Thank you for joining the Ross Republic podcast. In our eighteenth episode, your host Adrian Klee is joined by Maso Arai. Maso recently became partner at Ross Republic, so we discuss Maso’s career, major learnings as well as the future of the financial industry based on insights from Money20/20 Amsterdam.

RR Podcast #18

We’re excited to bring Maso Arai to our podcast, who recently joined Ross Republic as a partner, focusing on ecosystem finance and super apps. We take the opportunity to learn from Maso’s business strategy and growth development projects at W√§rtsila, Nordea as well as global tech companies, such as Alipay.

Since we just wrapped up Money20/20 in Amsterdam last week, we furthermore evaluate major trends currently impacting the financial services industry, such as embedded finance, open ecosystems and open banking, Banking-as-a-Service as well as new innovations in payments. Our key takeaways from Money20/20 are summarised below.

Embedded payments

The payment business has come a long way. Two years ago, before the Covid-19 crisis, cash and cards were still dominant. Based on the fintechs displayed at Money20/20 and the panel discussion, now it’s all about enabling seamless and digital payments, i.e. eliminating the payment steps so that it’s almost invisibly embedded in the purchasing journey. As a payment can be the beginning or end of a customer journey, it’s the bridge before and after a sale, opening up various opportunities to innovate around value-added services. Beyond that, it became evident that more and more banks are collaborating with specialised payment provides and fintechs to speed up the roll-out of new, innovative payments services.

Customer ownership

How can banks remain relevant in the consumer business, especially in B2C payments? Either you need to have your own competitive value proposition or need to find a complementary fintech partner. However, on the B2B side, there seems to be less competition among banks and fintech companies.

Open banking

When PSD2 came along, it unleashed a wave of new apps and features. Now, it seems that all is coming together with players like Tink and Nordigen, i.e. more collaboration between industry participants as well as open banking providers developing value-added services around open banking, such as payment facilitation or analytics. Open banking seems to get closer to end-to-end journeys, rather than offering siloed separate functionalities.

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