together in harmony are indications that open banking has real potential to spark an industry-wide race to provide new solutions for the benefit of consumers,” he said.

The idea of having a viable alternative to the traditional schemes for moving money from a bank to somewhere else represents a major step forward for the industry, and for Flywire as a business. The conference provided an ideal setting to discuss details of potential partnerships involving open banking and other innovations, like AI and machine learning for combating fraud. If all goes well, Flywire will be announcing details about the outcomes of some of these meetings in a few months.

Ryan Frere is the VP of global payments at Flywire.

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